Tampa Events and Festivals

(Tampa, Florida - FL, USA)

Tampa's calendar is full of small local events and restaurants, rather than big crowd and tourist pleasers. However, the city of Tampa does boast one or two large scale festivals, which draw in the crowds from neighboring towns and out of state.

January's Gasparilla Pirate Festival is one of the year's highlights in Tampa, with March's Festival of Arts also high up on the year's priority list. Fourth of July celebrations are suitably extravagant throughout Tampa, with the Florida Aquarium festivities especially worthy of mention. There are always plenty of things to do in Tampa.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Day
  • 12th February - Lincoln's Birthday
  • Third Monday in February - Washington's Birthday
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day
  • 4th July - Independence Day
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Columbus Day
  • 11th November - Veterans Day
  • 4th Thursday in November - Thanksgiving
  • 25th December - Christmas Day

Tampa Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Gasparilla Pirate Festival - late January, this near century old festival sees all manner of swashbuckling antics including a parade where a fully-rigged pirate ship 'sails' into town followed by the all day Pirate Fest Street Festival


  • Florida State Festival - this festival normally runs for two weeks from the middle of February and is southeast Florida's largest fair. Attractions include over 86 shows and rides as well as exhibits featuring aspects of local agriculture, education and arts and crafts


  • Gasparilla Festival of Arts - normally running for two days in the second week of the month, this festival is a showcase for the artistic works of artisans, jewelers, painters, photographers and sculptors. With literally hundreds of thousands of visitors attending, this is one of southeast Florida's largest art shows
  • St. Patrick's Day Parade - mid-March, Tampa celebrates the life of the patron saint of the Emerald Isle with typical festivities. Expect lots of green clad participants on similarly colored floats accompanied by traditional Irish music


  • MacDill AirFest - early April, this event sees the MacDill Air Force Base become host to one of America's largest airshows. Expect awesome aerial displays from both Air Force and Navy pilots


  • Ybor City Bike Bash - the first weekend in May, this event sees literally hundreds of bike enthusiasts gathering to show off their mean machines and admire those of others. Expect lots of leather and loud engines
  • Memorial Day Weekend - late May, festivities are held throughout Tampa with the downtown area being especially popular. Busch Gardens and Adventure Island also offer a theme park slant on this popular US holiday


  • Tampa Caribbean Festival - held early June at the Florida State Fairgrounds the festival brings to Tampa stage shows and musical performances from the Caribbean culture
  • Ruskin Tomato Festival - late June, as the title suggests, this is a festival dedicated to the humble tomato with the crowning of the Ruskin Tomato Queen and the Great Tomato Cook-off being among the festival's highlights


  • Independence Day - fourth of July celebrations in Tampa are as lively as anywhere else in the US, with events being held across the city. Expect festivities including food, drink and fireworks in all of Tampa's major parks. The Florida Aquarium hosts one of the city's biggest events


  • No significant festivals in Tampa during August


  • No significant festivals in Tampa during September


  • Guavaween - late October, this event sees Halloween festivities given the Ybor treatment. Expect revelers in costume and a huge street party
  • Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival - annual event which showcases a variety of international movies dealing with gay and lesbian themes


  • Annual Tampa Cigar Heritage Festival - late November, as the title suggests this event is a celebration of Ybor and Tampa's cigar industry. Expect an abundance of cigar retailers as well as rolling displays and ethnic food and drink


  • Annual Victorian Christmas Stroll - late December, this event gives participants the chance to experience a glimpse of Christmas past as the Henry B. Plant Museum dishes up Victorian Christmas fare