What could be more enjoyable than a weekend afternoon or evening on the Tampa Riverwalk? How about two days of music, food, and fun at Tampa Riverfest 2018? Come to Downtown Tampa on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 for the fourth annual Riverfest!
Festivities begin on Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. with free live music at Taste of the Riverwalk at Tampa Riverfest 2018. The Friday event at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park is capped off by headlining act The Black Honkeys. Beer trucks will be available from 4-10 p.m. to keep you refreshed. Make sure to buy a Taste of the Riverwalk wristband in advance for $25 so you can sample favorite dishes from 6 - 8 p.m. Over a dozen local restaurants are participating, including American Social, Harpoon Harry's Restaurant and Sports Bar, and Sono Cafe.
More free live music will start at 7:00 p.m. Friday night. The Revelers perform at Straz Center for the Performing Arts, while Al "Coffee" McDaniel plays at Columbia Cafe to get the southern end of the Riverwalk into the action. If art is more your style, the Tampa Museum of Art is offering 50% off admission and free museum tours at 7:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Tampa Riverfest 2018 continues bright and early at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning. A Gasparilla-style standup paddle board invasion takes place at Water Works Park to start off the day. Beginning at 10:00 a.m., there's more music at Curtis Hixon Park, plus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fan Zone for football fanatics. You'll also find what might be the event of the weekend in Tampa, if not the year or perhaps the century -- the Wiener Dog Derby at Tampa Riverfest 2018. The inaugural derby last year was such a hit, it just had to come back for an encore! Along with the racing, there are contests for the best kisser, best costume, and the best tail-wagger. And no matter who wins, all the dogs are very good dogs.
Saturday happens to be Cinco de Mayo, and Riverfest will get in on the act with TacoFest at Tampa Riverfest 2018. This event is at Curtis Hixon Park as well, under a large tent with plenty of different tacos available for purchase. Tacos will be available from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Wristbands can be purchased in advance, and tacos are priced at three for $10, or five for $15.
Up and down the Tampa Riverwalk will be live music on Saturday. You'll find more music at MacDill Park on the Riverwalk, The Sail Pavilion, and Ulele. The Revelers will also be back for a matinee show at Straz at 1:00 p.m. The Tampa Museum of Art will again offer 50% off admission on Saturday.
As the day winds down, Tampa Riverfest 2018 builds to an exciting conclusion. Saturday's headlining band, 80s new wave tribute The Spazmatics, take the stage at 8:00 p.m. in Curtis Hixon Park. Then at 8:30 p.m. comes Riverfest's signature event, the Hot Air Balloon Glow, which will light up the park and conclude a terrific event in downtown Tampa.
Most of Tampa Riverfest 2018 is free to attend. Only Taste of the Riverwalk and TacoFest require wristbands, which can be purchased in advance (or on the day of the event for an extra charge). You can also get access to Riverfest's VIP tent. For only $50, you get free beer, Tito's Handmade Vodka cocktails, food, and front-row access to the bands on the main stage. To buy wristbands or VIP tickets, go to www.thetampariverfest.com.
Get to Downtown Tampa and enjoy what's sure to be a fantastic weekend at Tampa Riverfest 2018! There will be lots to eat, lots to do, and lots of fun everywhere you look.
For more events happening around Tampa, or the latest places to go in the downtown area, make sure to visit 813area.com. Sign up for free email updates so you never miss out on what's new around town!
Photo from the Tampa Riverfest 2018 event page on 813area.com.