TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – More and more annual events are returning to the Tampa Bay area for fun for the entire family.
Riverfest will take to the Tampa Riverwalk Friday and Saturday. A new carnival featuring famous DJs will debut at Armature Works, a new festival featuring barbeque heads to Sarasota and more. There’s plenty for everyone of all interests this weekend.
These events are presented in no particular order. If you know of anything going on throughout the area in the future, send an email to email@example.com.
Location: 600 N Ashley Dr, Tampa
Riverfest is a free event that features family-friendly activities and events showcasing all things Tampa. This year’s festivities will be held Friday and Saturday.
Taste of the Riverwalk will take place Friday and TacoFest takes place Saturday. Tickets are required for both events.
“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. A lantern parade, with participants who have decorated their own paper lanterns, will begin at Water Works Park at 8 p.m. and end in Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday.
Back by popular demand, the Florida Wiener Dog Derby will take place Saturday with races and contests throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m. at Curtis Hixon Park.
Location: 1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa
XOXO Carnival will run from May 4 through May 8. The inaugural event, presented by Pied Piper, is headed to Armature Works.
The carnival will include classic carnival rides, nostalgic treats, a new art integration and music from top DJs and other artists, spanning across 300,000 square feet.
DJs set to play XOXO Carnival include deadmau5, DJ Snake, Lil Jon, Shaggy and more. Music lovers 18 years old and up can purchase a VIP pass to get access to the Killer Beats Stage to see the performances.
Tickets are now available online and include various options, including tickets for just the carnival or tickets to see the DJs stage-side are available.
Location: 3000 Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota
The first Sarasota Blues and BBQ Festival is set for Friday through Sunday at Roberts Arena.
Admission is $15 on Friday and $5 on Sunday.
The food variety differs from menu to menu, from barbeque and meat dishes to vegetarian and seafood as well. All food is cooked on site by local restaurants. Side dishes, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as dessert, will be available as well.
The festival also features live entertainment as well as a marketplace.
Location: 4075 James C. Ray Dr, Lakeland
This Lakeland festival will have live music and 10 area bands throughout its three days. Balloon rides are available by reservation for $20.
There will be family activities, including a bird show, and a car show on Sunday.
Five “mass ascensions” and three “twilight glows” are scheduled, in addition to two balloon races on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate.
Location: 10001 McKinley Dr, Tampa
Two new rides will open to the public at Adventure Island in Tampa this weekend.
Rapids Racer is a two-person raft that will slide guests through 600 feet of slide with low walls to “encounter your opponents.” The chase is ramped up as guests swirl through the world’s first dueling saucers.
Wahoo Remix, formerly Wahoo Run, will be the park’s first waterslide to have synchronized light and sound. This slide is also 600 feet.
6. Grouper Gala
Location: 200 Rex Place, Madeira Beach
The Grouper Gala, a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the city of Madeira Beach, will take place Saturday beginning at 5 p.m.
The community gathering itself is free, but grouper dinner tickets are available for $40. Dinner includes grouper, fries, coleslaw, pasta salad and two drink tickets. Day-of tickets are $50 the day of the event.
Location: 1517 Bartow Rd, Lakeland and 19402 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Tampa
Florida’s Coliseum of Comics will be participating in Free Comic Book Day on Saturday. Participating stores will be giving way thousands of comic books to fans.
The offer will run throughout the day on May 7 at all nine Florida Coliseum of Comics locations, including locations in Lakeland and New Tampa.
Location: 1 Central Avenue, Sarasota
The second annual Sarasota Craft Fair will take place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Five Points Park. The event is free and open to the public.
The juried outdoor craft showcase features original works from 100 crafters, ranging in price from $15 to $3,000. The site has a variety of art, including photography, pottery, clothing, basket weaving and more.