Are you ready for some football????? Known as a staple in the Tampa Bay area, the Outback Bowl is just a few days away and whether you’re a local fan or a visiting fan who is here to cheer on their team, there are plenty of events throughout the week that you definitely won’t want to miss out on.
This year’s Outback Bowl will feature the SEC East Champion Florida Gators and the Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten. Both the Gators and the Hawkeyes have won the Outback Bowl in the past and actually played each other here in Tampa in January 2006 with Florida coming out the victors with a 31-24 win. So, this game is sure to be one to watch!
The first event that is always a fun day is the Clearwater Beach Day that will take place this Friday, December 30, 2016 from 11am until 4pm. Located on the beautiful, Gulf of Mexico, the Hilton Clearwater Beach next to Pier 60, will host both the Florida Gators and Iowa Hawkeyes’ teams as well as both marching bands and cheer squads. There will be plenty of activities and fun throughout the day while enjoying a great day on the beach.
The annual Outback Bowl Parade will take place on Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 5:30pm in the historic Ybor City district of Tampa. The parade route proceeds down 7th Avenue and will include floats and marching bands from around the country as well as both teams bands and mascots.
If you are looking for even more fun after the parade to help ring in 2017, then Channelside in Downtown Tampa is the place to be, just a short Streetcar Ride from Ybor City, check out “Light Up Tampa Bay” at Channelside’s Bay Plaza. As the clock strikes 12, there will be a ball drop and one of the biggest fireworks shows of the year will light up the Channel and all of Downtown. There are many restaurants in and around Bay Plaza that make it ideal to grab a bite to eat before the countdown begins.
The Florida Aquarium will also be hosting a New Year’s Eve event, “Aqua Eve”. From 9pm until 1am, this adult only (21+ only) event will have live entertainment and music along with all you can eat snacks and varieties of food, beer and wine throughout the night. At midnight there will be a Champagne Toast for all in attendance. “Aqua Eve” costs $130 per person and it is suggested to by your ticket in advance online. If you wish to add a fireworks cruise to your “Aqua Eve” package so that you can get an up close look at the fireworks it will be $210 per person. All proceeds from Florida Aquarium events benefit animal conservation programs as well as animal rehabilitation services. The Florida Aquarium is located at 701 Channelside Drive, Tampa, Florida 33602.
On New Year’s Day there will be a Fan Rally at Channelside from 12pm-6pm to get both Gator and Hawkeye Fans ready for the big game the next day.
Then of course on Monday, January 2, 2017, fans decked out in orange and blue and black and yellow will fill Raymond James Stadium to cheer their team to victory.
Below are the official guidelines as to what fans can and can’t bring into Raymond James Stadium, be sure to check it out before arriving!
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