Local Easter Events & Church Services

 

If your vacation overlaps Easter Sunday this year, or this is your first Easter being an Anna Maria Island resident, no worries! There are plenty of local Easter events on and off the island to get yourself and the kiddos out of the house and in the holiday spirit. Whether it’s a church service, or some Easter Bunny fun, there is something to do for everyone.

Easter Egg Hunts:

A classic Easter tradition, and certainly the kids favorite, is of course the Easter egg hunt! Luckily one of the best local egg hunts for children 10 and under takes place right here on Anna Maria Island the Saturday before Easter, thanks to the Sandbar Restaurant. The Annual Sandbar Egg Hunt is a favorite for everyone involved and is probably the most well-known activity taking place on the island for Easter year after year. After the egg hunt fun, there is typically a parade right after lead by the Easter Bunny himself down Pine Avenue.
Where: Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
When: The Saturday before Easter Sunday
Time: Event typically begins at 9am
Who: Children 10 and under

 

Maybe you’ve already done the Easter egg hunt at the Sandbar, and want to check out a different one this year. Well if that’s the case, we highly suggest checking out the Community Easter Egg Hunt held every year at GT Bray Park in Bradenton. Kids get the chance to meet the Easter Bunny and fill their baskets with plastic eggs, which are later turned in for candy. They usually offer other activities like bounce houses, face painting, and more! This is a super fun event and draws thousands of families every year.
Where: 5502 33rd Ave Dr W, Bradenton, FL 34209

When: This event varies every year. It has been done the Sunday before Easter, the Saturday before Easter, and Easter Sunday in previous years. Double check the date for the event for the year you’ll be attending.
Time: Usually 2:30 pm to 4pm

 

 

Easter Worship Services:

Anna Maria Island offers a multitude of Easter services for you to choose from, Including a Easter Sunday sunrise service on the beach!

 

Kiwanis Club’s 49th Annual Sunset Service on the Beach:
Come worship on the beach Easter Sunday.
Where:
 Manatee County Public Beach.
When: Easter Sunday
Time: Typically 6:30am

 

CrossPointe Fellowship (Baptist Church)
CrossPointe offers a service on Good Friday, and a Easter Sunday service.
Where:
8605 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
When: Good Friday AND Easter Sunday
Time: 7pm Friday / 10:30am Sunday

 

The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation
The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation offers a service on Maundy Thursday which includes foot washing, stripping of the altar and the vigil in the garden. They also have services on Good Friday, and three Easter Sunday.
Where:
4408 Gulf Dr, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
When:
Thursday, Friday, AND Sunday
Time: 7pm Thursday / noon Friday / 7:30am, 9am, AND 11am Sunday

 

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church offers services Maundy Thursday, two on Good Friday, and two Easter Sunday including a fellowship brunch in between.
Where: 6608 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
When: Thursday, Friday, AND Sunday
Time: 7pm Thursday / noon AND 7pm Friday / 8am service, 9am brunch, 10:30am service

 

Harvey Memorial Community Church
Harvey Memorial Community Church will be holding their regular Easter Sunday service.
Where:
300 Church St N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
When: Sunday only
Time: 9:30am

 

Roser Memorial Community Church
Roser Memorial Community Church offers services the Thursday before Easter in celebration of the Last Supper, Good Friday, and two services Easter Sunday.
Where: 512 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
When: Thursday, Friday, AND Sunday
Time: 7pm Thursday / noon Friday / 9am and 11am Sunday

 

St. Bernard’s Catholic Church
St. Bernard’s Catholic Church will be holding a mass on Palm Sunday, Holy Week mass the following Wednesday, Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper Thursday. There will be no morning Mass on Good Friday, but there will be a Blessing of Easter Baskets at 10 a.m. and an Easter Vigil Mass at 8 p.m. On Easter Sunday, there will be Masses at 8am and two masses at 10am, one Mass in the church and one in the Parish Hall. Kids will be able to hunt for Easter eggs after the 10am Masses.
Where: 248 S Harbor Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
When: Palm Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, AND Sunday
Time: Usually 8am and 10am Palm Sunday / 8:30am Wednesday / 7pm Thursday / 9:45pm Friday / 8am and 10am Sunday

