Some normalcy: Concerts and festivals returning to Tampa Bay

As more people get vaccinated, it appears that concerts and festivals are on their way back.

Tampa will be tested this weekend with its Pride Parade, which will be held Saturday in Ybor City. This isn’t just Tampa’s first big festival of the year -- this is the first Pride celebration to take place anywhere in the country since the pandemic began. So, all eyes will be on Tampa this weekend as city leaders look to schedule and plan for big events to start back up again.

However, there will be notable differences from Pride Parade festivals of the past. For starters, street vendors will not be allowed. All food and drink will come from licensed food trucks.

But many things will feel the same: concerts, performances and of course, the parade, which starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday will still take place.

Pride is the first of many big events the city has on its schedule. Next weekend, after a year off, the Sunset Music Festival returns to Raymond James Stadium. The event has more than 60 bands and DJs in its lineup.

Many springtime events will go on this fall including the Gasparilla Music Festival. It was the last big event of 2020 before the pandemic set in. It’s been rescheduled for October 1-3.

Also rescheduled for October: Tampa Pig Jig, the music and barbecue festival that’s become another Tampa staple over the last decade. Major artists like Darius Rutger are sure to draw a crowd.