Sulphur Springs’ River Tower Festival comes back to Tampa this fall

Bands and DJs are part of the city-wide effort to restore and preserve the landmark.

click to enlarge Tampa's Sulphur Springs Water Tower - Photo via Hugo/Adobe
Photo via Hugo/Adobe
Tampa's Sulphur Springs Water Tower
Sulphur Springs’ 200-foot Gothic Revival tower is a symbol. Not just of the Tampa neighborhood, but of the former leisure empire’s heyday, environmental follies and complicated racial undertones built into the banks of the Hillsborough River.

In 2019, a grassroots effort formed with the mission to restore and preserve the tower. The River Tower Festival went down on a rainy fall day, but was able to raise funds to the effort and draw the attention of city officials, which are now working with the River Tower Foundation on improvements.

The nonprofit foundation even says that Tampa City Council may soon vote to budget funds to at least pressure wash and paint the landmark. To help the effort along after a two-year pandemic hiatus, the foundation is reviving its River Tower Festival and fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 12 with a day-long party in the shadow of the tower. Bands—including Navin Ave., Rebekah Pulley, Tribal Style, Will Quinlan, Boycott and Have Gun, Will Travel—join other musical acts, plus DJs (including Creative Loafing Tampa Bay’s senior music contributor Gabe Echazabal).

Tickets to the 2022 River Tower Festival in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 2 p.m.-10 p.m. are on sale now starting at $15. A VIP option includes a covered viewing area, three drink tickets, commemorative T-shirt and parking inside River Tower Park, located at 401 E Bird St. near I-275.

“We love our tower and appreciate its importance to the history of Tampa,” organizers wrote in a press release. “After a two year covid induced hiatus, the festival is back!! We hope to see you all there.”

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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