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Tampa’s giant River O’ Green Festival returns this March with a big parade

A green river flowing toward a large downtown area.
Photo via Tampa's Downtown Partnership

Tampa’s annual River O’Green Festival will return to Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday, March 16 from 11am-6pm. This fun St. Patrick’s Day celebration includes dying the Hillsborough River a brilliant emerald green. The River O’Green Fest is put on by Tampa’s Downtown Partnership with the City of Tampa and takes place along our award winning Riverwalk.

The Hillsborough River provides a perfect backdrop to the celebration which includes live entertainment, games, kids activities, food trucks, and of course, beer.

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Hillsborough River turns green this March

While there is plenty to enjoy for adults, the River O’Green Fest is totally family-friendly, and your four-legged friends are more than welcome to attend.

“Seeing our Hillsborough River turn emerald green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day is a great reminder of the excitement and fun that Tampa has to offer,” added Mayor Jane Castor ahead of the 2023 event. “I know how much I look forward to this annual tradition and the opportunity it brings to come together and celebrate all that makes our city great.” 

New additions to Tampa’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration

Organizers have announced a bevy of new attractions to this year’s celebration. Irish revelers will be treated to more entertainment than ever before, with the addition of a new, second stage for extra performances.

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 The Tampa Rough Riders are bringing their signature St. Patrick’s Parade to the streets of Downtown Tampa to coincide with River O’ Green.

The area near Four Green Fields pub will become an art walk, showcasing some of Tampa’s most talented artists with Irish connections.

Add to that a cabbage toss game, Lucky Charms eating contest, and the chance to win Busch Gardens tickets!

Eating contests, parades, and more in downtown Tampa

Organizers state that the dye used is safe for the environment, non-toxic, biodegradable, meets all EPA standards and is certified for use by NSF Std 60. In fact, it’s the same dye often used in water systems to trace the flow of drinking water. They also note it’s the same dye used in food and in eye surgery to trace blood vessels.

Visit the official River O Green Festival event page for more details. After River O’ Green Fest, residents can prepare for the huge Riverfest event arriving in May.

Parking is available for a nominal rate at multiple locations adjacent to the event, including the William F. Poe Parking Garage north of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL 33602).

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