Help Support Friends of the Riverwalk
Like so many other organizations, Friends of the Riverwalk was hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. We were forced to cancel our largest annual event and most significant fundraiser, Tampa Riverfest in May, because of the pandemic.
Projected to bring in $81,500, the event would have featured the Gin Blossoms as headliners, with many premier sponsors secured to promote it. We also had to cancel auxiliary Riverfest events such as the Taste of the Riverwalk, Taco Fest, Derby Dog Races along with new initiatives.
Joining the City of Tampa as one of the biggest boosters of the 2.4-mile Riverwalk, the Friends organization has been devoted to helping get the project completed in 2016 and then to aid activation and activity efforts along the walkway that former Mayor Pam Iorio credits with bringing “downtown to life.”
“I think the Riverwalk has met, and to some extent exceeded, what we thought would occur,” she told Tampa Magazine.
Another former mayor, Bob Buckhorn, agrees.
“By all measures, it has completely transformed our city, and it may be one of the single most important events that has occurred in our city in probably the last 50 years,” Buckhorn said in the same article.
The downtown Riverwalk was the centerpiece of the 2017 College Football Playoff, and is projected to play the same role for the Super Bowl in 2021. But even without special events, the Riverwalk IS Tampa to so many. It’s their backyard, their gym, their quiet space, their place of reflection, their community gathering spot. It’s where memories are made and will continue to be created. It’s a string of pearls consisting of museums, restaurants, parks, arenas and performing arts.
We are proud that during the last two difficult months the Riverwalk provided a much-needed outlet for many area residents and visitors who could enjoy a peaceful stroll (or jog or bike ride) along the Riverwalk and take in the beautiful scenery of our city. They could learn a bit of Tampa’s history via the historical bust monument trail or by simply reading the personalized paver messages along the walkway – both Friends projects, by the way.
These simple activities provided comfort to so many during such a difficult time.
We appreciate the continued support of our corporate and individual members. Without that support, Friends of the Riverwalk would not be able to host free public events such as Tampa Riverfest, Riverwalk Trick or Treat, Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Harbor and the Downtown Tampa Annual Lighted Boat Parade.
Nor could we provide Riverwalk enhancements such as shade structures, docks, water fountains, bike repair stations and wellness events.
PLEASE SUPPORT US. We need your help more than ever during this challenging time. Please consider supporting Friends of the Riverwalk by purchasing a paver, banner, individual or corporate membership or simply making a donation.
Your support is crucial to our ability to continue to build a stronger sense of community and enhance the quality of life in Tampa.
We have been there before when needed, and we are here for the healing now.
We look forward to seeing you enjoying the Riverwalk or at our next event.