Tampa Fringe Festival returns in person, organizers now requiring masks

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Tampa International Fringe Festival has returned to Ybor, a year after it was forced to go digital.

There are 13 shows and about 50 performers this year. The performing arts festival is smaller than in previous years because of the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s a great place for people who don’t go out to the arts because this is all Indie,” Festival producer Trish Parry said. “This is a coming together especially people haven’t been out in a while.”

The festival returns as COVID-19 numbers are rising across the country and in Florida because of the delta variant. 

“It’s been a concern the last year and a half of what are we going to do this year,” Parry said.

Parry says at first masks weren’t required this year, but they made the change earlier this week out of an abundance of caution.

“If anybody got sick, even with a cold our whole show could be derailed, Parry said.

Ryan Adam Wells is one of many people performing at the festival this year, a year after he had coronavirus.

“I’m terrified for people not vaccinated or are vaccinated and don’t have the antibodies,” Wells said.

Wells says now that he’s fully vaccinated, he’s not concerned for himself, but he would feel more comfortable if people got the shot.

“I’m hoping people are getting the shot then coming out when they can, and if you aren’t vaccinated stay home,” Wells said.

Hand sanitizer stations are set up around the building and masks will be provided.

The festival runs through August 8 at the Hillsborough Community College Ybor City Campus Performing Arts Building.

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