Feb 26, 2021 - News

Hillsborough River will remain calm as events are canceled amid the pandemic

Picture of Super Bowl Victory Boat Parade, with multiple boats on the river

In an aerial view from a drone, members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ride in a boat during the Super Bowl Victory Boat Parade on Feb. 10. Photo: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

After hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Super Bowl Victory Boat Parade, the waters of the Hillsborough River will be calm for a while.

The state of play: The River O’Green St. Patrick’s Day festival scheduled for next month has been canceled by the city of Tampa and Tampa Downtown partnership.

  • When asked why the river couldn’t simply be dyed green without the usual festival at Curtis Hixon Park, city spokeswoman Janelle McGregor told Axios: "Turning the river green is one of the highlights of the festival. The event organizers have decided to hold off on this tradition until the full festival returns."

Tampa Riverfest was also canceled earlier this week.

  • MaryBeth Williams, executive director of Friends of the Riverwalk, told Fox13 that limiting Riverfest with tickets and restrictions like Super Bowl festivities would ultimately disappoint people.

But wait, there's more: Frustrated with the cancellation of Gasparilla, Cliff Gephart, owner of right-wing coffee shop Conservative Grounds in Largo, has organized "Trumparilla," a self-described "boat invasion" on the river.

  • The event has more than 2,000 interested participants on Facebook. But McGregor said the city has not received any official requests for special event permitting or for the use of city resources related to this event.

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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