Tampa Bay

Everything You Need to Know About Tampa Riverfest

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Make way for Tampa Riverfest! One of our favorite two-day festivals kicks off on Friday, May 6 through Saturday, May 7. Whether it’s your first time attending or an annual tradition for you, you won’t want to miss out on what this year has to offer!

This year’s festivities will be produced by Friends of the Riverwalk. Spanning along The Tampa Riverwalk, you’ll find tons of free activities, family-friendly fun – there’s something for everyone! Keep reading for more details on all things Tampa Riverfest.

Calling All Foodies 🍔

Taste of the Riverwalk

Time to treat your taste buds! If you haven’t gotten to try every food option the Riverwalk has to offer, don’t miss out on Taste of the Riverwalk.

If you’d like to taste a little bit of everything from your local favorites including Boulon Brasserie, Murph’s BBQ, and Jotoro’s, then
be sure to purchase a Taste of the Riverwalk wristband to enjoy a variety of samples to satisfy your cravings!

Event Details
🗓 May. 6
📍Curtis Hixon Park
🎟 $15 for 3 tastes | $20 for 5 tastes

Tampa Riverfest


When you see a big tent full of delicious tacos, you’ve found the right place! Keep the Cinco de Mayo festivities going with Tacofest.

Every taco lover’s dream will come true with a variety of the best tacos up for purchase including birria and carne asada tacos we can’t wait to try – Don’t forget to secure your Tacofest wristbands!

Event Details
🗓 May. 7
📍 Curtis Hixon Park
🎟  3 Tacos for $15 | 5 Tacos for $20

Family-Friendly Fun 🥳

Florida Wiener Dog Derby

One of our favorite things about Tampa Riverfest is that it’s dog-friendly! Bring your pups along for the fun and catch the Florida Wiener Dog Derby!

Watch the cutest dogs compete paw to paw in a running race, best costume contest, best kisser, and more. Apart from raffles, silent art auction, and fun, you can even leave with your own foster dog!

Event Details
🗓 May. 7
📍Curtis Hixon Park
🎟 Free

Paddle Invasion

Head over to Water Works Park for some fun on the water with Paddle Invasion! Tampa Riverfest has teamed up with Urban Kai for the ultimate water activity including a 6-mile or 2-mile race along the Hillsborough River.

Register for you spot to compete against other participants and stick around for awards afterwards!

Event Details
🗓 May. 7
📍Water Works Park
🎟 Register

Hot Air Balloon Glow

On Friday and Saturday night, stick around after the sun sets to see Curtis Hixon Park light up with the Hot Air Balloon Glow. This event is free to watch and the views are priceless! 

Event Details
🗓 May 6-7
📍Curtiz Hixon Park
🎟 Free to Watch

Riverfest Lantern Parade

Let your creativity flow and be a part of the Riverfest Lantern Parade. Design your own colorful paper creation or choose from a turtle or manatee to march with for the one-mile parade along the Riverwalk! The parade route stretches out from Water Works Park to Curtis Hixon Park along with music and local marching bands to join you. 

Need some lantern making practice? There will be workshops for all ages prior to Tampa Riverfest at Armature Works and The Straz Center for Performing Arts – register for the workshop you want below!

Experience Riverfest VIP-Style 🎉

VIP Waterfront Tent

How does complimentary food and refreshments sound? Amazing! Experience Riverfest like a VIP under their shady private tent hosted by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and the Tampa Marriott.
Offered both Friday and Saturday, you can get tons of perks including alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, light bites, front row access to the mainstage and more. Gotta do it big at Tampa Riverfest!
Event Details
🗓 May 6-7
📍Curtis Hixon Park
🎟 Friday Night VIP $75 | Saturday Night VIP $100 | Both Days $150

More Things to Do at Tampa Riverfest 🎶

Riverfest Concert Series

A musical lineup is the cherry on top to any festival! This year’s Tampa Riverfest has a full concert series featuring talented artists on the main stage at Curtis Hixon Park. Jam out both Friday and Saturday and check out the lineup below!


  • Sax N’ Beats: 5:00pm-6:00pm
  • Sol Caribe: 6:30pm-8:00pm
  • Raydio: 8:30pm-10:00pm


  • Jarrod Barefoot: 11:00am-12:30pm
  • Redhouse Trio: 1:00pm-2:30pm
  • Jah Movement: 2:30pm-4:00pm
  • Spazmatics: 4:30pm-6:00pm
  • Stormbringer: 6:30pm-8:00pm
  • Lenny Cravitz Experience: 8:30pm-10:00pm
Tampa Riverfest

Yoga in the Park

Feel completely zen for Yoga in the Park! This donation-based  class welcomes all levels to join and is taught by Robin LC with The Calm Collective. After your yoga sesh, stop by one of the food trucks to grab some food!
Event Details
🗓 May 7
📍 Water Works Park
🎟 Free (Welcome to donate)

UNATION Helpful Tips ✍️

Tampa Riverfest


Street parking will be available north of Kennedy Blvd and free after 6pm on Friday and all day on Saturday. Be sure to double check the sign regarding your spot to ensure you’re in the free zone of downtown.

If street parking is full, we recommend the W.F. Poe Garage parking garage or the lot at Armature Works. Don’t forget about the local alternate transportation including Uber, Lyft, Pirate Water TaxiCoast Bike Share, and TECO Line Streetcar.  

Tampa Riverfest and More

See you on the Riverwalk, Tampa Bay! If you’re planning to spend the weekend at Riverfest, take us along with you and tag us on socials @stufftodointampabay and follow us on Instagram, FacebookTikTok, and YouTube for more of the best things to do in Tampa Ba.

Selena Perez

Selena Perez

Selena is a City Manager for UNATION and author of the Stuff to Do in Tampa Bay City Guide. For more insight on the best events and things to do in the Tampa Bay area, download the UNATION app and follow @StufftoDoinTampaBay on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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