Tampa never has a shortage of events going on, and Memorial Day weekend was no different. We had friends going in all different directions-be it the Sunset Music Fest over at Raymond James, or Hogan’s Beach over on the Causeway. We had a tough decision on our hands, but after much deliberation, and our new affinity for tequila- Margarita Fest at Curtis Hixon it was.
I personally think all the emails from Groupon and Living Social are overkill, but I have friends that swear by it (not naming any names… SG & TB) but when we came across the deal for Margarita Fest ( 2 tickets/ $15- originally 1/$15) we couldn’t pass it up. We purchased our tickets and impatiently waited through the work week until it was time to down some margs.
Saturday morning Nicholas, Ryan and I made our plan of attack for the day. Here’s how it went:
Needless to say I wasn’t too jazzed about the bus situation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about being responsible if were going to be drinking, but I wasn’t sure how this was going to play out. Well let me tell you- best decision ever. The HART bus system costs $2 a person, and free if you have a USF student ID. The bus dropped us on the corner of Kennedy and Ashley and we took short walk to Curtis Hixon. Once we arrived it was a bit of a cluster. The two lines (one for physical tickets and one for mobile tickets) were a little confusing, but luckily we got in the correct one right away. Surprise, surprise- Nicholas got lucky again- just standing in line! A girl offered him two vouchers to receive the commemorative cups you could purchase. After a long, and hot wait in line- we were in!
We hadn’t even been in the park for 30 seconds when a volunteer gave us all tickets to receive a free Cayman Jack margarita. Afterwards, we made our way to the ticket tent where each ticket was 1 dollar. The margaritas ranged from 4 to 8 tickets depending on the ingredients. With our tickets in hand we were ready for our first margarita. We headed to the Cayman Jack tent to grab our free drink. We’ve never had Cayman Jack before, but determined the margarita, which came in a can, wasn’t half bad. We walked around for a while to check out the surroundings. There were tons of tents set up serving drinks, 6 or 7 food trucks (including our personal favorite- Tasty Stacy’s), a large VIP tent, a large stage, and a beach volleyball court where brave souls were suffering the heat to get their spikes, volleys and digs on.
After exploring, our drinks were running a little low so we needed to refuel. We took a look at the menu of margaritas and had the tough decision of deciding what to try next. We each decided to try something different to really get the full experience. Ryan opted for the Gran Marnier Margarita, while I went for the Skinnygirl Grapefruit and Nicholas had the original. We all agreed they were delicious, and perfect for cooling us down on the hot day. We took a seat on the grass and grabbed some rays and took in the music. If you closed your eyes you would have sworn you were on an island somewhere. The Jimmy Buffet ‘esque music definitely put us in the mood for summer.
We decided to have one more drink and then take a break from the heat. We grabbed the bus back to Howard and cruised over to MacDinton’s Food Truck Rally (post to follow). We got some food in our stomachs and some time in the A/C and headed back downtown to catch the fireworks. They appeared so close it was almost scary. Illuminating in the sky, and having the Syke’s building serve as a background it was a great reminder of the changing season, and of the exciting things coming to be in downtown Tampa. Once the fireworks were over- we headed back towards home to finish off the day.
Now that we are all out of school, it’s hard to recognize when summer is coming. Especially living in Florida- when we can hit the beach during December. Memorial Weekend is the unofficial start and it’s great that Tampa has so many options for not only young adults, but family and children as well. No matter what you did over Memorial Day weekend, we hope it was a happy, fun and safe one!