Well, I am going to have to eat my hat. I prefer chocolate, although eating the hat is far more appropriate now.
Several mayoral terms ago, three to be exact, Mayor Pam Iorio took up the charge to finally get the Riverwalk fully funded and under construction. I, for one, saw many other uses for the funding, especially during the tough times we were in. I was not a proponent of the Riverwalk; I simply did not have her vision of how integral the Riverwalk would be to defining the downtown Tampa experience.
After being open only about a month, I can see why Mayor Pam pushed so hard. The Riverwalk is now our signature element in downtown. I can hardly contain myself: walk, bike or even rollerblading on the “walk” is a superb experience.

Riverwalk2

I went out the first weekend it opened and met my friends at the Sail Pavilion. One could not get a seat or a drink! It was so crowded. Men, women, children, newborn, toddler, teen and elderly were all out on the Riverwalk, using all modes of mobility, enjoying a chamber of commerce day, together. When have you seen all of our neighbors out together like this before?
Last weekend was the Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s Mac N’ Cheese throw down. This has become his signature event and with the activities taking place at EVERY park along the walk, it is certain to be as notable as Gasparilla. That was the Saturday event. I missed the Bloody Mary Sunday event, held in Curtis Hixon Park. You can imagine this was also a winner!
So long as the programming in the parks and the walk continues, and the extension of the Riverwalk is completed past Ulele over to the Boulevard bridge, Tampa residents will enjoy our grand sidewalk that literally is in the waters of Tampa.