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.

How NOT to spend a day at the beach Anna Maria Island

This is our guide on how not to spend a day at the beach Anna Maria Island. Our coastlines are a serene oasis for people all over the world. In order to keep them this way, here are a few tips on what to avoid when spending a day on the surf:

No Smoking on the beaches of Anna Maria Island1. Please no smoking on the beach!

Yes, it’s technically outside yet our wildlife is accustomed to our fresh clean salt air. Please do everyone a favor and don’t light up on the sand.

2. As tempting as it can be, please do not feed the seagulls.

If you’ve ever been the victim of a seagull swam fighting over a Cheeto, you’ll thank me for this warning.

3. If you see a turtle nest – please do not touch!

The nesting turtles are endangered and protected by law. Not only will harassers get a fine, the dirty looks from surrounding beachgoers may haunt your entire vacation!

4. Don’t be loud!

The natural sound of the waves crashing, the salty wind and sea birds calling is music to our ears – no loud radios necessary! Please leave the boom boxes at home and enjoy the soothing sounds of the Gulf of Mexico live in concert!
And Finally…

Respect the Sea Turtles on Anna Maria Island5. Don’t leave trash

When heading home after your glorious beach day, please make sure to gather all your belongings as well as any trash. Most beach access roads have large trash cans provided that you can use. Strive to leave your area of the beach even better than when you arrived – maybe start a game offering treats for the kids in your party to find extra trash!

When we all do MORE than just our share we can ensure the beautiful beaches of Anna Maris Island will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. If we are lucky enough to spend a day on the beach, then we’re lucky enough!

2014 Food and Wine on Pine – Anna Maria Island Festival

Anna Maria – The 4th annual 2014 Food and Wine on Pine is taking place on May 3rd on historic Pine Avenue in Anna Maria. Featuring the very best in food, win art and music on the island, you won’t want to miss this unique event.

2014 Food and Wine on Pine

2014 Food and Wine on Pine on Pine Avenue

Twenty five local restaurants will feature their unique cuisine. This is all while you taste at least thirty upscale wines. Craft and domestic beers will also be available! Approximately 40 juried artists, more than 30 musical acts and more will line Pine Avenue.

New for this year is a Kentucky Derby Tent. Here you can watch the spectacle on big screen tv’s called the Pine Avenue Downs. There will be other derby related events including betting on the race, a bar serving up Mint Julips and more. It’s almost as good at being in Kentucky!

This event is popular among locals and visitors, and is well attended every year too! While this event grows in popularity, it always offers something new each year.

Food and wine on Pine is organized by the Chiles group of restaurants. They will also be among the vendors list of participants.

Stay tuned to the Food and Wine on Pine website for more information!