 

No matter where you are, near or far, have a wonderful Easter from everyone at Island Real Estate

Bean Point – Anna Maria Island’s Secret Serenity

 

Bean Point is a must stop spot on Anna Maria Island. it’s a local secret that provides the most breathtaking views of the sunset on a pristine beach.  Named for George Emerson Bean, the first permanent resident of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point is located on a secluded stretch of beach at the northern end of what was Bean’s original homesteaded property.

You won’t find a parking lot, or any large signs, to direct you to this treasure of nature.  To get there you’ll need to head North of the City Pier in Anna Maria on North Bay Blvd.  The “main entrance” to Bean Point is located at a small crossroads.  You will notice the tree lined path that divides the two properties at the the intersection of North Bay Blvd & North Shore Dr.  If you ride your bicycle, you can ride right up the path, and park just to the side of the classic, wooden footbridge that sets the tone for your Anna Maria beach experience.  If you drive your car, you have a few options.  There are actually entrances at the corners of Fern St & N. Shore Dr, and Gladiolus St. & North Shore as well.  Each of these entrances is marked by a small white posted sign that merely states “Public Beach Access”.  Using the intersection of North Bay blvd and North Shore will provide immediate access to the famed “Bean Point” but half the fun is getting there?  Using the public beach access point to the South will allow you to walk along the beach and take in the sites where the Bay and Gulf meet.  When parking you can choose a spot near any of these entrances, and take the path out to the beach.

Local Tip: parking regulations are strictly enforced on Anna Maria Island.  If it says No Parking, don’t do it. Unless you want a ticket. If you do park on the roadside be sure your tires are off the asphalt street. If just 1″ is on the street you most likely will return with a bad surprise after your leisurely stroll along Bean Point. There are spots along the side streets, including Gladiolus and Fern.  To park near the footbridge entrance, I would recommend heading down to Jacaranda to find an empty (and legal) parking place.

Once your car is settled, head up the nearest path to the gorgeous turquoise waters where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Tampa Bay.   After your leisurely stroll down the path, turn right when you get to the sand, and head north to the point, for spectacular views that include the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.    If the tide is low, you can see the sand bar just off the coast.  Just a little wading into the warm water will take you there, and you can shell ‘til your heart’s content!  The views are amazing, the water is inviting, and the atmosphere is relaxed and serene.  There are quiet spots to sit and enjoy the view, and watch the waters and the wildlife.  I love where the water collides as the tide shifts from the East side of Anna Maria Island to the West side.

There are signs of life relaxing all over the Point. There is always something to delight the bird watcher too, with several different types of birds to entertain you as they guard their beach turf from one another.

So head over to Bean Point and capture a quiet beach moment or a breathtaking sunset, and enjoy one of the most relaxing spots on an island famous for its relaxation.  Check out Vacasa’s Vacation Rentals to find your perfect spot to capture all that Anna Maria Island has to offer.    Call them toll free, at 800 778 6066, and one of our Vacation Rental Specialist can help you find your perfect spot.

Looking for a vacation rental close to Bean Point?  Grand Haven is just a few properties to the South and is a great bet for a Bean Point vacation as well.

 

Anna Maria Island Theater – Island Players

Anna Maria Island Theater

If you are in town while the Island Players are in session be sure to visit the Anna Maria Island theater!

Take in a fantastic “home grown” play at the historical Players theater at 10009 Gulf Drive in the city of Anna Maria. Usually the Island Players have five different shows that go on from middle of October to the middle of May. They claim to be “the best little playhouse in Florida” and also the oldest community theater in Manatee County.

The Island Players Theater seats 143 in tiered rows. Tickets cost $25/person or season tickets can be purchased for $92.50. Tickets can be bought at the box office in person or by phone at (941) 778-5755.

