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Lantern Parade at Riverfest

2024 Lantern Parade at Tampa Riverfest!

Saturday, May 4, 2024

The Riverfest Lantern Parade is an annual event where participants decorate their own paper lanterns and join a 1-mile parade that illuminates the Riverwalk! The parade will start at Water Works Park at 8:30 PM and end in Curtis Hixon Park. 




What we are looking for:
Marching Floats:
We are asking artists and community groups to create BIG, BRIGHT, FUN, MOBILE objects 8-10’ feet tall, and less than 5’ wide that are lightweight and can be carried by you and your friends! We are looking for Tampa- based artists to create illuminated lanterns/float sculptures/puppets that celebrate our values of CREATIVITY and FUN for our third annual magical walking parade! Special consideration will be given to creations that reflect themes of WATER, AQUATICS, and anything TAMPA themed and are BUILT TO LAST.
This is about COMMUNITY. If your creation is part of a community effort, that is great! We expect artists who have been awarded to help promote the parade by submitting designs, photographs, or videos of their building process and to be available for television or newspaper interviews. Designs should be able to withstand our May weather, which could include rain and wind.

Compensation for Marching Lantern/Floats:
On behalf of The Gobioff Foundation, funding of $1,500 each for the top three proposals for support materials, transportation, and artist fees to include participation in the Saturday, May 4, 2024, parade.

Admission for two to the VIP Tent at Curtis Hixon Park on Saturday, May 4, 2024.
Selection Criteria
We are seeking dynamic lantern/float sculptures/puppets made by Tampa artists and community groups who can make magic out of limited resources! Background in public art projects, puppetry, sculpture, performance, and other public performance is helpful. Final selections of the 3rd Annual Tampa Riverwalk Lantern Parade sculpture proposals are chosen by a Selection Committee. Awards will be announced by March 8, 2024 (see timeline below).
March 1, 2023 - Submission Deadline at 5pm. Late entries will not be accepted.
March 8, 2023 - Awards are announced via email.
May 4, 2023 - Marching Lantern Float complete.
Artists and participants line up at 7:30pm for Tampa Riverwalk Lantern Parade in Waterworks Park.
Parade steps off at 8:30pm for a 1-mile walk along the Riverwalk to Curtis Hixon Park.

Interested artists and community groups should submit using button below!

Thank you to our 2023 commissioned Lantern Parade Artists!

Interested in sponsoring the Lantern Parade?

Tampa Riverfest’s Lantern Parade will be held the Saturday of Riverfest. The Lantern Parade will illuminate the Riverwalk beginning in Water Works Park and ending in Curtis Hixon. 

Interested in sponsoring the Riverfest Lantern Parade? Please email for more information!

2023 Riverfest Lantern Parade Photos!

Photos by: Tacy Briggs-Tronocoso
                  PamElla Lee Photography