Thousands of people to pack downtown Tampa for Riverfest 2017

Posted at 2:02 PM, May 05, 2017

"We expect over 45 thousand down here on Saturday," said Tony Mulkey, Tampa Parks and Recreation.

Thousands of people will drive to Curtis Hixon Park for Riverfest this weekend.

There are three big events in downtown including the Tom Petty Concert at Amalie Arena on Saturday night, shows at the Straz Center and Riverfest.

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"Right when you get off I 275 and the Ashley split, we're going to have message boards telling you which way to go. We're going to have our traffic management center fully staffed," said Mulkey. Mulkey organizes the event.

His best advice is to park in a city garage in East downtown like Fort Brooke or park in an Ybor City garage and the ride the streetcar.

This online map shows orange routes you want to avoid including Brorein and Channelside Drive.

It may even be a good idea to bicycle into downtown.

"Right here at Ashley Drive, you can drive your bike here and check it in. They'll check it in for you. It'll be there for you to pickup when you're ready and it's completely free," said Jason Carroll, Friends of the Riverwalk.

The parking garages are shown in green but make note, the Poe Parking Garage is reserved for Straz Center customers only.

But you can catch a ride on a shuttle from these locations.

"HART is offering the Intowner which is a circulator throughout downtown and that'll be free in the evening and that's going to be operating this weekend," said Mulkey.