Locate their web site at Island Players.  Visit Island Real Estate for Vacation Rentals or Homes in Anna Maria City. Also visit the Island Real Estate Local Scene page for tons of fabulous suggestions for things to do while visiting Anna Maria Island.

Island Players
10009 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria City, FL, 34216

Anna Maria Island theater

Anna Maria, The Community Fig Newtons Built

Anna Maria – As you wander down the beach, watching the waves dance to a brief kiss on the sand, imagine the fierce spirit it took to develop this tropical paradise from then to now. It helps to eat a Fig Newton while you are pondering, because….

In 1891 a Philadelphia baker, Charles Roser invented and then patented the machine which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough. Kennedy Biscuit Company purchased the Roser recipe and started mass production in 1891. The product was named Newton after the small town of Newton, Massachusetts. When Kennedy merged with the New York Biscuit Company to form NABISCO, they trademarked Fig Newtons.

Around that same time, George Emerson Bean had homesteaded the northern 160 acres of Anna Maria Island in 1892.

With his financial windfall from the sale of his recipe and patent on the machine to make Fig Newtons, Charles and his wife moved to St. Petersburg, where he started a real estate development company. Charles had a sharp business mind and realized the opportunities that this little oasis provided. He partnered with Beans’ son, George Wilhelm Bean, after he inherited his fathers homestead in 1898 and the Anna Maria Beach Company was born.

They laid out the street maps, built sidewalks and a water system and began selling lots. At this time the only access to the island was by boat, so Roser built a 678 foot long pier to accommodate the ferries that would bring residents and day trippers to the Anna Maria Beach Company. Next he built the Roser Memorial Church in homage to his beloved mother. It was the first church on the island and has continued to grow and flourish over the 101 years it has been in existence! Roser also had a real estate business office built right at the end of Pine Avenue to catch the eye of everyone stepping off the pier to enjoy the island. It was a dream to own a piece of this paradise back then and it still is.

Bayfest 2014 Anna Maria Isalnd

Anna Maria – The 13th annual Bayfest 2014 event is right around the corner! If you happen to be lucky enough to be on Anna Maria Island for this event don’t miss it. If you don’t have plans to be here, you should make some! Bayfest has become a great destination event for those who have been to it before and it will be on your calender for years to come if you catch it this year. Pine Avenue on the north end of Anna Maria comes alive with music and the aroma of food created by some of our great Island chefs wafting through the air!

Bayfest 2014 a popular event

One of the most popular annual events in Anna Maria Island is Bayfest, the two-day celebration of music, food and arts and crafts, which is sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce and gets going at 5 p.m. Friday. Oct. 17, and continues through Saturday on Pine Avenue. It’s all free, family-friendly and open to the public. Friday’s music kicks off with DJ Mike Sales plus live music from Dean Johansen, Steve Arvey and Koko Ray. Bayfest runs until 10 p.m. Friday, at the corner of Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard, and then starts up again Saturday morning all along Pine Avenue with music from Gulf Drive, Can’t Turn Left, Renegade, Mike Sales & the Restless Natives, Scott’s Garage and Shotgun Justice. Chris Grumley will be the emcee for the Saturday’s music lineup.

There’s plenty to do when you want to take a break form the music, too, including Bayfest food, arts, crafts and retail vendors, a classic car show and lots of activities for kids. . Details: Oct. 17-18. Pine Avenue, Anna Maria Island. Festival times: 5-10 p.m. Friday, 9:45 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: Free. Information: 941-778-1541 www.annamariaislandchamber.org

 

The Galleries of Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – Anna Maria Island is not only a place to take in the natural beauty, but the man made beauty as well.   No need to go to a big city to view many different local artists.  A few names you may have even heard of such as Emerson, Sue Lynn Cotton or Barbara Hines.  You can either go to one of many local galleries, or gift shops on the island to find local work.  Some of our local artists can even be found in many of our vacation rentals.  Take a stroll through one of the galleries, and see if you recognize anything.

