Island Real Estate has compiled a list of our top 4 winter activities that you just can’t miss this season! There’s always fun and exciting activities happening on Anna Maria Island, and December is no exception!
Top 4 Winter Activities
AMI Privateers Annual Christmas Parade
Kick off December events with the AMI Privateers Annual Christmas Parade! Starting on the north end’s Bay Front Park, the parade begins at 10am Saturday the 12th. Continuing down Pine Avenue to Gulf Drive, the parade will proceed south all the way to Coquina Beach. While this is truly a fun family event, make sure to catch the parade!
The 28th Annual Winterfest
The Anna Maria Island Art league presents Winterfest in it’s 28th year! December 12-13th from 10am-4:30pm. Winterfest is held in the Holmes Beach city hall field located at 5901 Marina Drive. Winterfest is a fabulous opportunity to view and purchase amazing artwork with the entire family. There will be a juried art exhibit, “Young at Art” . Additionally, there will be an activity area, food and live music. The Anna Maria String Band will be playing 10am-1:30pm with Howie Banfield & Scott Blum Contemporary Beach music to follow.
Christmas on Bridge Street
If you missed the annual Christmas Tree lighting in Bradenton Beach you still have a chance to celebrate the holidays on Historic Bridge Street! On December 19th from 4:30-8:30pm The Bridge Street Merchants present Christmas on Bridge Street. This family friendly event benefiting Roser Food Pantry offers live music too! Listen to singers from the Joyful kids’ Choir, Rowlett Kids’ Choir, the Powell Crosley Dickens Carolers and local duo Russ and Brandi. Enjoy the holiday market, children’s craft and cookie bazaar, hot chocolate bar and a fabulous raffle and auction. Enjoy strolling Bridge Street, and be sure to stop by to see Anna Maria Island largest live Christmas Tree!
Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
After Christmas on Bridge Street ends head out to the Bridge Street pier next! Here you’ll watch the 12th Annual Cortez Yacht Club Lighted Boat Parade. Starting at 6pm at the Seafood Shack in Cortez the festive lighted boats will circle the Sarasota Bay area.
Anna Maria Island – The beautiful island beach weather may be making it difficult for some to get into the Holiday spirit this season, but the Christmas Parade will help. What better way to spread festive cheer than celebrating with the annual Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade! This Saturday Dec. 13th residents and visitors will gather beginning at 10am at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria and ending at Coquina Beach.
Local businesses and the general public will trim vehicles and floats with holiday decorations. Festive music also adds cheer for all those witness to the magic. Bring a chair and a hot chocolate thermos. The road will remain closed until the parade concludes.
Upon parade conclusion, the Privateers pirate ship will dock at the Coquina Beach parking lot to continue the celebration with Santa himself! Children are welcome to whisper their wishes to the big man directly who will have an early gift for each child. Free sodas and hot dogs are also available for all children on Santa’s nice list. Get in the Holiday spirit and come join the fun!
Anna Maria Island – A small town Anna Maria Island parade is just what is needed to bring together the locals and vacationers. When you forget your cares for a few hours, and become friends with anyone who sits next to you. You strike up a conversation about the pristine Anna Maria Island beaches, or even about the vacation rental they are staying in for their beach holiday while you wait for the first sounds of fanfare to hit your ears.
There is a simple thrill you get when you see the colorful floats, hear the music, to grab as many beads/candy as possible and also seeing the joy of children’s faces when someone in the parade looks their way before tossing something just for them! Even seeing someone on one of the floats you recognize will make you stand up and cheer. If you are a local or frequent visitor to Anna Maria Island you will see many businesses you know or have used in these parades. Maybe even one year you yourself will be on one of the floats handing out joy!
It seems Anna Maria Island has a parade for just about everything. Here is a list of some of the bigger parades you will see for different times throughout the year:
Christmas Parade – usually the 2nd week of December
Lighted Boat Christmas Parade – also usually the 2nd week of December
St. Patrick’s Day Parade – usually the Sunday right before or after March 17th
July 4th Parade – always on July 4th no matter what day of the week that is
The parade route usually runs north from Coquina Beach on south Anna Maria Island, to the Anna Maria City Pier at the end of Pine Avenue using Marina Drive. Depending on how many floats participate will make the difference of where the parade starts. Island Real Estate always makes sure we have a presence, and everyone on the float is someone who works in the office and/or their families. We love the chance to get out in the community, and bring our beach guests a little extra happiness during their Anna Maria vacation.
Next time you plan your beach vacation on Anna Maria Island with Island Real Estate make sure to ask your Reservationist if there may be a parade during your stay! If there is make sure to set that day aside to come join in the festivities on Anna Maria Island. Look forward to seeing you soon with your lawn chair next to mine, and I may even share the goodies I collect.
WHAT: Prepare your floats! Ready your lawn chairs! Candy and beads everywhere! Merry Christmas to Anna Maria Island, it’s the annual Christmas Parade!
Watch out for that ship…. follow the Anna Maria Island Privateers to SANTA!
On Saturday, December 7, 2013, the parade begins at 10am on the east end of Pine Avenue traveling from the staging area at Bayfront Park, through the city of Anna Maria. From there, the parade continues south through Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach, concluding at Coquina Beach. Upon arrival at Coquina Beach, Santa’s Open House welcomes the children of the island, both visitors and islanders alike. The Jolly Old Man himself will be there to hand out gifts to the children. Kids may also enjoy refreshments of hot dogs and sodas during their visit with Santa Claus.
Whether watching from the side of the road or riding in a float, the Anna Maria Island Christmas Parade is a favorite island tradition. This island event is interactive, so kids remember to bring a bag and gather your loot!
Christmas Parade & Santa Open House
December 08,2012 at 10am
As another holiday season rapidly approaches, the Anna Maria Island Privateers would like to invite you to participate in their 2012 Christmas Parade on December 8th, followed by our Santa Open House at Coquina Beach; where the man in red will be handing out gifts to the youngsters. This much anticipated annual event brings great joy to children and adults, islanders and visitors alike.
We hope you will celebrate this special kick-off to the Holiday Festivities by enjoying the parade, which begins at Bayfront Park then travels south along Anna Maria Island, through the three island cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach. We hope everyone can come out and enjoy the experience and spread the joy to others!