Anna Maria Island holds some great holiday parades and St. Patrick’s day is no exception to the rule. The parade
typically starts in the late afternoon and of course it is in the month of March. The starting point for the past few years has been the outdoor plaza in Holmes Beach, Fl. The very same plaza that houses the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce as well as the Wells Fargo bank on the corner of Gulf Drive and Marina Drive. The St. Patrick’s day parade travels up Marina Drive past Island Real Estate all the way up to 85th street where it takes a jog to the East where the parade ends.
Each consecutive year the Holmes Beach based Irish parade has become larger and larger. The Beach Bistro initiated the St. Patrick’s parade just a few years ago and has quickly become a very high participation parade. Island Real Estate continues to participate in the parade and if you have never had the opportunity to drive down a street with wall to wall pedestrians waving, smiling and wishing you a happy holiday you need to give it a whirl. It’s simply fantastic.
In 2008 the Beach Bistro sponsored an Irish elephant, 2009 it was a Camel and 2010 it was an elephant AND a camel. You will have to come visit Anna Maria Island in 2011 to see what is next. Candy, treats, beads and lots of other items are thrown by the parade goers.
So where is the best place to stand? Island Real Estate at 6101 Marina Drive is a great spot. Another great spot is at the Gloria Del Lutheran Church on the corner of Marina Drive and Palm Drive. There is plenty of parking at the church which makes it a great place to stay if you are not staying a walk away from the parade route. Lastly, these spots are towards the beginning of the parade route so everyone should still have plenty of treats to be throwing to the crowd.
For the past several years Anna Maria Island has become a popular choice for a destination wedding and is called “The Beach Wedding Capital of Florida”. Two Island restaurants, the Sandbar and the BeachHouse Restaurant , were 2009 picks for The Knot’s Best of Weddings magazine, a coast-to-coast guide to top wedding-related businesses. New York based, The Knot Web site is recognized as the number one wedding Web site and The Knot magazine, published in more than 40 key cities across the United States, is the most trusted wedding resource for brides to be.
The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce is holding their annual Wedding Festival on February 28th 2010 which is a strolling-style, island-wide, fun and informative day. You can visit over 60 wedding professionals in the natural settings of their businesses whose goal it is to make all your wedding dreams come true. There will be a complimentary Trolley and Limo service to each vendor site, morning brunch, live entertainment, fashion shows and a sunset celebration finale. You can even enter to win one of the fabulous prize baskets totaling over $10,000 in prizes.
Tickets are $7 for preregistration or $10 at the door.
The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce is firing up their Friday Festivals right on schedule. If you have never made it to a Friday “Fest” you are missing a real treat. The first Anna Maria Friday Festival of 2010 is scheduled for Friday February 19, 2010. The time starts at 3 PM and the Music and vendors stop at 10 PM.
The Festival is held up on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria City at the EAST end by the public pier. Most folks park on Pine Avenue as they find a spot traveling EAST along Pine Avenue. There is some serious parking at the church and the market across from the Roser church on Pine Avenue.
The Friday Festivals held by the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce are always a good time because there are lots of arts and crafts booths as well as food booths to wet your appetite with our local flavors of food. The Chamber offers alcohol to patrons. I have been told by many it’s the coldest beer you can find on a Friday night at just $3.00 for a good size beer. There is also white and red wines available as well as in the past a mixed drink like a rum-runner. While you are having some great eats you can listen to some great local bands with live music. The best of all – the EVENT is FREE. Yes, it is FREE.
So if you are an Anna Maria Island Visitor or live here year long it is a fabulous event for young and old. Go check out some great live music outside with the Tampa Bay in the background at the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Friday Festival.
Be careful, if you are a visitor you may never go back and don’t worry, if you have to miss the Friday festival in FEB there are plenty more throughout the entire year!
The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce presents:
Island Music Festival FRIDAY FEST Date: Friday February 19, 2010 Time: 3pm to 10pm Location: Pine Ave & Bay Blvd Village of Anna Maria
Proceeds to benefit The AMI Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund; Participating Island Businesses and Local Not for Profit Agencies. If you are interested in participating in future Friday Festivals as a music venue, craft booth, or eatery just email the Chamber of Commerce.
For a location of the event see the map below and it is on the NORTH WEST corner of Pine Avenue and Bay Blvd.