Art Space Deborah Webster
Dancing Water by Deborah Webster owner of Art Space Anna Maria.

Here are the local galleries for you all to enjoy.  Please click on the names below which will take you to their web site for phone numbers, hours and what collections are available for viewing throughout the year:

Artists Guild of Anna Maria Island – 5414 Marina Drive Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Anna Maria Island Art League – 5312 Holmes Boulevard Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Anna Maria Island Historical Society – 402 Pine Avenue Anna Maria, FL 34216

Island Gallery West – 5368 Gulf Drive Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Studio at Gulf and Pine – Corner of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue Anna Maria, FL 34216

Artspace Anna Maria – 101 South Bay Boulevard Anna Maria, FL 34216

Emerson Studio Store – 317 Pine Avenue Anna Maria, FL 34216

Some of these galleries will allow traveling artists to display/sell some of their pieces as well.  If you have some great pieces, and will be on the island for a while, this may be the perfect opportunity for you.

Sometimes you just need to slow the pace, enjoy life around you, and even experience it through someone else’s eyes. This is not hard to do when visiting the many fabulous galleries around Anna Maria Island.

AMI Historical Society – A Must Stop In Paradise

Your one stop shop for local history is the AMI Historical Society at 402 Pine Avenue. A visit to our island paradise isn’t complete without learning a little history. Here you can visit Three original island buildings in one location.

AMI Historical Society

The Historical Society formed in 1990 giving island visitors a glimpse into the past. The building which houses the museum was originally built in 1920 as the ice house. In 1927, the city built a jail next door, complete with bars on the windows which let swarms of mosquitoes feed on the unlucky guests who spent time locked up. The jail was operational until the 1940’s when a fire burned its wooden roof and door; it now makes for a great vacation photo! The most interesting building is Belle Haven Cottage… originally located on the Anna Maria City Pier when the pier was just a dock ….before it fell into Tampa Bay in 1926! The cottage was rescued from the sea floor and used as a home and rental cottage before relocating to its new location in 2001.

Inside these historical walls you will discover a myriad of treasures from days past collected by island residents. The old ice house is the perfect setting to see actual pine needle woven baskets made by Anna Maria’s original residents, the Native Americans. You can also peruse photos of the island in early days and see how fishing, sharks and even baseball shaped this island we love today! If you are lucky enough to visit on a Wednesday during “season”, be sure to pick up a loaf of Settler’s Bread, a rare treat!

For hours and more information on the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, visit www.AMIHS.org. You can even post your own photos of you in “jail” on their Facebook page!Anna_Maria_Island_Historical_Museum3-300x225

Anna Maria Island Wedding Festival – A Great Resource!

The Anna Maria Island Wedding Festival is a great resource! There is no better way to walk down the aisle on your special day than with toes in the sand. Enjoy the island breeze dancing on your skin with the captivating Gulf of Mexico as your back drop. Truly a romantic experience.

Anna Maria Island wedding Festival

Anna Maria Island has many festivals and events happening annually throughout the year. However, one of those festivals is Anna Maria Island’s Chamber of Commerce Wedding Festival! Meet with photographers, venues, caterers, florists, hair and make-up professionals and other wedding vendors. These folks can all help in planning your dream-come-true day!

There are prize giveaways including a wedding package which will has many of the amenities for a wedding. Examples of the prizes include dinner gift certificates, spa services, beach or wedding portraits, floral arrangements, music or DJ services, jewelry, island business gift certificates, complimentary resort stays, water sport certificates and sailing certificates too!

Upon check-in, you will receive a complimentary wedding festival tote to collect information in throughout the day. Also an island map to all the vendor sites and a schedule of activities and events happening throughout the day. You can then travel by the island’s free trolley or a mode of transport of your own to visit with vendors that interest you. In the evening, everyone will meet at a beach location for the Grand Finale. Additionally, food, prize giveaways and a mock wedding are just some of the events planned for this festival!

