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Super Bowl week brings some parties, events to Tampa Bay

Gatherings are far more limited this year, but there are still some happenings for the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl Experience, the NFL's interactive football theme park, is seen at sunset ahead of Super Bowl 55 at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.
The Super Bowl Experience, the NFL's interactive football theme park, is seen at sunset ahead of Super Bowl 55 at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Feb. 1
Updated Feb. 3

The party scene is subdued as Tampa hosts its fifth Super Bowl. As you plan your experience for Sunday’s game, be mindful that public health officials warn against crowded gatherings and watch parties where you cannot maintain social distancing.

Super Bowl events and parties

Super Bowl Experience: This interactive NFL game zone is outdoors in downtown Tampa and free for the first time. Centered along the Hillsborough River, the 2.7-mile space along the Tampa Riverfront — from Water Works Park to Sparkman Wharf, including Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park — features unique activities along with some of the best views of the city. Tickets sold out for this two days before it opened. But fans who weren’t able to reserve tickets can still visit the other Super Bowl happenings along the downtown waterfront, including a “technology village” at 101 E Whiting St. Fan experiences at Curtis Hixon Park and the Riverwalk will open to the public Wednesday and Thursday, 3-10 p.m., and also 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Face masks are required. The event is open through Saturday, mostly at Julian B. Lane Park, 1000 N Boulevard, Tampa.

You can take a photo with the Lombardi Trophy, run a 40-yard dash in a virtual race with a pro, and play interactive games at the Super Bowl Experience in downtown Tampa.
You can take a photo with the Lombardi Trophy, run a 40-yard dash in a virtual race with a pro, and play interactive games at the Super Bowl Experience in downtown Tampa. [ Times (2003) ]

Super Bowl Opening Night: The national kick off for Super Bowl 55 festivities will be held virtually this year on Monday of Super Bowl week. The live event is the first place that players and coaches from both teams will interact with media before the Super Bowl. nfl.com/super-bowl.

Taste of the NFL: A virtual event this year, the annual Super Bowl ritual with celebrity chefs was created to raise awareness and funds to support hunger and food insecurity programs. On Sunday, cook alongside award-winning chefs Carla Hall, Tim Love and Andrew Zimmern as they prepare game-day recipes. There will be surprise NFL and celebrity appearances. Tickets are $100 at tasteofthenfl.com to receive access to the event menu, with a detailed list of ingredients. Participants will be emailed a custom grocery list so they are able to participate.

TikTok Tailgate: Pop star Miley Cyrus will put on a concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday outside of Raymond James Stadium. It’s for the 7,500 vaccinated health-care workers who have been invited to the game, but you can see it on TikTok and also on CBS, which is televising the game.

POSTPONED Night of Hope With Tim Tebow: Note: In response to Pinellas County’s Emergency Order with new restrictions on outdoor events, this event has been postponed Former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, musical artists and speakers will be at the St. Pete Pier at 7 p.m. Friday for a free evening of music and interview-style conversations with Tebow and friends. Two local nonprofits, Stop the Movement and Whatever It Takes Inc., are collaborating on the event. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket for seating. CDC recommendations and social distancing guidelines will be encouraged during the event. Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner for the Gators, was a first-round draft pick by the Denver Broncos in 2010. He switched to baseball in 2016, signing a minor-league deal with the Mets. He also serves as a college football analyst on the SEC Network.

Tim Tebow, musical artists and speakers will be at the St. Pete Pier at 7 p.m. Friday for a free evening of music and interview-style conversations with Tebow and friends.
Tim Tebow, musical artists and speakers will be at the St. Pete Pier at 7 p.m. Friday for a free evening of music and interview-style conversations with Tebow and friends. [ Associated Press ]

Celebrity Flag Football: Though the public can’t attend the annual event, downtown Clearwater merchants will be setting up screens to view a team captained by former quarterback Doug Flutie take on a team captained by NBA great Tracy McGrady. Also scheduled to play are four of the five Gronkowski brothers, two on each team (guess which one won’t be playing). You can watch it live, from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, on ESPNews or on the ESPN app. Go to celebflagfootball.com/roster to see who is playing. Also, Clearwater Beach’s nightly “Sunsets at Pier 60” festival will be featuring artists, games and entertainers centered around the Bucs and the Super Bowl during the week of the big game, with longer hours and enhanced activities.

Super Bowl Watch Party: This huge indoor venue in Lutz will have the game on a big-screen projector. Tickets include all food and drinks, including a wing-eating contest at halftime. Pregame party starts at 5:30 p.m., and there’s an after-party starting at 10 for this 21-and-older event. Buy tickets at Eventbrite or sbtampaparty21.com. $45-$626. EvoLove Event Center, 4575 Pet Lane, Lutz.

Related: Listen to Buccaneers anthems before the Super Bowl

All the Smoke VIP Pregame Party: Hip-hop star Flo Rida will perform at this all-inclusive tailgate party held within walking distance of Raymond James Stadium, though you don’t need a game ticket to attend. In addition to Flo Rida, “there will also be celebs/athletes in attendance,” organizers said. A portion of the proceeds go to the Bullard Foundation, the charitable organization created by WWE star Titus O’Neil. Tickets are $375 to $550 and will include food, premium bar and a live show by Flo Rida. The party will utilize the soccer fields at Higgins Hall “so there will be plenty of outdoor space for social distancing,” a spokeswoman said. They will also be temperature checks and abide “by all CDC guidelines to make sure that everyone is safe for the duration of the event.” Get tickets at drive4change.com/sunday. 5225 N Himes Ave., Tampa.

‘We remember’ Super Bowl Watch Party: The event is held in memory of Andrew Joseph III, who died during a traffic accident in 2014 after he was ejected from the Florida State Fair. He dreamed of playing in the NFL one day. Tickets are free. Masks and social distancing required. Riverview Raiders Field, 5417 Providence Road, Riverview. Free. Register at evite.com. Sunday 6-10 p.m.

The Ultimate Experience Super Bowl Party: The Oldsmar barbecue restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating to watch the game, with smoked barbecue, Edge City Wild Wings, a side and a Super Bowl cake. $30 general admission ticket seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Doors open at 5 p.m. Sunday. 13910 W Hillsborough Ave., Oldsmar. 813-786-2011.

Brass Mug: The Super Bowl weekend party called “Grooves and Giggles” brings in a comic, a big screen and a free buffet for Super Bowl Sunday in the huge indoor venue, where guests will have their temperatures checked and be separated by tables. Masks are required. The host is Ashima Franklin, and food is by 1 Love Bistro LLC. Pregame party starts at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. 1450 Skipper Road, Tampa. Tickets start at $30. 813-944-0811.