Tampa shows off its Riverwalk via drone in widely viewed promotional video

The final segment of the Tampa Riverwalk opened in June. It now runs along the downtown Tampa waterfront from Channelside to Water Works Park. [Times files]
The final segment of the Tampa Riverwalk opened in June. It now runs along the downtown Tampa waterfront from Channelside to Water Works Park. [Times files]
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If you've ever struggled to explain to someone from out of town exactly what the Tampa Rivewalk is, the city has produced a new video that aims to do that work for you.

The video, titled "We Built This: The Riverwalk Edition," features drone's-eye views of Tampa's downtown waterfront, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Garrison Channel and the Riverwalk as it passes behind Amalie Arena. By this afternoon, the video had been watched more than 39,000 times since being posted to the official City of Tampa Facebook page on Tuesday.

Inspirational music swells as a narrator talks over footage of Water Works Park, Pirate Water Taxi, pedal-powered water bikes and events on the downtown waterfront including RiverFest, the Gasparilla Music Festival and Lights on Tampa.

"Once seen as a barrier, it took six mayors and over 40 years," the narrator says of the Riverwalk project. "We've created a promenade for Tampanians and visitors alike. A landmark future generations will be proud of."

The video has attracted attention from admirers outside the Tampa area.

Facebook user Matthew Chernesky wrote in the comments that while he'd never lived outside of northeast Ohio, he was "so excited" to move to Tampa to attend the University of South Florida after finishing his undergraduate degree at Kent State. Others used the comments to complain about the state's planned Tampa Bay Express transportation project. A Facebook account under the name Rick Fernandez commented that "those walking along the river will have a great view of the destruction for five or more years" when construction begins.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn officially opened the final segment of the 2.6-mile Riverwalk, which runs from Channelside to Water Works Park, on June 11.

The project, first conceived by Mayor Bill Poe in 1975, cost $33 million.

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