Championship weekend kicks off with free music in Tampa

Several recording acts hit the stage Friday night at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.

Tampa's hosting of college football's biggest event began in earnest Friday with the arrival of the teams - Alabama and Clemson - playing for a national title, as well as events in the downtown area.

One such attraction was the first of three free nightly concerts at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, featuring the Shadowboxers as well as country acts Clare Dunn and Eric Paslay. Cloudy, misty weather probably wasn't visitors from Alabama and South Carolina had in mind, but they seemed to enjoy themselves regardless. 

Different genres and both local and national recording artists are featured at Hixon Park for the rest of the weekend. On Saturday the acts start at noon, headlined by Flo Rida and a fireworks show at 11 p.m.

On Sunday, the music again starts at noon. County star Gavin Degraw will perform and Usher will be the marquee attraction.

Here's a complete guide to the weekend's festivities.

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