 

feature-weddings

beach-wedding-setup-ideas-lagaoth9 Anna Maria Island wedding festival wedding

Anna Maria Island Churches – Worship on Vacation

Anna Maria Island Churches offer worship service for both locals and visitors too! If you come from a family that the church is a big part of your lives the island has a service for.  You can even find a church service on days other than Sunday for special events, small groups or community service!  Some also go to church when away on vacation because worship services are the best way to start or end your week.

If you are a church goer then you are in luck as Anna Maria Island has a multitude of churches for different denominations.  You do not have to worry about not being able to make it home for church, so you can feel good about staying longer in paradise.  Please view the list below including a link to their direct web sites:

Anna Maria Island Churches

Episcopal Church of Annunciation
4408 Gulf Dr
Holmes Beach, FL 34217
941-778-1638

CrossPointe Fellowship (Non-denominational)
8605 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria
941 778 0719

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
6608 Marina Dr.
Holmes Beach, FL 34217
941-778-1813

Roser Memorial Community Church
P.O. Box 247, 512 Pine Ave.
Anna Maria, Florida 34216
941-778-0414

St. Bernard Catholic Church
248 S. Harbor Drive
Holmes Beach, Florida 34217 (941) 778-4769

Historic Green Village – The model of going Green on Anna Maria Island

If you’re on Anna Maria Island you have to check out the Historic Green Village (HGV). This unique combination of commercial and residential buildings combines today’s modern energy efficient technology in a historic setting.

Historic Green Village

Owners Mike and Lizze thrasher had a vision for Pine Ave when they vacationed here in 2007. The couple bought 4 adjacent lots on Pine Ave which only had two usable properties and a few abandoned garages. In 2009, when the renovations began, they purchased two different historic abandoned houses from around the island; the Sears Cottage, and the Anglers Lodge.

Building the Green Village

The Anglers Lodge is a huge two story house which required 300,000lbs of concrete reinforcement and required a temporary bridge built across one of the canals to move. It took three “heart slipping” hours to move the Anglers Lodge across the canal but was successfully delivered to the lots on Pine Ave.

During Renovations Architect Gene Aubry assisted the thrashers in choosing high quality building materials that reduce energy consumption. They also added in a fifth building, brand new, that was built to match the historic look of the other buildings. Mike and Lizzie Thrashers vision was to establish a group of buildings with a high level of sustainability. With the guidance of environmental consultant, Raymond Kaiser, the HGV was able to become only 1 of 100 places worldwide to earn the Platinum LEED certification and achieve Net Zero Energy during its first 18 months of operation.

Net Zero Energy

Net Zero Energy (NZE) building is one that relies on renewable sources to produce as much energy as it consumes. There are several main areas where buildings are evaluated to determine LEED certification. All the buildings are insulated with a special soy based formula that completely seals and insulates attics, keeping them at the same temperature as the rooms. The HGV also uses special energy efficient windows. These allow in maximum light and filter out the heat carrying infrared spectrum.

On top of the HGV buildings lay 400 photovoltaic solar panels which generate about 100kw, or 14,000$ in electricity annually. The photovoltaic solor panels collect energy from the minute the sun rises until the sunsets. The surplus energy created by HGV is sent to Florida Power and Light. The surplus comes back to the HGV when needed during rain storms and at night. Also, the buildings collect rain water to flush the high efficiency toilets and water the landscaping. Another way the HGV is saving energy, is the 450ft deep well pull that brings up 80° water from deep below the surface to help cool the AC, increasing efficiency by 30-50%!

A model of Green

The Historic Green Village is an inspiration to the local community. The Thrashers are hoping to influence others by proving that this is possible not only for commercial but residential. Despite the serious impact of this quaint historic village, don’t forget to check out the shopping venue while you’re here. The Relish Marketplace features Vintage clothing and accessories, reclaimed designer fashions and much more. Lastly, make sure to satisfy your sweet tooth with a delicious cupcake at Hometown Desserts and then browse the Bob Brown art gallery.