On Saturday April 30th and May 1st, Tampa's FREE* annual celebration, RiverFest takes place along the Hillsborough River. Walk the walk from Downtown Tampa to Tampa Heights this weekend and enjoy the fun and festivity courtesy of Friends of The Riverwalk and The City of Tampa. Spotlighting Tampa's arts, entertainment, health initiatives, activities and restaurants people are invited to this fun annual event to learn more and to see what the City has been up to along the Riverwalk. Come, let's celebrate Riverfest on the New Riverwalk this weekend!
You can walk Tampa's Riverwalk with an alcoholic beverage year-round if the drink was purchased from a Riverwalk bar. Drinks purchased at RiverFest beverage stations are allowed on the Tampa Riverwalk during Riverfest only. Year round Tampa Riverwalk bars include:
- Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina Recent winner at Tampa Bay Bloody Mary Festival 2016! Start here with a Winner from our list Best Bloody Mary Bars Found in Tampa | Top 50
- Columbia Cafe @ the Tampa Bay History Center
- The Sail Pavilion
- Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel
- Malio's Prime Steakhouse
- Straz Center for Performing Arts
- Sono Cafe at the Tampa Museum of Art
How to Celebrate Riverfest on the New Riverwalk this Weekend
TAMPA BAY INTERNATIONAL DRAGON BOAT RACES 2016 Cotanchobee Park 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
It's free to watch and cheer at the 13th Annual Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races as teams compete in Garrison Channel. Always a fun and colorful event, bring your camera!
3rd Annual Tech Data Tampa Bay Walk For Wishes Presented by Allegiant Air 2.5 mile Walk | Stroll beginning in Curtis Hixon Park 8 am - noon
Walk For Wishes is the nationwide Make-A-Wish fundraiser raising funds for future wishes. Your participation impacts children battling life-threatening medical conditions in our community. registration begins at 8 am, Opening Ceremony is from 9:15 am - 9:45 am. The walk takes you from Curtis Hixon to Cotanchobee Park and back beginning at 9:45. There will be music & food vendors for participants at Curtis Hixon following the walk at 12:00 pm. It is $30.00 to enter, kids under 8 are free, strollers and leashed pets are welcome.
Mayor's Mac n Cheese Throwdown Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Dowtown 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm
At the Mayor's 3rd Annual Mac & Cheese Throwdown restaurants will compete for the title Tampa Bay’s Best Mac & Cheese followed by a RiverFest Concert featuring live performances from local and regional bands. Buy a Mac & Cheese wristband giving you (5) tastings per wristband for $13, your wristband also includes free transportation on the Pirate Water taxi's. A $30 wristband adds (3) drinks at the VIP pop-up Plank Bar in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park during the event.
Balloon Glow part of Riverfest 2016 Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park 8:30 - 9:30 pm
Tampa's first ever Balloon Glow Event will light up Curtis Hixon Park to close Saturday’s RiverFest festivities. This signature event will bathe the river at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in the soft glow from anchored, 70' tall hot air balloons. Enjoy the experience listening to a post Throwdown concert featuring EDM sounds from Descarga and the Spam Allstars! The event takes place for only one hour, don't miss it!
Riverwalk Brunch Fest part of Riverfest 2016 Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Buy a brunch tasting wristband for $17 and you can taste three brunch items per wristband, this wristband also gets you a Fast Access pass on the Water Taxi , with a $40 wristband you get the (3) drinks at The Plank in addition to the brunch tastings.
Gasparilla SUP Invasion 2016 Cotanchobee Park 8:00 am-4:00 pm
SUP Tampa! The 2nd Annual 2016 Gasparilla Stand Up Paddleboard Invasion kicks off Sunday. It's free to watch or bring your paddleboard. Enter the event today and compete in the elite, recreational, corporate teams, Krewes, kids, or sprint divisions. You can SUP, Kayak, OC, Surfski and dragon boat in this Invasion! Enjoy the live MC and all-day family-friendly fun, food, music, exhibits, and live raffle with lots of great prizes at this years event!
Saturday & Sunday
Return of “The Plank” Tampa’s First Waterfront Pop-Up Bar MacDill Park - 11:00am – 6:00pm
Animal Events from the SPCA MacDill Park
Families and animal-lovers can celebrate and support SPCA Florida at MacDill Park where you can adopt and visit pet-friendly vendors and participate in healthy pet activities and demonstrations. Music brought to you by Hillsborough County Schools.
Water Works Park Events:
- Shakespeare in the Park and Tampa Gym and Dance on the Riverwalk
- Saturday & Sunday, Hours: 11:00am – 5:00pm
- Local live music from 11-12
- Free Shakespeare in the Park on the stage from 12-3
- Live performances from the talented Tampa Gym & Dance from 4-5
- Family-friendly activities, bring a chair and blanket for the lawn!
- Local food trucks, beer and sodas
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Enjoy interactive performance art at the Straz, fun for all ages!
Busch Gardens USF Park 11:00 - 5:00
Join Busch Gardens for live animal displays and family-friendly activities with live demonstrations at USF Park.
Florida Aquarium Channelside
The Aquarium will be open normal hours if you want to pop in during Riverfest to see why The Florida Aquarium is one of the top aquariums in the country and something we treasure here in Tampa Bay.
* Portions of the Free Annual Riverfest do require purchase of a ticket or wristband to participate (Proceeds benefit Friends of The Riverwalk Foundation)
You can bring leashed dogs, there is a really fun Dog Park on the Riverwalk.
Stroll the newest portion of Tampa's Riverwalk, Kennedy Plaza, along with your favorites parts of this unique 'trail' while enjoying live music and delicious food vendors as you explore! It’s a walk you don’t want to miss! Consider a weekend Staycation at one of the Riverwalk Hotels like Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, Aloft Tampa Downtown or Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel. Whether you can attend one day or both, or perhaps just an hour during your break, find time to join us as we celebrate Riverfest on the new Riverwalk this weekend!