Things to do in Tampa this January


Photo Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival

The stage setup at the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Music Festival

Anna Woodward and Jasmine Vidovich

With the hype of Gasparilla looming on the horizon, it’s even easier than usual to find a variety of things to do in Tampa in January. Whether it’s a music festival or a convention, there is something for everyone.

TBBHF music festival

The Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival (TBBHF) is hosting another music festival January 19 through 20 at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The lineup includes headliner Midnight Star, Cece Peniston and RNR. This year, the event coincides with MLK weekend, making this event not only a celebration of music, but a celebration of culture and history.

You can purchase tickets in advance or the day of and find more information at

Gasparilla JazzFest

Gasparilla JazzFest takes place–for the first time ever—this year on January 27 at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. It will last from 10am to 4pm and features a family-friendly lineup of jazz musicians like headliner NAJEE and Omari Dillard. In addition to the music, there will be food trucks and admission is free.

More information can be found at

Busch Gardens Concert Series: Real Music Real Masters

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is hosting another series of concerts this winter. Like every year, this event brings new and different acts to the stage, and lasts for over a month. 2019’s January performances include Cirque Vertigo, a group reminiscent of Cirque de Soleil, and ARRIVAL, a Sweden-based ABBA cover band with their own personal flair. The lineup also includes Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, an English band with a repertoire of hits since 1965  on a tour featuring their most famous frontman. Performances will be at 11:30am and 1:30pm.

More information can be found at

World Quilt Florida

World Quilt Florida showcases a variety of unique quilts by extraordinary quilters at the Tampa Convention Center. This event is not only good for the vendors, but it is also good for those who never thought about quilting because it is an opportunity to try and investigate something new. It may even inspire you to take up this craft as a hobby. World Quilt Florida, alongside providing a haven for quilters with its Merchant’s Mall that is chock-full of sewing supplies for sale, offers exhibitions that may catch they eye of anyone willing enough to see what’s in store. The Quilt Show and Merchant’s Mall are available from 10am to 5pm starting Jan. 31 and extending all the way to Feb. 2. More information can be found on the show manager’s website, Gasparilla Parades

Gasparilla has always been a staple in Tampa’s culture. Along with notable a notable art festival, multiple concerts and even a race, this celebration of pirates features two Gasparilla parades. This year, the Gasparilla children’s parade is on Saturday Jan. 19, from 3:30 to 6pm, and the adult Gasparilla parade is on Saturday Jan. 26 from 2pm to about 5:30pm. As usual, both parades will feature floats, food and, most importantly, beads.