How much can a single place cram into one month? We are about to find out. March has 31 days, and every one of them is packed with excitement in Tampa Bay. Choose your own adventure. Treasure awaits.
Thru March 25
Bay Area Renaissance Festival
'Zounds! Step back in time when the rogues and royalty from the 16th Century claim their own corner of Tampa Bay with an amazing mix of experiences and crafts. Watch death-defying feats by acrobats. Cheer your favorite knight during the joust. Grab a turkey leg for lunch. It's a family-friendly Wayback Machine! RenFest runs through March 25.
Robert Indiana, Oswaldo Vigas
Tampa Museum of Art exhibits two ground-breaking artists who came of age in the 1960s. Indiana is famous for his iconic "LOVE" sculptures -- the exhibit includes several never shown publicly. Venezuelan-born Vigas left his studies in medicine to pursue painting. The exhibit shows how his style and technique evolved over time, though his visual remained largely unchanged.
Tampa Bay Beer Week
Beer goes with Tampa Bay like sunshine and hand-rolled cigars. Florida’s first commercial brewery opened here in 1897. Today, Tampa Bay is the home of legendary Cigar City -- ranked among the best in the world – and dozens of other fantastic breweries Tampa Bay, a collection that has earned Tampa Bay our position as Florida’s hub for all things craft beer. During Tampa Bay Beer Week, craft beer fans will find eight days of Florida's Most pint-worthy pours, tap takeovers, and more than enough unique creations, all celebrating the booming business of craft brewing in Tampa Bay. Beer Week runs March 2-10.
The week includes Hunahpu's Day March 9 at Raymond James Stadium celebrating the once-a-year release of the brewery's most sought-after beer.
Thru August 31
History by the Pint
Tampa Bay Beer Week includes the kick-off of the Tampa Bay History Center's newest exhibit capturing the area's long history of brewing and beer-making. From Florida Brewing, launched to quench the thirst of Cuban cigar workers, through Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay founding as a brewery and botanical garden, to Tampa Bay's current status as Florida's hub for craft brewing. The show runs through August 31.
Feb 21-March 26
Sure as the turning of the seasons (as in Hockey Season, Football Season and Baseball Season), Spring Training brings the Boys of Summer to Tampa Bay every year. Whether you're rooting for the hometown Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees or another Grapefruit League team, get your scorecards ready for four more weeks in the sun and find special Spring Training hotel packages for your stay. Spring Training runs through March 26. Opening day is March 28.
March 16-April 28
Busch Gardens® Food and Wine Festival
Amid miles of thrilling roller coasters and and acres of family fun, foodies will find plenty to peruse each weekend in March and April as Tampa Bay's premiere theme park rolls out its annual food and wine festival. The festival is included in the price of your park admission, letting you nosh your way across the park. End the day with a spectacular concert by big-name stars. This year, Busch Gardens kicks off its 60th birthday celebration March 1 with a concert and fireworks on March 1!
Thru March 10
Florida Strawberry Festival
Spring into Tampa Bay's sweetest festivals. The Florida Strawberry Festival celebrates Tampa Bay's position as the nation's winter strawberry source. Guests and foodies travel from all over to get their taste buds on the best strawberries picked in Tampa Bay and the best fresh tasting strawberry shortcake they’ve ever sunk their teeth into. Along with all things strawberry there are agriculture exhibits, eating contests, and top-name entertainment. The festival runs through March 10, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
St. Patrick's Day
Put down that Cuban sandwich (just this once) and pick up some corned beef and cabbage. Tampa Bay wears the green as a WalletHub Top 10 cities to celebrate St. Paddy's Day -- from the Hillsborough River (dyed with environmentally safe coloring) to the Irish bars along Howard Avenue. Swing by Hyde Park Village to lift a Guinness at during PaddyFest at Irish 31.This year, we'll have an extra touch of Blarney beneath the thatched roof of the newly opened Four Green Fields Irish pub at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in the heart of downtown. Join the hunt as Downtown Crawlers sponsors kid-friendly and adult-friendly scavenger hunts throughout downtown.
Gasparilla Festival of the Arts
You'll find incredible works of art at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. For two days, this arts festival brings you over 230 artists that will light up Curtis Hixon Park with several different pieces, from photography and glass art to wood sculptures, jewelry, pottery, and more. The festival runs 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
The PGA Tour takes on the world-famous Copperhead Course at Tampa Bay's Innisbrook Resort for three days of tournament play and a $6.5 million purse. Who will follow last year's winner Adam Hadwin trip to the top of the leader board?
Gasparilla Music Festival
The Avett Brothers headline a roster of national and regional acts that take to stages at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park during the Gasparilla Music Festival. Voted as "Best Festival in Tampa Bay," GMF is a non-profit organization benefiting local youth music programs and art education. Previous festival have starred The Roots, Erykah Badu, Modest Mouse, and The Flaming Lips.
Florida State Thespian Society Festival
First of all, this is not your normal festival. There's no big stage and no hand stamps. What you will find is thousands of high school performers enthusiastically holding impromptu performances all over downtown. They'll be singing a capella on the street corners or improving their way to their next event. Much of the action happens in and around the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa Riverwalk, and the historic Tampa Theatre. Enjoy the performances and keep an eye out for tomorrow's stars!
Gasparilla International Film Festival
Film lovers and film stars mingle at the Gasparilla International Film Festival (GIFF), one of Tampa Bay’s largest film festivals. GIFF hosts thousands of filmmakers, producers and premiere film screenings right in the center of Ybor City. The festival puts the art, education and business of film at your fingertips. Now's your chance to meet stars and stars-to-be from the Tampa Bay film industry.
Conquer Tampa Bay with PRIDE when the nation's first LGBT pride festival of the year kicks off in historic Ybor City. The family-friendly parade begins at 9 a.m. and travels down Seventh Avenue, then becomes a neighborhood-wide party, with music, food and fund. Keep the party going as night falls at the many bars and businesses along Seventh Avenue.
Cuban Sandwich Festival
Tampa Bay or Miami? Miami or Tampa Bay? When it comes to the Cuban sandwich, the friendly rivalry is intense and well-established. It comes to a head each year in Ybor City with when chefs from across Florida put their best Cubans forward for the judges. History tells us the Cuban sandwich was invented in the 1890s in Ybor City to feed thousands of Cuban cigar workers who made Tampa Bay the Cigar Capital of the World. Since then, the Cuban sandwich has traveled the world, taking on new dimensions along the way. It even inspired the Tampa Sandwich Bar in South Korea!