G. Love & Special Sauce returning to play free show at Curtis Hixon Park on May 2

The Philly bluesman headlines the Mayor’s Mac n’ Cheese throwdown during Riverfest weekend

It’s been just over two weeks since G. Love blew through Jannus Live in St. Pete, but now the City Of Tampa has announced that the 42-year-old Philadelphia pop-bluesman born Garrett Dutton will be returning to the Bay area next month.

The best part? There’s no cover charge.

The appearance — set for May 2 at Curtis Hixon Park — is happening as a part of the the first annual Riverfest celebration, which is set to activate the entire length of the Tampa Riverwalk that weekend. G. Love is technically headlining the “Mayor’s Mac n’ Cheese Throwdown” and will take the park stage at 9 p.m. and play a 90-minute set before fireworks shoot off at 10:30 p.m. The event serves as a fundraiser for nonprofit Friends of The Riverwalk.

The show falls on the same weekend as Day 2 of WMNF's 34th Annual Tropical Heatwave, which will activate the western end of Ybor City while Riverfest revelers continue to break in Tampa's growing downtown.

“The opening of Kennedy Plaza has been a game changer for the Riverwalk, connecting the cultural assets, the parks and public spaces along the waterfront,” Shaun Drinkard, Executive Director of Friends of the Riverwalk, said in a release. ”RiverFest is the first opportunity to celebrate Tampa’s new Riverwalk.” 

All of the weekend Riverfest events are free and open to the public. You can see a complete agenda below this video of Dutton singing about how he likes his coffee. More information is available at tampariverfest.com.


8 a.m. Penguin Waddle (Florida Aquarium)
9 a.m.-2 p.m. ASPCA Activities (USF/Anchor Park)
9 a.m.- 5 p.m - Big Brothers Big Sisters Day Out, free children’s activities (MacDill Park)
10 a.m. - 10 p.m. - RiverFest Downtown Carnival (Cotanchobee Park)
11 a.m.- 4 p.m. - Jazz on the Riverwalk (Water Works Park)
11:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. - String Theory’s Fin Harp (Straz Center)
4 p.m - 11 p.m. - Mayor’s Mac & Cheese Throwdown Feat. G. Love & Special Sauce (Curtis Hixon Park)

(All Day Saturday)
Tampa Museum of Art: Day of Poseidon & FREE admission
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts: FREE admission
Tampa Bay History Center: FREE children’s admission
Roaming musicians, artist and food vendors (Kennedy Plaza)
The Plank “pop-up bar” returns (MacDill Park)
Hillsborough County School System Stage feat. artists from 43 local schools (USF/Anchor Park)

10 a.m. Cigar City River Run (Florida Aquarium)
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. - RiverFest Downtown Carnival (Cotanchobee Park)
11 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Bloody Mary Festival (Curtis Hixon Park)
11:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. - String Theory’s Fin Harp (Straz Center)

(All Day Sunday)
Roaming musicians, artist and food vendors (Kennedy Plaza)
The Plank “pop-up bar” (MacDill Park)

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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