Happy Hour Somewhere,Tampa Life

5 Reasons to Go to Tampa’s Summer of Rum Festival


It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Ok it’s the second most wonderful time…because nothing beats Christmas.  However, it’s time for the annual Summer of Rum Festival here in Tampa!

I’ve been every year since it began and it just keeps getting bigger and better. This year Big City Events is bringing us this notorious festival with a new venue and a new wristband system to help get your rum to you sooner.

If you’ve never attended the Summer of Rum Festival, here are 5 reasons you should attend your first one this year!  Thanks to Big City Events for providing me with tickets for the event in exchangee for telling everyone to go drink rum!!

1. 13 rum shacks!

The rum shacks feature all kinds of delectable mixed drinks made with a wide array of rums, like Appleton, Cruzan, Blue Chair and many more.  Drinks can be purchased from the rum shacks as well as beer and wine. Prices range from $4- $6.

2. Shaggy!

This year’s live entertaiment headliner is none other than Shaggy!  He is set to hit the main stage around 9:30. There will be other opening acts throughout the afternoon. Check out the full list here: http://www.summerofrumfest.com/entertainment

3. Food Trucks!

You can’t have all of that drinking without the something to fill your belly! There will be lots of food truck options to keep you full throughout the day.

4. VIP Experience

Enjoy UNLIMITED RUM DRINKS in the VIP Tent from your own VIP bar.  VIP Tent will feature prime views to main stage, decorated tent/shade area, bars to serve VIP ticket holders only, some seating area, and a cooled air-mist system (NOT air conditioning).

5. Rum Tasting Experience

My absolute favorite part of the Summer of Rum Fest is the Rum Tasting Experience!  This year there will be 40 different types of rum to sample.  Every year I say I’m going to sample them all.

Every year my liver says, nah we are not about that life.  But hey, I really do the best I can.

The rum tasting experience is an additional ticketed event that takes place from 2-6.  It’s $25 in advance online and $30 the day of.  There are a limited amount of these tickets available but it’s definitely worth it.  Check out some of my favorites from past rum tastings.

Important things to know before you go:

  • This year’s festival is at Curtis Hixon Park downtown. Parking is always cray cray so plan accordingly.
  • It’s Florida — it’s hot. Sunscreen and hats are your friends.
  • Stay hydrated. All of that alcohol plus heat is a recipe for getting sick. My rule is for every alcoholic drink then have some water after.
  • You can bring umbrellas, folding chairs, blankets, and even your pets.  See other important FAQs.


I’ll be randomnly selecting one lucky winner tonight to receive 2 general admission tickets via and all you have to do is comment with your favorite type of rum or rum cocktail!  There! That simple.  Ready, set, Go!!!! You have until 11 pm EST to comment on this blog post or via social media.   Good luck!


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