For its seventh year, the Tampa Riverfest will celebrate the Riverwalk that took decades to create. The May celebration will expand this year to include a taco fest and a market of independent vendors, along with the return of the lighted lantern parade.
The popular linear park was completed in 2014, connecting a series of parks along the Hillsborough River as well as restaurants and attractions such as the convention center, Tampa Bay History Center and Tampa Museum of Art in one pleasant stroll. It has proved so popular, there are plans to extend the Riverwalk west to connect to more neighborhoods.
The Riverfest on May 5-6 will span the entire length of the Riverwalk with family-friendly activities including a new RiverFiesta, a food-focused tent of tacos, bowls and nachos set up in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Also new this year will be a Riverfest Market featuring a variety of independent vendors at Water Works Park.
An old favorite, the Riverfest Lantern Parade, will return to give attendees the opportunity to design their own colorful lanterns and participate in a Saturday parade of lighted lanterns.
There is also a full concert series of local bands on the main stage in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and a balloon glow at sunset both nights. Other activities include a wiener dog derby, yoga and a paddle invasion.
All events and entertainment at Riverfest are free. Taste of the Riverwalk and RiverFiesta require a wristband to purchase for food sampling. Wristbands are $15 for three items and $20 for five items and can be purchased at thetampariverwalk.com. If not sold out, wristbands will be available at the event.
The Riverfest will run 5-10 p.m. May 5 and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. May 6 at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. Nearby garages include the William F. Poe Garage and the Fort Brooke Garage. For information see thetampariverwalk.com.