Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Downtown Tampa features two days of holiday celebrations

The 2014 fireworks display draws oohs and ahhs at Channelside Bay Plaza. If you’re looking to watch this year’s display directly from the plaza, you will have to get a wristband. There are 2,500 available, first-come, first-served, beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday.

Times (2014)

The 2014 fireworks display draws oohs and ahhs at Channelside Bay Plaza. If you’re looking to watch this year’s display directly from the plaza, you will have to get a wristband. There are 2,500 available, first-come, first-served, beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday.

TAMPA — This Fourth of July weekend, downtown Tampa's Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park will be filled with the sounds of jazz, fireworks will fly over the Channelside Bay Plaza and Yacht Starship's Pirate Water Taxi will provide a new way to sail into the celebrations.

For the first year since its start in 2012, Tampa Red, White and Blues Festival Jazz in July has expanded from an adult-only cocktail party, to a family-friendly event.

"I want families to be able to enjoy the weekend together," said Tashima Johnson, festival organizer and co-founder of Jazz in July.

On Sunday, kite-flying, American flag face painting and do-it-yourself artwork are all new activities geared toward that goal.

"We are allowing families the opportunity to share things they grew up on, like flying kites," Johnson said.

Jazz, which was founded in the United States, will be performed, along with an apple pie eating contest, an all-American food court, vendors, exhibits, giveaways and best-dressed competitions. Plus, there will be chances to give back with the OneBlood bloodmobile on site and retired greyhounds up for adoption.

"I think fireworks is just not enough to celebrate one's culture," Johnson said. "An event that brings people together and allows them to engage and embodies what their culture is all about, everyone wants that."

The event not only celebrates Independence Day, but the city of Tampa as well.

"We chose to do it on the Riverwalk to experience what the city has to offer," Johnson said.

Another addition to the Riverwalk this Fourth of July is the newly opened Doyle Carlton segment extension near the Straz Center.

A free outdoor photography exhibit commissioned by the performing arts center, "Who We Are: Faces of Tampa Bay," featuring the work of Daniel Chauche, will be on display.

On the opposite end of the Riverwalk, in front of the Tampa Convention Center, the Pirate Water Taxi will be docked for guests to hop aboard for a fireworks cruise.

The one-hour cruise will travel around Harbour Island before docking near Channelside to provide a VIP view of the fireworks.

Yacht Starship also offers fireworks cruises with a buffet, open bar, DJ and dancing.

Those looking to watch the firework display directly from Channelside Bay Plaza will have to get a wristband. There are 2,500 available, first-come, first-served, beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday.

"It's Tampa Bay's largest summer holiday fireworks series," said Channelside Bay Plaza marketing and events manager Darrah Winkler. "The attendance grows each year and we expect over 10,000 people on site for this event."

Winkler hopes to grow next year's event, even more.

Meanwhile, in Ybor City, the Shriners Parade will march down Seventh Avenue beginning at 6 p.m. Monday

"The parade is different every year depending on where we are," said John Massey, director general.

It will feature iconic red fezzes, clowns, minicars, motorcycles and horse patrols.

Contact Arielle Waldman at awaldman@tampabay.com.

Downtown Tampa features two days of holiday celebrations 06/29/16 [Last modified: Thursday, June 30, 2016 2:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What you need to know for Thursday, Oct. 19

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today

    White nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak at the University of Florida tonight and the school is on high alert for tensions. [Associated Press]
  2. Bowen: Park land deal raises Penny for Pasco questions

    Environment

    The Penny for Pasco is unambiguous.

    At least it is supposed to be.

    There was no equivocating in 2004 when Penny for Pasco supporters detailed how the sales tax proceeds would be spent: schools, transportation, public safety and environmental lands. No money for parks. No money for recreation.

    Pasco County is considering a loan from its Environmental Lands Acquisition and Mangement Program to buy land for a park in the Villages of Pasadena Hills in east-central Pasco. Shown here is the Jumping Gully Preserve in Spring Hil, acquired by ELAMP in 2009 and 2011.
[Douglas R. Clifford, Times]
  3. Another Tampa Bay agency loses tax credits worth millions in dispute over application error

    News

    LARGO — Another Tampa Bay housing agency has lost out on a multi-million dollar tax credit award because of problems with its application.

    A duplex in Rainbow Village, a public housing complex in Largo. The Pinellas County Housing Authority is planning to build new affordable-housing in the complex but was recently disqualified from a state tax credit award because of an issue with its application.
  4. Live blog: Many unknowns as Richard Spencer speaks in Gainesville today

    College

    GAINESVILLE — A small army of law enforcement officers, many of them from cities and counties around the state, have converged on the University of Florida in preparation for today's speaking appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    Florida Highway Patrol cruisers jammed the parking lot Wednesday at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, part of a big show of force by law enforcement ahead of Thursday's appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer. [KATHRYN VARN | Times]
  5. As Clearwater Marine Aquarium expands, it asks the city for help

    Growth

    CLEARWATER — When Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates saw an architect's initial design for the facility's massive expansion project, he told them to start all over.

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium Veterinarian Shelly Marquardt (left), Brian Eversole, Senior Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biologist (middle) and Devon Francke, Supervisor of Sea Turtle Rehab, are about to give a rescued juvenile green sea turtle, suffering from a lot of the Fibropapillomatosis tumors, fluids at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Wednesday afternoon. Eventually when the turtle is healthy enough the tumors will be removed with a laser and after it is rehabilitated it will be released back into the wild.  -  The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is launching a $66 million renovation to expand its facilities to take in injured animals and space to host visitors. The aquarium is asking the city for a $5 million grant Thursday to help in the project. American attitudes toward captive animals are changing. Sea World is slipping after scrutiny on the ethics of captive marine life. But CEO David Yates says CMA is different, continuing its mission of rehab and release, it's goal is to promote education, not exploitation. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times