Festivals in Tampa Bay

FGasparillaestivals abound throughout Florida, but some of the liveliest and must-see festivals have their homes in the Tampa Bay area, located on Florida’s Gulf coast about halfway up the state. Florida travel tips vary depending on when you plan to visit the state, but these festivals are definitely worth checking out.

1. Gasparilla

For those in the know, Gasparilla is a legendary festival. The official festival is held on the last Saturday of January every year, though other festivities precede this date and different elements of the festival continue for months afterward. But Gasparilla itself is essentially a pirate-themed Mardi Gras. The day begins with the Invasion, when a fully functioning pirate ship comes from the Bay and invades Tampa. The Mayor hands over the key to the city to the pirates and revelry ensues, primarily in the form of a bead-filled parade down Bayshore, one of Florida’s most scenic walkways. If you are coming to Gasparilla then don’t forget to pack your beads and pirate costume!

2. Florida State Fair

Tampa is home to the Florida State Fairgrounds, where a diverse range of festivals are held throughout the year. However, the Florida State Fair itself is held in early February. At a time when most other states are buckling down for the hardest time of winter, Floridians are still outdoors enjoying carnival rides and homegrown music and food.

3. Firestone Grand Prix

During the last weekend in March, downtown St Petersburg is shut down to regular traffic for the sake of the Firestone Grand Prix. St Pete’s streets turn into a temporary race course, where cars travel in excess of 200 miles per hour and fans’ excitement runs high. The weekend is accompanied by a weeklong festival-like atmosphere in St Pete, complete with live music, beer gardens, and an Indy Car Series Fan Village.

4. Guavaween

Ybor City, one of the oldest and most colorful neighborhoods in Tampa, is host to several festivals, of which Guavaween is perhaps the largest. Held the last weekend before Halloween, Guavaween is a chance for Tampa to get dressed up before the holiday and celebrate in the streets of YborCity. The festival is complete with live music held in several indoor venues and a highly competitive costume contest.

So no matter what type of festival you like, or what time of year you plan to visit Florida, some of the best travel advice is to get in the local spirit and check out these festivals!

Times 10 Travel

Being native to Florida, Times 10 offers valuable information to businesses both locally and abroad who are looking to make a viable, effective connection to the state of Florida. Times 10 covers the most widely used methods of travel, and helps deliver effective results to businesses.

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