WHERE: Downtown Tampa waterfront, including Channelside Bay Plaza at 615 Channelside Drive, and Sail Pavilion at 333 S. Franklin St.
PRICE: Free to view fireworks and parade, $1 per half hour to park in Channelside garage
Fireworks will light the sky while decorated boats illuminate the water below at the inaugural Summer Light The Night Labor Day celebration in downtown Tampa. The free event, happening Sunday evening at multiple venues along the city's downtown waterfront, will include live bands, a lighted boat parade and a fireworks display choreographed to music. The festivities kick off at 6 p.m. with live bands at the Boat House Bar in Channelside Bay Plaza and the Sail Pavilion outside the Tampa Convention Center. The boat parade, which will also be open to kayaks and paddleboarders, launches from the Tampa Convention Center docks at 7:30 p.m. and will sail through Garrison Channel to Channelside Bay Plaza and back. Prizes, including $2,500 in cash, plus vouchers for local attractions and hotels, will be awarded to the best lighted boats (or lighted people on boats) after the parade.
The fireworks display begins at 8:30 p.m. from Garrison Channel. The best spots to view the fireworks will be from Channelside Bay Plaza, The Florida Aquarium, the S.S. American Victory Ship, The Yacht Starship, Cotanchobee Park, the Marriott Waterside, Harbor Island, the Forum, the Sail Pavilion and Bayshore Boulevard, organizers said. Wharf access will be limited to the first 1,700 people to arrive there. Wristbands to enter the wharf will be given out starting at 6:30 p.m. and the wharf will open at approximately 7 p.m. There will be a special wheelchair viewing area on the wharf. The Florida Aquarium is extending its hours on Sunday to include the fireworks display, as is the American Victory Ship attraction, which will be hosting an onboard party with a DJ. Food trucks will be parked along the pier, along with vendors selling beer, wine and soft drinks. Parking will be available for $1 per half hour in the Channelside parking garage across from Channelside Bay Plaza. Organizers expect parking to fill there quickly, so another option is parking in Ybor City and taking the Teco Line Streetcar to the Channelside stop. Those interested in competing in the boat parade can register at funintampabay.com