It's the last weekend in March and Saturday is April Fools Day! No jokes or pranks here, we have a list of great events and things to do in Tampa Bay. The Rays Spring Training has their opening game, the 12th Annual Taste of South Tampa returns, The Florida Cup | Tampa Bay Downs celebrates 15th years, Festivals of Speed: St. Petersburg hits our area, and the Tampa Bay Lightning has games both Saturday and Sunday. Here's a sampling of some of the other big events hitting Tampa Bay this weekend!
Friday, March 31, Tampa
Rays Spring Training
Home Opener! 1.p.m vs the New York Yankees, Tropicana Field
Car Enthusiasts Delight!
Southeast Street Rod Nationals
Friday-Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds, car lovers will find more than 1,600 specialty pre-1986 vehicles, street rods, trucks and muscle cars on display, a swap meet, model car show and more! Price: $15, $6 for ages 6-12 and 5 and younger are free.
Ren Fest Continues! Festival Friday 2017 Bay Area Renaissance Festival
Once a year, the Bay Area Ren Fest opens it gates on Friday for more festival fun with special events and one-time ticket deals. It’s Ladies’ Shopping Day and School Day with wine and a book of Festival Artisan coupons for the ladies and ticket discounts for school-age children. In the evening, there will be a Masquerade Ball with a six-course gourmet meal, champagne, music, dancing, door prizes, and a Masque Contest. Tickets for the ball are $65 a person (21 and up only) and include admission to that day’s festival. All military and first responders receive FREE admission to the festival. For more details, view the schedule for Festival Friday at 2017 Bay Area Renaissance Festival.
Theater, Dance, Music, Art and More!
Gasp! The Gasparilla Fringe Festival 2017
It's a smorgasbord of live theater, dance, comedy, performance art, music and more - all at the Tampa Museum of Art! An event focusing on the performing arts - theater, dance, improv, comedy, carnival and hybrids of music, film and visual art. General Admission: $25 Advance (Thru March 30th) | $30 Door VIP: $55 Advance (Thru March 30th) | $60 Door
Luxury Cars on the ready!
Festivals of Speed: St. Petersburg
Luxury Lifestyle Cocktail Reception located inside the Priatek Plaza Tower to kick off Saturday's luxury car event. Guests will enjoy premium brand liquors, craft cocktails, fine wines and chef-attended food stations including Asian, Italian and classic American dishes. Dessert bar too! Ticketed event, 8-11 p.m., Advance purchase only. Details at Festivals of Speed: St. Petersburg.
Classical Music Enthusiasts
The Florida Orchestra Masterworks: Beethoven and Rachmaninoff
Ignant Solzhenitsyn, one of today’s most gifted conductors and pianists, will be performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No.1 as well as Ravel’s Alborada del Gracioso at the Florida Orchestra as a part of their Masterworks series. Listening to these compelling numbers being performed by such a talented musician is sure to be a special treat for the ears and soul. Solzhenitsyn will be performing at the Florida Orchestra on Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 7:00 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $45 and can be purchased at The Florida Orchestra.
Grab your hiking boots!
Saltern Hike at Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center
Family fun for all ages - a program that teaches about the inhabitants of the waters in the Gulf Coast area. The Saltern Hike is a 1-2 mile hike on the tower boardwalk to get a closer look at the salt tern restoration site. Free but registration is required.
Saturday, April 1, Tampa
The Cuban Sandwich....ahhhh!
Cuban Sandwich Festival: Biggest Cuban Sandwich in the World
Enjoy delicious Cubans, art exhibits, and live music at the 6th annual Cuban Sandwich Festival. Free to the general public, the festival will be held at Hillsborough Community College’s Ybor Campus from 12- 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 1st and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 2nd. Watch the world’s biggest Cuban Sandwich being made on Saturday, and find the best Cuban during the big Smackdown on Sunday with entries from all over the world. Get the red carpet treatment and sample the best Cubans with special VIP tickets. Check it out! Cuban Sandwich Festival: Biggest Cuban Sandwich in the World
High Seas Adventure Weekend!
