Out of an abundance of caution, the City of Tampa has postponed the 2020 Mayor’s River O’Green Fest scheduled for this Saturday, March 14. This decision was made after a meeting with the Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group, which met earlier today to review the current status and response to COVID-19.
"We take our responsibility to protect the health and safety of our residents seriously," said Mayor Jane Castor. "After consulting with local officials, as well as a number of health experts, we decided that postponing River O’Green was the right thing."
During the meeting, a local state of emergency was also declared for the next seven days in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The state of emergency can be extended if needed.
The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group is comprised of three County Commissioners, the mayors from the cities of Plant City, Tampa, and Temple Terrace, the Sheriff, Chairman of the School Board, and other officials. The Policy Group is granted authority by the Florida's Constitution to issue emergency declarations when necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our residents.
In addition to postponing the Mayor’s River O’ Green Fest, the Tampa Convention Center has confirmed that several scheduled events have also been canceled.
List of Tampa Convention Center events that have been canceled:
- Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities (3/12-3/17)
- Florida State Thespians (3/17-3/22)
- Joseph Volleyball Molten Qualifier (3/18-3/24)
- Hillsborough Student Literacy and Media Showcase (3/23–3/25)
- West Florida Idea Exchange (3/23-3/25)
- ASPEN 2020 Nutrition Science & Practice Conference (3/25-4/1)
- Other private events have also been canceled or postponed, including:
- The NCAA announced that tournament events, including games played in Tampa, are canceled.
- The National Hockey League will pause the 2019-20 season.
- ·Major League Baseball has canceled the remainder of spring training and is pushing back the start of the regular season by at least two weeks
- Cigar City Brewing has canceled Hunahpu’s Day which was scheduled for March 13th at Amalie Arena
- The Rough Riders St Patrick’s Day Parade in Ybor City scheduled for this Saturday (3/14) is postponed
The City will continue working with the Florida Department of Health, healthcare experts, Visit Tampa Bay, and other stakeholders to determine whether future event cancellations are necessary. The City understands the impact that event cancellations have on local businesses and tourism and will continue working with experts to minimize the impact of COVID-19, while prioritizing the health of residents and visitors.
For more information related to COVID-19, visit tampagov.net/COVID-19 and text TAMPAREADY or TAMPALISTA to 888-777.