What’s a festival without food, right? Fortunately, the chefs, bakers, brewmeisters and fisher-folks of Tampa have got you covered in a big way this autumn. November highlights some of the freshest and most innovative culinary creators in the Bay area, and here’s where to find them dishing it out.
Tampa Seafood Fest
Veteran’s Day weekend is the perfect time to honor America’s veterans while digging into steaming plates of blue crabs, shrimp boils and chicken jambalaya at the Tampa Seafood Fest. Part of the proceeds from the festival go to the non-profit Reeling Freedom Foundation that provides free fishing charters for veterans and first responders who otherwise can’t afford the sport. There’s one flat fee of $39 for all the food you can pack into your belly.
Oaklee Music kicks off the day at noon and plays until 2:00, followed by Soul Circus Cowboys heating up the stage for another three hours. You’ll find games and kid’s activities, vendors, exhibitions, free parking and beer for the grown-ups.
The fun takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 10. at Lake Park on North Dale Mabry Highway, about 15 minutes north of downtown Tampa. Bring along chairs and blankets for a relaxing day in the park. For more information, visit Tampaseafoodfest.com.
Who said cupcakes are just for kids? Certainly not the local cupcake kings and queens who go head-to-pan in Tampa Bay’s renowned cupcake competition. About 5 minutes from downtown Tampa, the ninth annual Ybor City Saturday Market Cupcake Festival takes over the market with cupcake mania on Nov.9. The friendly competition is a win-win for everyone who attends, with the chance to taste and purchase delectable picture-perfect creations from the best cupcake-a-teers in the Tampa Bay Area.
Admission and parking are free at Ybor City Saturday Market in Cenntenial Park, and the festival takes place on Nov. 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
New Tampa Brew Fest
This one is for the over-21 crowd, and for good reason. More than 80 craft brews and top-shelf beers will be poured, presented and demonstrated by Tampa’s own breweries and distributors at the New Tampa Brew Fest in November. You’ll get your own collectible Pilsner glass to sip and sample your way through brew heaven for three hours starting at 6:00 p.m on Saturday, Nov. 16. Plenty of food truck purveyors will be on hand to cleanse your palette between pours, many of them creating special menus for the event.
The liquid-art shindig takes place at The Venetian Event Center and St. Mark Evangelist Catholic Church on Cross Creek Boulevard. Reserve your glass now because the space is limited and likely to sell out. (The price is also considerably lower than at the door.) Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com.
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