Tampa, Florida



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Tampa, FL
Events
 

January

Outback Bowl
January 1
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa FL

Admission Charged
Tampa kicks off the first bowl game on New Year's Day--The Outback Bowl. The teams are matched from the Big Ten Conference and the Southeastern Conference, for post-season college football competition. The game is played at Raymond James Stadium and broadcast live by ESPN. There's a lot of action both on and off the field. Spectators can participate in a variety of special events and sports activities prior to the game.

Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival
January 18 -26, 2008

With a Pre-Festival event to be held on January 14, 2008
featuring Dr. Maya Angelou at the USF Sundome
Location: Various locations throughout the Tampa Bay Area
visit our website: TampaBlackHeritage.org for a full schedule and more information
The nine-day event, begins on Friday, January 18th with a Gala Opening Night featuring Ray, Goodman and Brown. On Saturday and Sunday, the traditional Heritage Street Festival takes place at Al Lopez Park and features Sugar Hill Gang, Rose Royce and Walter Beasley. Monday thru Saturday features a different Heritage event day, such as the Heritage Golf Tournament, Heritage Leadership Luncheon, Heritage Spoken Word Competition, Heritage Gospel Showcase and the Heritage Living History Exhibition.

Florida RV Supershow
Usually held in mid-January
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds

Admission Charged
More than 1200 RVs are spread over the 319 acre site. Every building and even the barns on the fairgrounds are used to house this enormous event. All entertainment at the SuperShow is “roaming” style.

The Gasparilla “Piratechnic” Extravaganza & Children’s Parade
Usually held on the third Saturday of January
Location: Bayshore Boulevard, Show Center at Bay to Bay

Admission Free
This alcohol-free, family event is held annually on the Saturday before the Invasion and Parade, and features the Children's Gasparilla Parade and one of the largest fireworks presentations in the country! The Children’s Gasparilla Parade has been a part of Tampa’s Gasparilla celebration since 1947.

The Gasparilla Pirate Fest
Usually held on a Saturday in late January
Location: Downtown Tampa and Bayshore Boulevard

Admission Free, charge for reserved parade seats
For 100 years pirates have invaded Tampa Bay. The unruly plunderers take over the city in honor of the mythical legendary pirate Jose Gaspar. The festival –“Gasparilla Pirate Fest,” is one of the country’s largest and most unique outdoor celebrations. It begins when the world’s only fully-rigged pirate ship sails into the heart of downtown Tampa. Flanked by hundreds of pleasure craft and vessels of all shapes and sizes, the invasion is a formidable sight. Built entirely of steel, the black-hulled Jose Gasparilla measures 165 feet in length and is topped by three masts that tower 100 feet above deck. Tugboats tow the craft and its crew of 700 pirates with flags flying and cannons booming as the vessel makes its way up Hillsborough Bay and into downtown Tampa.

February

The Gasparilla Distance Classic
Usually held the first weekend of February
Location: Downtown Tampa

Admission Charged
The Bank of America Annual Gasparilla Distance Classic attracts world class athletes who compete in 5K , 15K, marathon and half marathon events on foot as well as the 15K course in wheelchairs. Consistently voted the best race in Florida by Florida Running Magazine and ranked among the Top Ten Races in the United States by Runner's World, the Bank of America Gasparilla Distance Classic has become one of the largest running events in Florida. The primary purpose of the race is to funds for local youth charities and education foundations.

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts
Usually held in early February
Location: Franklin Street in Downtown Tampa

Admission Free
Hundreds of painters, artisans, photographers, sculptors, jewelers and artists from around the world display their work at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. The first show began in 1971 and featured 130 artists. With over 300 exhibitors, the festival attracts more than 300,000 art enthusiasts, making it one of the largest art shows in the Southeast.

