Established as a commercial and business hub during the mid to late 1900's, Tampa, Florida has grown into one of the Southeast's prime locations for a getaway. The city boasts a humid subtropical climate with an average temperature over 73℉ and more than 245 days of sunshine annually. Visitors looking for a memorable experience should head to the recently renovated Downtown Riverwalk which features world-class festivals, dining establishments, museums, and more.
The Tampa Bay Margarita Festival is the largest margarita-themed event in the region, taking place May 27 at Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown. Some of the biggest tequila producers on the planet will be in attendance including Tito's, Hornitos, Cazadores, Jose Cuervo, and more. Attendees will encounter more than 70 different margarita flavors including exotic options like the Electric Kiwi Rum Rita and Southern Twang Rita. Patrons will also find plenty of food options from some of the city's top food vendors like Fuzzy’s Tacos and Westshore Pizza. A variety of music acts will perform such as RIPT and The Whole Damn Mess, with The Barenaked Ladies as the event headliner. Make sure to show up early to participate in the Tampa Margarita Run, and stay late for the impressive fireworks show. We got the chance to interview Michelle Canas, Marketing Coordinator for Big City Events, to learn more about this margarita-themed extravaganza.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
MC: This is the 5th year of the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
MC: We attracted 13,000 attendants last year and are expecting around the same amount this year.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract?
MC: We see couples and groups of friends primarily. Everyone in attendance is 21 and up.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
MC: People can enjoy a variety of margaritas from the most extreme (sriracha margarita) to the classic cocktail. We also have great music all day, and this year's headliner is Barenaked Ladies!
RAL: What activities will attendees encounter?
MC: There will be an assortment of vendors and different games located around the park.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
MC: We have multiple food vendors selling a variety of different food types ranging from sushi to Caribbean.
RAL: What is the environment like?
MC: Curtis Hixon Park is in the middle of Downtown Tampa. The area is surrounded by buildings and perched on the banks Hillsborough River, overlooking the University of Tampa campus.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
MC: There are many hotel accommodations around Curtis Hixon Park, and downtown is only minutes away from neighborhoods like Soho and Ybor City.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
MC: Yes, there are room blocks available with sponsored hotels in the Downtown Tampa area. The links are on our website, under the “How To Fest” tab.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
MC: This event gives our attendees an escape from everyday life and the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Downtown Tampa while trying delicious margaritas.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
MC: Yes, all of our vendors are local, and many of our attendees spend money at businesses throughout the community. We also do ticket giveaways at local businesses where people can buy a particular item and receive a free ticket.
RAL: Does lodging hit max occupancy during the event?
MC: No, we have room blocks with discounts at several hotels around Downtown Tampa to avoid any issues, helping us to accommodate everyone. We have in the past sold out at the hotel closest to the event.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
MC: Being with friends or family is already a memorable time, but we take great pride in creating a fun and safe environment for everyone to enjoy.
For more information about the Tampa Bay Margarita Festival, please visit the event website.