TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The lineup of events for Riverfest in Tampa is extensive, spanning across the entire Riverwalk the first weekend in May.
Riverfest is a free event held every year that features family-friendly activities and events showcasing all things Tampa. This year’s festivities will be held Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7.
The event runs from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday with live music, dessert trucks and beer tents.
Taste of the Riverwalk will take place Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. A wristband purchase is required for access to the food tent area. Three samples from participating restaurants will cost $15. Five samples will cost $20.
Participating restaurants have not yet been announced.
“Hot Air Balloon Glow” will also be held both days, weather permitting. Hot air balloons will light up the sky from 8:30 to 9 p.m.
TacoFest returns for its third year at Riverfest on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Curtis Hixon Park.
Wristbands for TacoFest are $15 for three tacos and $20 for five tacos. Wristband sales will end Friday before the event. If they are not sold out, wristbands will be sold in person at Riverfest.
“Paddle Invasion” will also take place on Saturday at the Urban Kai dock. Racers check in at 7 a.m. for the long and short races and an award ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Registration for the event is still open.
If paddling isn’t your thing, Yoga in the Park will also be held on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. and will be donation-based.
Back by popular demand, the Florida Wiener Dog Derby will also take place Saturday with races and contests throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m. at Curtis Hixon Park, next to the beer and TacoFest tents.
Derby events include best nose, the “speed trap,” a costume contest, a kissing contest, best tail and Dachshund racing. Wiener dogs from 4 months to 18 years old will race in different categories. Dachshunds can register for one of seven divisions. Divisional champions will qualify for the championship final and the Florida Circuit Championship of the National Dachshund Race Circuit.
To help close out this year’s Riverfest, there will be a new lantern parade. Participants will decorate their own paper lanterns and join in, starting at Water Works Park at 8 p.m. and ending in Curtis Hixon Park.
More details about Riverfest as they become available will be updated on the Riverwalk’s website.