Plus, a dreamy waterfront home hits the market.
 
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🧀 Prepare your palate
Several paper bowls filled with food sit atop a table. There are two different options, with one containing rice and salmon, and the other with chicken and green spaghetti.
Taste of South Tampa is a gastronomical delight. | Photo by @southtampataste
As you’ve probably noticed by now, our Tampa Bay area food scene is among the nation’s best, with WalletHub ranking Tampa No. 6 on its Best Foodie Cities in America list + the Burg cracking the top 50 as well. But it’s not only our restaurants which shine — we’ve got top-notch foodie festivals, too.

Here are six happenings to put on your radar:

Taste of South Tampa

Sunday, March 3 | 1-4 p.m. | Tampa Garden Club, 2629 Bayshore Blvd., Tampa | $50

Dozens of local restaurants take over the Bayshore venue for the 18th annual event, including 7th + Grove, Ava, Bulla Gastrobar, Streetlight Taco, and The Dan.

Tampa Bay Empanada Festival

Saturday, April 6 | Perry Harvey Sr. Park, 1000 E. Harrison St., Tampa | $5+

Feast on empanadas in the heart of the Cigar City, and enjoy cocktails, live music, games, and other entertainment.

Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival

Tuesday, April 9-Saturday, April 13 | Locations + prices vary

With events spread across Tampa Bay, there are culinary delights awaiting, featuring a VIP Chef Showdown, and a Grand Tasting finale at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

A paper plate of paste and meatballs is being held toward the camera by a gloved hand. It is close up, and there is red sauce + parmesan cheese atop the dish.

I’ll take one of those, thank you.

|

Photo by @southtampataste

Bern’s Winefest

Saturday, April 13-Sunday, April 21 | Locations + prices vary

Now in its 27th year, nine days of lavish food + wine events will take place at spots like Haven, the Epicurean Hotel, and Bern’s Steak House.

St. Pete Italian Fest

Saturday, April 27 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | St. Pete Pier, 600 2nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg | Free with reservation

Mangia, mangia as the Burg hosts a celebration of all things Italy — featuring the classics like pizza, pasta, gelato, and other authentic dishes.

International Cuban Sandwich Festival

Sunday, May 26 | 12-6 p.m. | Centennial Park, 1800 E. 8th Ave., Tampa | Free with reservation

Head to the home of the Cuban sandwich for the 13th annual event, where there will be no shortage of hot pressed Cuban bread filled with pork, ham, salami, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard — the right way to do it.
 
Events
 
Friday, March 1
Saturday, March 2
  • 7th Annual Charity Golf Tournament | Saturday, March 2 | 8:30 a.m. | Rogers Park Golf Course, 7911 N. Willie Black Dr., Tampa | $175+ | Play a round to help support educational initiatives and community services in the Tampa Bay area.
  • Bulls Family Fest | Saturday, March 2 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa | Free | Enjoy a wide range of activities for all ages, and get a taste of USF’s array of offerings.
  • Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens | Saturday, March 2 | 7 p.m. | Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Dr., Tampa | $60+ | It’s snow birds against locals in this international clash.
  • World Oddities Expo | Saturday, March 2 | Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin St., Tampa | $5+ | Take a walk on the weirder side with a host of unconventional vendors, speakers, and exhibits.
Sunday, March 3
  • 20th Annual Picnic in the Park | Sunday, March 3 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Henry B. Plant Museum, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa | Free | Bring a blanket and a picnic basket to lounge on the lawn, soaking in outdoor bliss and entertainment by the historic museum.
  • St. Pete Flea | Sunday, March 3 | 12-4 p.m. | Indie Flea, 2606 Fairfield Ave. S., St. Petersburg | Price of purchase | This monthly market presented by Indie Flea features 200+ vendors selling a range of wares, handcrafted goods, plants, art, vintage threads, and more.
Click here to have your event featured.
 
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Try This
 
Spend a day of play at the Florida Children’s Museum
A large wooden playground in the shape of an alligator in front of the Florida Children's Museum.
Befriend Blinky, the 100-ft climbable alligator who lives in a soft + fenced-in area near the treasure-filled Mosaic Dig Pit. | Photo provided by Florida Children’s Museum
Hey TBAY — there’s a full day of play just a short ride away. Enter: Florida Children’s Museum, Lakeland’s 47,800-sqft hub of hands-on exhibits.