The Florida State Fair
Usually held for 10 days in mid-February
Location: Florida State Fairgrounds at the crossroads of I-4 and Highway 301

Admission Charged
The Florida State Fair features the best arts, crafts, livestock, entertainment and food found in Florida. It is the only “state” fair in Florida and one of the largest major fairs in the Southeast and features one of the largest midways in the country.
More than 200 rides, games and attractions are spread over the 319 acre site. Entertainment acts such as LeAnn Rimes, Ashanti, Bill Cosby and Loretta Lynn have graced the stages at the fair. All headline entertainment shows are in Entertainment Hall, a 5,000-seat, climate controlled building. Visitors come from all 67 Florida counties, all 50 states and more than one dozen foreign countries. The fair has been named "One of the Top 100 Tourist Destinations on the North American Continent" by the American Bus Association.

Sant’Yago Knight Parade
Usually held in mid-February
Location: Ybor City/Downtown

Admission Free for general, charge for reserved seats
The streets of downtown Tampa and Ybor City come ablaze when hundreds of floats masked with lights and loaded with bands and pirates fill the streets for the Sant'Yago Knight Parade. It's the city's biggest night parade and named for the Krewe of the Knights of Sant'Yago, a 250 member group that has its roots in the ninth-century Spanish Brotherhood of the Royal Order of St. James. The krewe designed the parade as a way to enhance and perpetuate Tampa’s strong Latin heritage.

March

The Florida Strawberry Festival
Usually held for 11 days in early March
Location: Festival Grounds, Plant City, Florida

Admission Charged
The Florida Strawberry Festival is a celebration of strawberries that dates back to 1930. It began when members of the Plant City Lions Club decided to celebrate the area's bountiful harvest of strawberries. The 11 day festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. The “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World”, Plant City, is located about 24 miles east of Tampa. The festival features daily entertainment by some of music's biggest stars. Events and exhibits of the popular festival include agriculture shows, commerce, education, industry, livestock, a baby contest, and the Midway featuring over 60 rides. Competitions range from cook-offs and clogging to diaper decorating and strawberry shortcake eating contests. The festival features two country music shows each evening on the main stage. Limited free seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

Apollo Beach Manatee Arts Festival
Usually held in mid-March
Location: Apollo Beach on Highway 41; just south of Big Bend Road

Admission Charged
The Annual Apollo Beach Manatee Arts Festival is a major arts and crafts show that promotes visual and performing arts as well as awareness and preservation of the endangered Florida manatee. The event features artists and craftsmen from across the nation displaying their work in addition to “Young At Art” children’s art show, a children’s creativity center, live entertainment, beer garden and wide variety of food and beverage vendors.

Best of Tampa Bay
Usually held in mid-March
Location: The Performing Arts Center

Admission Charged
Best of Tampa Bay combines fine food and entertainment with the ambience of the cultural surroundings of The Performing Arts Center and the adjacent riverwalk on a spring evening. From haute cuisine to sizzling steaks, Best of Tampa Bay tantalizes taste buds with various entrée samplings, luscious desserts, specialty coffees, fine wines and imported beers. Over fifty of Tampa Bay’s best restaurants, caterers and vendors will be participating. Guests are entertained by a variety of Florida artists showcased throughout the event on four separate stages.

April

Bern’s Winefest
Usually held in mid or late April
Location: Side Bern’s

Admission Charged
Legendary Tampa restaurant, Bern’s Steak House, with Side Bern’s and Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits, holds its annual Winefest. At this four-day event, guests have the opportunity to experience extraordinary food and wine tastings, educational seminars and winemaker dinners. Join Bern’s experts and special guests for classes about wine and food.

May

Ruskin Tomato Festival
Usually held in early May
Location: E.G. Simmons Park

Admission Charged
All of Tampa Bay is seeing red during the Tomato and Heritage Festival at E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin, a small historic coastal community south of Tampa. The delicious Ruskin tomato is undoubtedly the star of the festival and highlights include “The Great Tomato Cook-off,” the crowning of the “Ruskin Tomato Festival Queen” and the all-you-can-eat sliced tomatoes. Live entertainment, a farmer’s market and a Street Rod Show are also featured.

