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Tampa Riverfest canceled over coronavirus concerns

The annual free party along the Riverwalk is already on the books for May 2022.
On Friday and Saturday, the Tampa Riverwalk becomes even more of a gathering place for the community during Riverfest. [Times (2016)]
On Friday and Saturday, the Tampa Riverwalk becomes even more of a gathering place for the community during Riverfest. [Times (2016)]
Published Feb. 23
Updated Feb. 23

Friends of the Riverwalk had hoped to hold Tampa Riverfest in 2021, but you can add the annual free party along the Hillsborough River to the list of events canceled over COVID-19 safety concerns.

“Following dialogue with event organizers, city leaders and health care experts, we believe it is best to cancel the event this year,” said a statement from the Friends of the Riverwalk. It had been scheduled to return May 1 after the 2020 event was also canceled.

Tampa Riverfest 2022 is already on the books for May 6-7.

The crowd at RiverFest 2017 watched hot air ballons at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. This year's Riverfest has been canceled but the 2022 version is set for May 6-7.
The crowd at RiverFest 2017 watched hot air ballons at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. This year's Riverfest has been canceled but the 2022 version is set for May 6-7.

The Tampa Riverwalk has grown into one of the area’s favorite gathering spots. The last Riverfest, held in May of 2019, had a free lineup of entertainment and a beautiful nighttime hot air balloon glow along the river. There was also a Taste of the Riverwalk food festival, wiener dog races and a taco festival.

The Riverwalk itself, a ribbon of walkable paths that stem from Curtis Hixon Park at 600 N Ashley Drive, remains open. It extends for 2.4 miles along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa, dotted with six parks, a boat ramp, playgrounds and splash pads for the kids to play in.