There are bucketloads of entertaining activities — music, sports, theater, museums, parks and shopping — in the Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Greater Bay Area. Ride the coasters at Busch Gardens, for instance, or check out the Spanish artist’s highly original works at the Salvador Dali Museum in Tampa. Rock out to a hot local or national band at the State Theatre or cheer as the Rays oust the Yankees from first place in St. Petersburg. And don’t forget the beaches and all that fun in the sun, including Sand Key Park in Clearwater.
Residents of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and the Greater Bay Area will enjoy the variety of annual events, festivals and community gatherings.
Dropzone Gunner is like no other event combining a competition with festival fun including obstacles, firearms and trail runs. Check the website for 2019 dates.
Florida State Fair
The Florida State Fair is a 12-day event takes place in February at the state fairgrounds in Tampa. The fair features free concerts, an agribusiness competition, arts and crafts, food concessions, retail demonstrations and amusement rides.
Florida Strawberry Festival
Each spring Plant City rolls out the red carpet to welcome visitors to the Florida Strawberry Festival. The festival includes exhibits of agriculture, commerce, industry, livestock, fine arts and horticulture, as well as social events, concerts, contests, rides and parades. Strawberry shortcake is the top nosh but the festival offers many other tasty treats.
Gasparilla Pirate Fest
This long-standing tradition in Tampa occurs at the end of January each year to celebrate the Gasparilla Invasion. The fully rigged Jose Gasparilla will sail into Hillsborough Bay, cannons blazing, with many vessels of all sizes escorting it. The Gasparilla Invasion Brunch is held at the Tampa Convention Center, and the Parade of Pirates will take to the streets along Bayshore Boulevard.
Hillsborough County Fair
Held east of Brandon in late October, the Hillsborough County fair features an antique tractor, engine and equipment show, the Harvest Pageant for Children & Babies, the Harvest Queen pageant, a rodeo, horse and livestock shows, a swine sale and competitions such as a chili cook-off, a cow whip cracking contest, battle of the bands and a talent competition.