October

Guavaween (Latin Style Halloween Street Celebration)
Usually held the last Saturday in October
Locations: Ybor City

Admission Charged
The annual zany celebration features the mythical Mama Guava, who has sworn to take the "bore" out of Ybor (Ee-bore) City, and a parade of her devoted followers. Guavaween is a New Orleans style Halloween celebration based on Tampa's nickname, “The Big Guava.” Costumed revelers pack Ybor City for the huge street party. The festival includes a night parade and street party featuring multiple stages of entertainment. Guavaween has expanded into an all day event, with a Family FunFest offering activities for the entire family.

November

Tampa Cigar Heritage Festival
Usually held in early November
Location: Centennial Park, Ybor City

Admission Free
The Ybor City Museum Society hosts the Annual Tampa Cigar Heritage Festival. The one-time “cigar capital of the world,” Ybor City is one of only three National Historic Landmark Districts in Florida. A celebration of Ybor City and Tampa’s cigar past and present, the Cigar Heritage Festival features hundreds of cigar vendors and retailers showcasing premier cigars and cigar related items, cigar rolling, food and wine demonstrations, interactive cultural activities, ethnic food and entertainment and lots of fun for the whole family. There is also Latin musical entertainment performing live at the festival

December

Victorian Christmas Stroll
Usually held early December – just before Christmas
Location: Henry B. Plant Museum

Admission Charged
Experience the extravagance and grandeur of a Victorian Christmas at the former 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel during the Henry B. Plant Museum’s Victorian Christmas Stroll. It is a time-honored tradition delighting visitors with a glimpse of Christmas past. The Victorian Christmas Stroll provides museum guests with an opportunity to see magnificent rooms adorned with authentic Victorian-style decorations, elaborately trimmed trees, lush greenery, antique toys and imaginative ornaments. Enchanting renditions of traditional Christmas carols featuring flute, harp, mandolin, bells and heavenly vocals resonate throughout the museum creating a relaxing and magical atmosphere.

Entertainment

Arts

Gorilla Theatre
4419 N. Hubert Ave
Tampa, FL 33614

Admission Charged
Living theatre for thinking minds. With only 76 seats, the intimate, Equity theatre presents an eclectic season of original works & classics and sponsors live jazz events and young playwrights’ projects.

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place
Tampa, FL 33602

Admission Charged
One of the largest performing arts centers in the southeast, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center offers one of the nation's leading Broadway series and is widely recognized for its grand opera, plays, educational programs and concerts.

Tampa Theatre
711 Franklin Street
Tampa, FL 33602

Admission Charged
Built in 1926, Tampa Theatre is one of America's best examples of grand movie palace architecture and hosts films, concerts, special events and tours. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a Tampa City Landmark.

Opera Tampa
Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place
Tampa, Florida 33602

Admission Charged
Opera Tampa is the resident opera company of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Opera Tampa’s mission is to bring to the Tampa Bay area the highest possible caliber of grand opera, featuring international performers and a live orchestra.

Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra
The Symphony performs at the Bay Areas three leading concert halls, Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center in Tampa

Admission Charged
The goals of the orchestra are to promote interest and education in music of high standards, to provide musicians of all ages an opportunity to perform in a symphony orchestra and, thus, to enhance the cultural and artistic life of members of the community. There is an annual "Young Artist Competition" in which students compete to perform with the orchestra. Any profits go toward providing scholarships for the winners. The first winner of this competition is now an assistant professor of music at a major university.

Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Professional Football
One Buccaneer Place
Tampa, FL 33607

Season is September – February
Admission Charged
The Bucs compete in the NFC South Division.

Tampa Bay Lightning
National Hockey League
401Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602

Season is October - April
Admission Charged
National Hockey League team plays all home games in the spectacular St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa.

Tampa Bay Storm
Professional Arena Football
401 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602

Season February - June
Admission Charged
Arena Football Team playing home games at the Ice Palace in downtown Tampa.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Professional Baseball
One Tropicana Drive
St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Season March - October
Admission Charged
The Devil Rays play at Tropicana Field.

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