Traffic in downtown Tampa will be heavily impacted by multiple events this weekend, including several long-planned events as well as a recently-planned demonstration that could bring in thousands more people to the downtown area.
One of those events is the Tampa Bay Parenting's annual Camp & Summer Fun Expo, hosted at the Glazer Children's Museum, featuring dozens of summer camps and activities for families to learn about and sign up for.
That event goes from 9 a.m. until noon.
Right next door, on the main lawn of Curtis Hixon Park, is "Bark in the Park," an annual dog-focused event hosted by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, featuring dozens of vendors including pet food companies, health companies, and pop-up dog play areas.
And then, in the elevated part of Curtis Hixon Park, is where demonstrators will be organizing ahead of a local chapter of the "March for Our Lives" event, a nationwide protest in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
That event is expected to see thousands of people march along North Ashley Drive, then on West Kennedy Boulevard, and around the University of Tampa campus, and will cause some "rolling" street closures, as things could change.
"When you have a really unexpected, large number of folks coming in, you just never know what energy or dynamics might come along," says Jean Duncan, the City of Tampa's director of transportation.
Duncan is strongly urging families to "park and walk" from the East side of the downtown area.
"They’re going to have to spend a little more time walking. But they’re really going to be better off because they’re probably going to find that out anyway after circling around trying to find a spot closer and finally realizing that's not going to happen," Duncan tells ABC Action News.
Event organizers tell ABC Action News that they hope families take advantage of the opportunity.
"Even though there's some challenges I think in a way it's a blessing because they can actually experience multiple events at the same time," says Kate White of the Glazer Children's Museum
"It does make some challenges for parking and driving downtown and navigating that, so really the trick is making sure families know before they go downtown where they’re going to go," White adds.
One tip from White: if families want to minimize walking for their young kids, drop them off, with one parent, on the Gasparilla Plaza, a road that goes in between the Art Museum and the Children's Museum, and then have the other parent go park further away.
The Ybor City neighborhood is also going to have events impacting parking and traffic this weekend.
The Tampa Pride street festival and Diversity parade is taking place Saturday as well.
Below is a list of events, prices and closures provided by the City of Tampa:
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Tampa Bay Parenting: Camp and Summer Fun Expo
Glazer Children’s Museum
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The March For Our Lives Rally
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Bark in the Park
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Disney on Ice
12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Bay Area Music Festival
Perry Harvey Park
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Tampa Brunch Festival
2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The Bodyguard
9:45am – 5:00pm Tampa Pride – Street Festival & Concert
Ybor City, 8th Avenue
12:00pm – 3:00pm Tampa Pride – Diversity Parade
Ybor City, 7th Avenue
ROAD & LANE CLOSURES:
6:00am – 10:00am Ashley Drive southbound – W. Gasparilla Plaza to W. Twiggs St. - westerly lane
7:00am – 5:00pm Old Water Street – S. Florida Avenue to Tampa Bay History Center at 801 Old Water Street – southerly lane
7:00am – 9:00pm E. Harrison Street – N. Orange Avenue to Central Avenue
10:00am – 7:00pm Central Avenue – E. Harrison Street to Ray Charles Boulevard
Rolling Road Closures:
The duration of the road closures will be adjusted as necessary for the March For Our Lives Rally.
10:30am – 12:00pm Ashley Drive – exit ramps off of Interstate 275
10:30am – 12:00pm Ashley Drive – Interstate 275 to W. Kennedy Avenue
10:30am – 12:00pm Ashley Drive – Kiley Gardens to W. Kennedy Boulevard
10:30am – 12:00pm W. Kennedy Boulevard – Ashley Drive to N. Boulevard
10:30am – 12:00pm N. Boulevard – W. Kennedy Boulevard to W. Cass Street
10:30am – 12:00pm W. Cass Street – N. Boulevard to Gasparilla Plaza
8:30am – 7:00pm Nuccio Parkway – N. Nebraska Avenue to E. Palm Avenue
8:30am – 7:00pm 7th Avenue – Scott Street to N. 21st Street
8:30am – 7:00pm 8th Avenue – N. 14th Street to N. 17th Street
8:30am – 7:00pm 9th Avenue – N. 14th Street to N. 15th Street
8:30am – 7:00pm N. 15th Street – E. 6th Avenue to E. Palm Avenue
8:30am – 7:00pm Angel Oliva Senior Street – E. 7th Avenue to E. Palm Avenue
8:30am – 7:00pm N. 19th Street – E. 7th Avenue to E. Palm Avenue
Fort Brooke Garage, 107 N. Franklin Street
$1.60 an hour - Open at 6am
Tampa Convention Center Garage, 333 S. Franklin Street
$1.60 an hour - Open at 6am
South Regional Garage, 301 Channelside Drive
$12 flat fee - Limited space due to the arena event – Open at 8:30am
Twiggs Street Garage, 901 E. Twiggs Street
$1.20 an hour - Open at 6am
William F. Poe Garage, 800 N. Ashley Drive
$10 flat fee – Parking will be very limited - Open at 9am
Centro Ybor Garage, 1500 E. 5th Avenue
$5 flat fee - Open at 8am
Fernando Noriega Jr Garage, 2010 N. 13th Street
$5 flat fee – Open at 8am