With daily programming ranging from STEM and art to sensory experiences, there’s something for every age and stage. Engage with:
  • Healthy risk-taking on Blinky the Alligator
  • Watermelon Seeds, a fruit-themed world for six and under
  • Building challenges in Design Park
  • And so much more
 
News Notes
 
Concert
  • Kacey Musgraves is playing in Tampa later this year. The country singer-songwriter has announced a show at Amalie Arena on Friday, Nov. 29 as part of her “Deeper Well World Tour.” Tickets go on sale on Friday, March 8.
Open
  • My cup of tea. Noisy Crane Tea is now open in St. Pete, featuring methods and practices found in China and Japan. Located inside In Between Days (2340 1st Ave. S.), the teahouse is currently open from Thursday to Sunday, and offers pastries on top of its tea-lightful beverages + authentic experiences. (I Love the Burg)
Real Estate
  • If you’re dreaming of a waterfront St. Pete home, this $2.25-million listing could be for you. The three-bed, three-bath property at 2599 W. Bay Isle Dr. SE was just put on the market, offering ~2,200 sqft, a private dock, a spacious outdoor entertaining area, and an open-plan living design.
Number
  • 8,000. That’s roughly how many people will run across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge this Sunday, March 3. The Skyway 10K supports military families through the Armed Forces Families Foundation, with runners crossing the structure from Manatee County to Pinellas County. Only VIP tickets remain. (Creative Loafing Tampa Bay)
Today Is
  • The first day of March. Named after the Roman god of war, Mars, the third month of the year is recognized as Women’s History Month, and also features St. Patrick’s Day, the start of daylight saving time, and the start of spring.
Announced
  • The USF Bulls have announced their schedule for the 2024 football season. Alex Golesh will begin his second year as head coach at home vs. Bethune-Cookman on Saturday, Aug. 31, followed by a tough road test against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday, Sept 7. Check out the full schedule.
Travel
  • Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas will call Tampa home for all of 2025. The ship will offer getaways to several destinations, including Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize City, Nassau, and the company’s Perfect Day at CocoCay private island experience in the Bahamas. (WFLA)
Community
  • You may have heard a few loud planes around South Tampa lately. That’s because F-35 fighter jet pilots are visiting MacDill Air Force Base through next Friday, March 8. The pilots are using MacDill as a base while they train nearby before heading back to the panhandle. (Tampa Bay Times)
Try This
  • It’s the Cigar City after all. Tampa Cigar Week event starts on Wednesday, March 6, offering stogie enthusiasts a host of activities + things to do. There are rolling lessons, crawls through Ybor, meet and greets, and even a golfing event. Tickets start at $50. (Creative Loafing Tampa Bay)
Sports
  • Where do the Rays rank in the AL East? Get game coverage, analysis, insights, interviews and more from local experts of the Tampa Bay Rays with Locked On’s daily podcasts.
Edu
Shop
  • It’s not every day that you find free, award-winning legal cannabis products. Cult favorite cannabis brand Indacloud is here with 30% off and free gummies with code “6AM” on any purchase. Get edibles, joints, and vapes for as low as $20 (and free gummies, of course) delivered to your door.
*†Please note: Legalities in your state may vary. Indacloud advises consumers to read the company’s terms and conditions, consult a physician before trying products, start only with small amounts, and to not consume products before driving or before a drug test. The information about providers and services contained in this newsletter does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by TBAYoday.
 
TEGNA
 
Development
 
🚧 Express yourself
The Selmon Expressway viaduct sits above the Hillsborough River. Tampa's skyline is behind it, and there are blue skies overhead.
The road is named after the legendary Tampa Bay Buccaneers player. | Photo via Wikimedia Commons
The Lee Roy Selmon Expressway has helped drivers pass through Tampa since it first opened in 1976. With connections to Gandy Boulevard to the west, I-275, I-75, I-4, and Brandon to the east, the expressway cuts right through the heart of the Big Guava.

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority is updating its planned changes to the road, intended to improve pedestrian access and safety amid downtown’s continued growth. Here are some highlights:
  • The five-way intersection near Amalie Arena will be no more, with Exit 6B set for removal.
  • The nearby Exit 6A will be updated to improve driver safety + protection.
  • Plans for an exit ramp connecting the Selmon with the Channel District have been tweaked, and will now force drivers to come to a stop, removing the option of free right turns.
  • The project was originally set to cost $55.3 million. A new figure has not yet been announced.
 
The Buy
 
A massaging foam roller, perfect for relieving tension after working out and boosting circulation to legs, back, and glutes.
 
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The Wrap
 
Patrick Sidwell.jpeg Today’s edition by:
Patrick
From the editor
Did you know St. Pete just opened its first ever Whole Foods Market? We checked it out and it did not disappoint.
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