2017 Bay Area Renaissance Festival
Hear ye, hear ye! High Seas Adventure Weekend marks the end of the 2017 Bay Area Renaissance Festival so come to MOSI this Saturday or Sunday one last fun-filled day of entertainment, games, and special contests. Dress up as a pirate for the Pirate Costume Contest, show off your ink in the Tattoo Competition, and hobble like the wind in the Pirate Peg Leg Relay Race.
Get your flirt on! and don't forget your running shoes too
Singles Run 5k
If you're single, would like to meet other singles, and love to run too, this is the event for you! This 5K run is for the modern day single and their friends who want a fun way to mingle, flirt and potentially meet a love interest. You'll have plenty of time to do all of this and more at the post-race festival featuring live music, drinks and more! For more details, Singles Run 5k.
Dogs Making A Difference!
Tampa Walkathon will benefit the Southeastern Guide Dog association. Participants will enjoy at 3K walk, music, local vendors and the Southeastern Guide Dogs gift shop for treats and treasures. It's family-friendly fun with activities starting at 8:30 a.m. at Contachobee Fort Brooke Park (behind the Amalie Arena),
Over 300 Luxury Vehicles!
Festivals of Speed: St. Petersburg
Do you have the need for speed? The 13th Annual Festivals of Speed at Downtown St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park will be showcasing over 300 exotic cars, motorcycles, and watercraft along with luxury brands. You can also enjoy fine wines, culinary offerings, cigars, and cafes as well as smooth jazz music in the beautiful gardens. The festival will be held on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and general admission is $20 with tickets available online. VIP tickets are also available for $100 each and include access to the VIP section with special culinary offerings, premium open bars, gift bags, and more. For more festival details, go
Hockey Players Unite!
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m., Amalie Arena
51st Annual Highland Games!
Dunedin Highland Games & Festival
Celebrate all things Celtic with a full day of music, food, merchandise and more! Over 30 Scottish Clans and Societies will be on hand to help you discover your family heritage. Visit Dunedin Highland Games & Festival for more details.
Sunday, April 2, Tampa (if not mentioned under Friday or Saturday)
Another chance to get your hockey on!
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars at 6 p.m., Amalie Arena
More than just another day at the race!
The Florida Cup | Tampa Bay Downs
The 15th annual The Florida Cup | Tampa Bay Downs isn’t just another day at the races. This special event recognizes the state’s breeding and racing excellence with six stakes races featuring registered Florida-bred horses running for purse money of $100,000, a 33% increase from last year. Dirt races include the Hilton Garden Inn Sprint, the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Sophomore, and the Stonehedge Farm South Sophomore Fillies.
Foodie? We got you today!
12th Annual Taste of South Tampa
Taste of South Tampa offers the best culinary experience in the area with unlimited food and beverage samples, a beer garden, and live entertainment. There will also be giveaways from sponsors as well as voting for the “Best of South Tampa” awards. This year’s Taste of South Tampa will be held at the Tampa Garden Club on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. Although VIP tickets are sold out, general admission is $50 in advance and $60 at the door. For more event and ticket information, visit
Homemade Matozh Ball Soup and more!
Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival 2017
This year’s Jewish Food Festival will be held at Temple B’nai Israel in Clearwater from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM. Enjoy traditional Jewish food like homemade matzo ball soup, kosher hot dogs, knishes, and kosher falafel. There will also be corned beef and pastrami sandwiches from New York’s Carnegie Deli as well as kosher Passover wines from Italy, Chile, and Spain. More than a food festival, this event is fun for the whole family live music, a kid’s play area, a bounce house, and various educational lectures and demonstrations throughout the day. The Tampa Bay Jewish Food Festival 2017 is free and open to the public, but please bring canned good or nonperishable food items for local food pantries.
Sunsets At Pier 60