The winter is when the most popular festivals and events occur in Tampa. This is mainly due to the sweltering heat and frequent rain that occurs in the summertime. The weather is usually perfect this time of year in the 70s with little to no rain. Sometimes a cold front may come through and spoil the fun making it somewhat “chilly” in the 60s. Of course this is a heat wave to people from the north during this time of year. We are so spoiled in this part of the country.spring 2019 offers excellent info on this.
-Gasparilla Pirate Fest
The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is the signature event during the winter for the city of Tampa. The pirate is somewhat of a mascot for Tampa, considering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This festival started decades ago dating back to 1904. It is based on the legendary pirate Jose Gaspar who is thought to have ruled the Tampa Bay area in the 1800s.
Hundreds of thousands of people come to the Tampa area from all over the country each year dressed in pirate costumes and sporting beads around their necks.
The day begins with the invasion. This is where a pirate ship floats into downtown Tampa surrounded by hundreds of smaller vessels and boats. The crew comes into the city and stages a mock invasion where they capture the key to the city from the mayor.
After the invasion thousands of people line up along the roads for the parade. As the parade commences individuals scream, wave and try to get the attention of the people on the floats to toss beads their way. Sort of like a mini version of Mardi Gras.
The parade concludes and the partying continues throughout the night with live music, concerts, food and festivities.
-Florida State Fair
Who can resist turkey legs, funnel cake, and whatever you can think of fried? That is why the Florida State Fair is one of the most popular events in the city. Food, rides, and shows basically sums up what the Florida State Fair is all about.
This yearly event takes place every February at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Thousands of people from all over the state attend each year.
At the fair you will find a variety of entertainment. Events such as circus shows, wrestling matches, and animal shows are the norm. All of the typical fair rides will also be found throughout the fairgrounds, including Ferris wheels, air rides, etc.
-Florida Strawberry Festival
The Florida Strawberry Festival is another popular event that takes place each year in the Tampa Bay area. This festival is held every year in March in nearby Plant city, a 25 minute drive from Tampa.
The Strawberry Festival is where thousands come every year to get their fix of strawberries and concerts galore, mostly country music. You will find strawberry pies, shortcakes, smoothies and anything else strawberry that you can think of.