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The “Battle of the Bay” takes over downtown Tampa this week.

Don’t worry, it’s not a real battle.

Soldiers in camp uniforms aim guns at an off-screen target

Never fear, this battle isn’t real.

Photo by City of Tampa

They’re firing different kind of cannons this week in Tampa.

This Wednesday, May 8, the US Special Operations Command is hosting the thrilling demonstration known as “Battle of the Bay” — as part of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Week annual conference. During the simulated battle, special operations members will protect Tampa from “hostile invaders.”

The demonstration runs from 12 to 1 p.m. and involves explosions, boats, drones, ATVs, scuba divers, gunfire, and low-flying helicopters — oh my.

Residents are encouraged to come watch the show around the Tampa Convention Center. Here’s a few more things to note:

  • The rehearsal starts at 12 p.m. today.
  • Downtown Tampa will be under a noise advisory during the scenario. Officials say those with sensitivity to loud noises may want to avoid the area + also advise protecting your ears if you do attend.
  • Traffic-wise, South Franklin Street will be blocked off from Channelside Drive to the Westin Hotel and at the Water Street Intersection.