How much can a single place cram into one month? We are about to find out. March has 31 days, and every one of them is packed with excitement in Tampa Bay. Gorgeous weather and lengthening days make for amazing adventures in the hip, urban heart of Florida’s west coast. Choose your own adventure. Treasure awaits.
TAMPA BAY BEER WEEK, MARCH 2-10
Beer goes with Tampa Bay like cigars and sunshine. Florida’s hub for craft brewing celebrates its love of suds with dozens of events at breweries through the region. The week-long festival of Florida’s Most pint-worth pours, tap takeovers, and unique brews culminate March 9 with Hunahpu’s Day at Raymond James Stadium, the once-a-year moment when legendary Cigar City Brewing — ranked among the best in the world – releases its most sought-after stout.
HISTORY BY THE PINT, OPENING MARCH 2
Did you know Florida’s first commercial brewery opened in Tampa Bay in 1897? The Tampa Bay History Center’s newest exhibit capturing the area’s long history of brewing and beer-making. From Florida Brewing, launched to quench the thirst of Cuban cigar workers, through Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay’s founding as a brewery and botanical garden, to Tampa Bay’s current status as Florida’s hub for craft brewing. The show runs through August 31.
BAY AREA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL, WEEKENDS THROUGH MARCH 25
Hail, thee, traveler and well met! Step back in time as rogues and royalty from the 16th Century claim their own corner of Tampa Bay with an amazing mix of experiences. Marvel at death-defying acrobats. Cheer your favorite knight during the joust. Grab a turkey leg for lunch. It’s a family-friendly Wayback Machine!
ROBERT INDIANA, OSWALDO VIGAS
Tampa Museum of Art closes its “Season of Love” exhibit with the works famed pop artist Robert Indiana, known for his iconic “Love” sculptures. The show includes several pieces never shown before. It closes on March 31. In the meantime, a separate exhibit celebrates Venezuelan-born Vigas, who left his studies in medicine to pursue painting. The exhibit shows how his style and technique evolved over time.
As sure as the turning of the seasons (as in Hockey Season, Football Season and Baseball Season), Spring Training brings the Boys of Summer to Tampa Bay every year. Whether you’re rooting for the hometown Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees or another Grapefruit League team, get your scorecards ready for weeks in the sun. Opening day is March 28.
BUSCH GARDENS® FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL, THROUGH APRIL 28
Amid miles of thrilling roller coasters and acres of family fun, foodies will find plenty to peruse each weekend in March and April as Tampa Bay’s premiere theme park rolls out its annual food and wine festival. The festival is included in the price of your park admission, letting you nosh your way across the park, and enjoy topiaries, flowers, and even a living fountain! End the day with a spectacular concert by big-name stars.
GASPARILLA FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS, MARCH 2-3
You’ll find incredible works of art at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. For two days, this arts festival brings over 230 artists to will light up Curtis Hixon Park with works across multiple media, from photography and glass art to wood sculptures, jewelry, pottery, and more.
GASPARILLA MUSIC FESTIVAL, MARCH 9-10
The Avett Brothers and Gary Clarke Jr. headline national and regional acts in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Voted the “Best Festival in Tampa Bay,” GMF operates as a non-profit organization benefiting local youth music programs and art education. Previous festivals have starred The Roots, Erykah Badu, Modest Mouse, and The Flaming Lips.
VALSPAR CHAMPIONSHIP, MARCH 18-24
The PGA Tour takes on the world-famous Copperhead Course at Tampa Bay’s Innisbrook Resort for three days of tournament play and a $6.5 million purse. Who will follow last year’s winner Adam Hadwin trip to the top of the leader board?
GASPARILLA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, MARCH 19-24
The art of the reel takes center stage as film lovers and filmmakers mingle at the Gasparilla International Film Festival (GIFF), Tampa Bay’s largest film festival. GIFF hosts thousands of filmmakers, producers and premiere film screenings in historic Ybor City and beyond. The festival puts the art, education, and business of film at your fingertips. Now’s your chance to meet stars and stars-to-be from the Tampa Bay film industry.
TAMPA PRIDE, MARCH 30
Conquer Tampa when the nation’s first LGBT pride festival of the year kicks off in historic Ybor City. The family-friendly event begins with a parade down Seventh Avenue, then becomes a neighborhood-wide party, with music, food, and fund. Keep the party going as night falls at the many bars and businesses through the neighborhood.
INTERNATIONAL CUBAN SANDWICH FESTIVAL, MARCH 31
Tampa Bay or Miami? Miami or Tampa Bay? When it comes to the Cuban sandwich, the friendly rivalry is intense and well-established. Chefs from around the world put their best Cubans forward for the judges. History tells us the Cuban sandwich was invented in Ybor City to feed thousands of Cuban cigar workers who made Tampa Bay the Cigar Capital of the World. Since then, the Cuban sandwich has traveled the world, taking on new dimensions along the way. It even inspired the Tampa Sandwich Bar in South Korea!