Local Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

Below you’ll find information on all of the fun local festivals taking place on and off the island! You’ll end up wanting to take part in every single one.

On Anna Maria Island:

. Heritage Day Festival:
The Heritage Day festival takes place on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria City, and is sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Historical Society. If you’re a history fanatic, this event is right up your alley. Ever wondered how to spin wool, make a bonnet, or create a basket out of pine needles? Well you’re in luck! Featured demonstrators will show you how to do all of that. With a children section, collectible sale, and a silent auction, it is sure to be enjoyed by everyone not matter what age they are.
P.S.  Don’t forget to pick up some of the produce, herbs and “Settlers Bread” that will be on sale while you’re there!
Where: 402 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
When: First Saturday of March
Time: Usually 9am – 2pm




. Beach’N Food Truck and Music Festival:
If you’re interested in a food and music festival on a white sandy beach with turquoise waters as your view, then you need to stop by the Beach’N Food Truck and Music Festival on Coquina Beach in the month of April! This all day event is family friendly and entrance is free. There will be a kid zone, car show, live music, adult beverages, and a variety of delicious food trucks.
Where: 2650 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach, FL, 34217
When: The past few years dates have varied, though the event is held on a Saturday in the month of April
Time: 10am – 8pm


If you’re free the second weekend of December, head over to Winterfest, a Festival of Fine Arts & Crafts Show taking place at City Hall Field in Holmes Beach. This event is sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Art League and features food, drinks, live music, and of course some arts and crafts you can purchase from local artists.
Plus, admission and parking are free!
Where: 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
When: Second weekend of December (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 10am – 4:30pm



. Springfest:
Springfest (just like Winterfest) is a Festival of Fine Arts & Crafts that takes  place in Holmes Beach every March. This weekend event features art, activities, food, drinks and live music! Proceeds will benefit the Anna Maria Island Art League which offers scholarships and other art education programs to local students.
Where: City Hall Field  (5901 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL, 34217)
When: Second weekend of March (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 10am – 5pm


We have an entire blog about Bayfest, check it out!


Off the Island:

. Bradenton Blues Festival:
A weekend full of exceptional live blues music, food vendors, and local craft beer is exactly what you’re in store for at the annual Bradenton Blues Festival in Downtown Bradenton. This event sells out FAST, so if you’re going to be in town or on the island during this time of year and want to attend this fun filled festival, purchase your tickets ASAP! This event is produced by the non-profit organization Realize Bradenton, and proceeds will support Realize Bradenton’s free youth, art, and music programs for the community.
Where: 452 3rd Ave W, Bradenton, FL, 34205
When: First weekend of December (Friday – Sunday)
Time: Begins 6pm Friday, ends 2pm Sunday
Tickets: Tickets for the festival range from $10 – $100 depending on type of ticket purchased.
For ticket info and pricing please check out the link, http://www.bradentonbluesfestival.org/tickets/.


. Florida Strawberry Festival:
If you are visiting Anna Maria Island in the Spring then the Florida Strawberry Festival is a great event to visit.  The Florida Strawberry festival takes place in Plant City, Fl and typically lasts 11 days. There are crafts you can purchase, rides to go on, plenty of choices for lunch or dinner and of course every variety of strawberry dessert you can imagine. The Strawberry Festival is definitely worth the drive!
Where: 303 N Lemon St, Plant City, FL 33563
When: Usually begins the first Friday of March, and continues 11 consecutive days.
Time: The gates open daily at 10am, and close at 10pm
Ticket Price(s): Ages 13 and up are $10, ages 6-12 are $5, and ages 5 and under are FREE with paid adult admission.


.Cortez Fishing Festival:
We have an entire blog about the Cortez Fishing Festival, check it out!


. Chalk Festival:
The International Chalk Festival is four day event that takes place typically in Sarasota Florida, or Venice Florida. Watch the largest gathering of extremely talented, and famous pavement artists create masterpieces from start to finish. Other featured activities include food trucks, beer gardens, live music, and interactive art areas.
Where: After six seasons of taking place in Burns Square in downtown Sarasota, the 2017 and 2018 events have taken place at the Venice Airport Fairgrounds (675 Airport Ave East, Venice, FL 34285).
When: Begins the second Friday of November, and runs until the following Monday.
Time: 8am – 6pm
Ticket Price(S): For the exact price of tickets for each day please visit, https://chalkfestival.org/events/see-you-in-2017.



. Sarasota Film Festival:
With over 200 movies screened each year (including documentaries, shorts, features, kid-friendly picks, and more), the Sarasota Film Festival is a wonderful event to attend if you’re a cinema enthusiast. Taking place in Sarasota, Florida, this film festival is among the best in the world. It is a 10 day celebration of film that has been going on for over 20 years, and with how popular it is, it is sure to keep going on for another 20.
Where: 332 Cocoanut Avenue Sarasota, FL 34236
When: This event takes place at the end of March/beginning of April, for ten consecutive days. Make sure you look up the event dates for the year you’ll be attending.
Time: Take a look at the film guide for dates and times of the films being shown and activities taking place.



. Fine Arts Festival of Manatee County:
A 2 day event full of spectacular works of art in all different forms is exactly what you’ll find at the Fine Arts Festival of Manatee County! Yet another art event taking place in Downtown Bradenton, this event showcases; ceramics, digital media, drawing, glass, jewelry, leather, acrylic, oil, watercolor, photography, and so much more.
Where: Riverwalk, Downtown Bradenton, FL, 34205
When: Last weekend of February (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 10am – 5pm Saturday and 10am – 4pm Sunday


. Sarasota Spring Fine Arts Festival:
If you’ve been needing a new art piece for your home, or enjoy collecting art, you want to visit the Sarasota Spring Fine Arts Festival. The event is hosted by Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association and features; paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography, glass, ceramics, fiber and wearable art, mixed-media, woodworking, etc.
Where: 33 Gulf Stream, Sarasota, FL  34236
When: Second weekend of March (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 10am – 5pm




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