TAMPA — The Northdale Recreation Center has something going on every day for all ages, but the biggest event of the year is right around the corner.
On April 5, the Northdale Civic Association, in partnership with Hillsborough County, will host the Northdale Family Fun Festival and Parade from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Everything is free, including food, entertainment, games and parking.
A parade featuring the Gaither High School marching band will kick off the ceremonies as it moves down Mapledale Drive and takes a left on Northdale Boulevard and onto the Northdale Park grounds. There will also be a performance by American Idol contestant Jonathan Cortez.
The event drew more than 3,000 people last year and most area restaurants plan to participate in the Taste of Northdale. Bounce houses, face painting and more kid-friendly events will be offered.
“This is a really big deal for Northdale,” said Recreation Program Supervisor Adrienne Rouse. “We have a lot of everything. This is so big and it gets bigger every year.”
The festival is also a prelude to the annual Easter Egg hunt April 19. On that morning, everyone is asked to show up in Easter regalia and there are egg hunts for every age group.
Rouse, who has been involved with Hillsborough County recreation since she was in YMCA Leaders Club at the age of 12, said the Northdale events are indicative of a revival in the community.
The recreation center is also prepping for its summer camp. Cost for campers is only $38 per week. Kids from 5 to 11 will participate at the center and the older kids will head for Country Place Park right down the road.
Rouse said all kids have to do is stop by the rec center and they’ll be hooked.
“Once we get them in the door and they see everything we have going on here, they’ll come back,” Rouse said.
Northdale is currently building a new gym right next to the center that will offer even more programs.
The Northdale Recreation Center is located at 15550 Spring Pine Drive in Tampa.