Tampa is extremely unique in that all year is festival season! Whether it is fall, spring, or summer, there are countless festivals to choose from no matter your interests. 2019 is stacked with your favorites that you know and love with plenty new ones to explore. Here are several of the best festivals that Tampa has to offer:
January 26: 2019 Gasparilla Pirate Festival
Tampa's biggest festival, Gasparilla returns once again with the invasion at 11:30 a.m. and the pirate-filled parade at 2 p.m. Dress up in your best scallywag rags and get ready to catch beads!
March 3 - April 29: Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival
For practically two months, Busch Gardens will be offering international cuisine and fine wines around the park along with beer, other cocktails, and live music. The park comes to life in a brand new way at night each weekend when new tasty foods come out along with the wide selection of wine.
The event simply comes with any admission to the park with only additional cost when buying food or alcohol. Get ready to see the park in a whole new light along with all of your favorite rides and attractions.
March 2-3: Gasparilla Festival of the Arts
For the more artistic folks, the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts showcases the country’s best artists as well as our local super stars. As you stroll through the park, you'll see beautiful pieces of art on display from ceramic to painting to fiber art.
Any medium you can think of will be on display, so there will be a variety of things to browse. In addition to the impressive visuals, live music will be showcased as well as tasty food and drinks. Admission is completely free of charge, so there's no reason not to go!
March 9-10: Gasparilla Music Festival 2019
On the rise to become a renowned music festival, the Gasparilla Music Festival is coming back this year to be bigger and better than ever. The two headliners are enough reason to attend along with the countless other local bands and artists.
The Avett Brothers will put on an amazing show with their alternative folk style. Listen for hits like “I and Love and You” along with “Ain’t No Man.” The second headliner is Gary Clark Jr., known for “Come Together” and “Bright Lights”.
Aside from the main events, the local favorite is bound to be Parrotfish, a band from the Tampa Bay area who is now based in Nashville to pursue their music career. This is definitely the festival to attend whichever day you choose. Ticket prices range from $30 to $200, so grab them while you can to ensure you can attend this yearly event!
April 7-14: Bern’s Wine Fest
Tampa’s favorite steakhouse will be putting on their annual wine fest to showcase their legendary wine collection. It's a week full of eating delicious food and drinking some of the world’s best wines between Bern's Steak House and the Epicurean Hotel. Tickets are not available until February 23, but make sure to grab them while you can for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience Tampa’s most legendary foods and wine.
May: Tampa Riverfest
One of Tampa’s largest festivals is the Tampa Riverfest located along the Tampa Riverwalk, stretching to parks from Armature Works to the Tampa Bay History Center. If the last couple of years provide any indication, we can expect this year's Riverfest to be around Cinco de Mayo.
Last year, the majority of the events were held in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park including everything from live music to a taco festival to a wiener dog derby. There's something for everyone at this particular festival, so it's the perfect family event for the weekend.
Admission and all events have been free in the past. This annual festival is a great opportunity to get a feel for everything Tampa has to offer as it's a neighborly event attracting many local families and businesses.
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May 25: Tampa Bay Margarita Festival
For the adults of the area, the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival is the event of the year! This event has the world’s wildest margarita creations ranging from pear margaritas to flower margaritas.
On top of all this deliciousness, there will be entertainment, games, and more to keep yourself entertained between each margarita tasting. Make sure to stay until the end to catch a fireworks show from Julian B Lane Riverfront Park.
Experience all this and more for $25 admission, or upgrade your ticket to receive endless margaritas with no extra charge!
May 25-26: Sunset Music Festival
Tampa’s best EDM music festival takes place once again in Raymond James Stadium. Over 50,000 people will gather together in their most vibrant, eclectic outfits to dance to some of the world’s best DJs.
This festival is sure to be a hot spot for Tampa’s younger crowd as it caters to the up-and-coming genre of EDM. The festival is scheduled to occur on May 25 and 26; however, ticket prices and the lineup have yet to be announced, so stay tuned!
August: Summer of Rum Festival
Keep an eye out for the city’s booziest event of the year. The only information to date is that Tampa will host the festival during the month of August. It's an event full of the world’s best rums and lots of food to spare plus amazing musicians, making this the event of the year.
TBD: Next Big Thing Music
Another festival in Tampa to keep an eye out for is 97X’s Next Big Thing Music Festival. Each year, the local radio station brings in the alternative genre’s best and brightest prospects to make it big.
The Next Big Thing Music festival had artists as big as Panic! At The Disco and Bastille last year, so you can expect an incredible lineup again. This is a great opportunity to check out the genre’s best acts all within two days, so make sure to jump on tickets when they're released!
No matter what festival you end up attending, you won't regret it! There's a festival for you whether it is the booziest or the liveliest or the artsiest. Make sure to mark your calendar to grab tickets when you can!
Cover photo courtesy of Unsplash