Bradenton Riverwalk Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Check Out All the Fun That’s Going on Throughout the Year 

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.
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/.

 

Fourth of July Firework Display:
The Bradenton Riverwalk puts on a Zambelli International fireworks show on the 4th of July ever year (weather permitting). Take a walk down Main Street, maybe grab a drink while you’re there, and then head over to the Riverwalk for a spectacular firework display over the Manatee River.
When: July 4th
Time: The grand firework finale will begin at 9pm

 

Music in the Park:
Picture yourself watching a beautiful sunset over the Manatee River, all while listening to amazing local musicians. That is exactly what the event Music in the Park is all about. This family-friendly occasion also offers snacks and beverages, including local craft beer and wine, for purchase. It is encouraged to bring a picnic basket, blankets and chairs, and even your furry friend (as long as they’re on a leash of course).
When: Begins the second Friday of March, and continues every Friday until the last Friday of April.
Time: 6pm – 8pm

 

Manatee Pride:
Manatee Pride is all about empowering and supporting the local LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) community. The event is put on by volunteers and has been taking place every year since 2014. Manatee Pride features different local vendors, live entertainment, and food and beverages, which includes the “Manatee Pride” beer.
When: Third Saturday of March
Time: 12pm – 5pm

 

Walk for the Poor:
The annual St. Vincent de Paul Walk for the Poor is an event supporting the poor in our community. All proceeds from the Walk for Poor go to helping those in need with food, clothing, and financial help to qualified families and those going through emergencies in their lives. Take a stroll through Riverwalk for a good cause.
When: Typically the third or fourth Saturday of March
Time: 8am – 10am

 

 

 

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

 

Winterfest:
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

 

Bayfest:
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.
Ticket(s):

 

 

. 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

 

 

 

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

Learn to Cook in Bradenton, Fl

Want to learn to cook while visiting Anna Maria Island?  While the post below is come and gone Publix Supermarket does offer cooking classes each month.  Be sure to visit Publix website for more information.  Until then below is some past history of classes offered just off Anna Maria Island.

Plants, herbs, recipes; oh my! On Tuesday July 16th, Chef Aedan will be hosting a seminar “Edible Plants of Summer”. The event takes place in the gorgeous Robinson Preserve, and then moves to the Chef’s Table to enjoy the delicacies discussed during the short hike through the preserve. This event requires reservations and is suitable for guests ages 13 and older.

Alternatively, on Wednesday July 17th, the Island Branch Library will be hosting a “Cooking With Herbs” demonstration. This informative class is free and open to all ages. This event is presented by the Manatee County Agriculture & Extension Service: Family and Consumer Sciences Division.

Robinson Preserve
Robinson Preserve

“Edible Plants of Summer”

July 16th, 2013 from 6 p.m to 7.3o pm

Robinson Preserve: 99th St NW and 17th Ave NW, Bradenton.

To make reservations, call 941-748-4501 ext. 4616

“Cooking With Herbs”

July 17th, 2013 at 2 p.m.

Island Branch Library:5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach

FREE admission

Anna Maria Island Christmas Parade

 

Annual Christmas Parade on Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island Christmas Parade 2012

We have four holiday parades a year on Anna Maria Island, each with its own distinct flavor. St. Patrick’s Day is a little more whimsical with an appearance by local celebrity Judy the Elephant and the Fourth of July is just to warm you up for fireworks and a dip in the clear, blue water of the Gulf of Mexico.

Continue reading Anna Maria Island Christmas Parade

Anna Maria Island Winterfest

Anna Maria Island Winterfest
Winterfest 2011

Get ready for the Anna Maria Island WINTERFEST – the annual Fine Arts and Craft show held in the Holmes Beach City Hall Field this Saturday and Sunday December 8th and 9th from 10-4:30 each day.  Parking and admission are free, leashed pets welcome.  Perfect place to pick up local art for holiday gifts!

Please note, this is an old post and the Anna Maria Island Winterfest changes from year to year.  Your best bet for more festival information is to check the Island Real Estate Facebook page as well as visit one of our local Anna Maria Island Newspapers for more event information.

Holmes Beach City Hall Field
5801 Marina Drive
Holmes Beach Fl 34217

 

Annual Winter Luminary Walk at De Soto National Memorial

Enjoy an evening of live music and history at De Soto National Memorial Park for the 4th Annual Winter Luminary Walk at Desoto National Memorial Park.  De Soto National Memorial will have the trails lit with thousands of luminaries on Saturday December 15th from 6:30 – 8:30pm.  You can catch a free shuttle from King Middle School courtesy of Anna Maria Island Community Center.

Continue reading Annual Winter Luminary Walk at De Soto National Memorial

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2012 Home Games

Tampa Bay Buccaneers logoEnjoy NFL action live and in person at the next home Tampa Bay Buccaneers Game, just less than an hour from the beaches of Anna Maria Island!  Sunday November 25th at 1pm in Raymond James Stadium the Bucs take on the Atlanta Falcons in a classic NFC South Divisional matchup.  Catch Josh Freeman, future Hall of Famer Ronde Barber and the November 4th Offensive Player of the Week RB Doug Martin in action.  Tickets available from just $35 at www.buccaneers.com.

Sarasota Medieval Fair is great day trip for Anna Maria Visitors

Renaissance Festival

Hear ye, hear ye!  The Sarasota Medieval Fair occurs annually in the month of November.  Just a short trip from Anna Maria Island it is a perfect day trip for visitors.  The Sarasota Medieval Fair is located at the Sarasota Fairgrounds on Fruitville Road rain or shine from 10-6 each weekend.  Enjoy performances by Jousters and Human Combat Chess.  Jump in and participate in craft demonstrations of pottery, basket weaving, blacksmith work, torched glass beading and even leather working.  Bring your appetite because the turkey legs are HUGE and the beer is served cold.

Tickets are available at the Medieval Fair website.

Visit Island Real Estate’s top ten list of things to do for more ideas of what to do when visiting Anna Maria Island.

Canine Christmas Festival Bradenton, FL

Santa DogCanine Christmas Festival 2012!

Each year the Bishop Animal Shelter holds a Canine Christmas Festival to raise awareness and money for dogs in the Bradenton, Fl area.  It is a fabulous time for all with parades, awards, raffles and everything in between.

If your a visitor to Anna Maria Island fear no more.  Island Real Estate offers plenty of Anna Maria Island Pet Friendly vacation homes that can be rented out.  The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper has an annual canine Christmas parade as well with local celebrity judges that tally the votes.

Too many things happening around the holidays to name in this post but a favorite among locals are the Holmes Beach and Anna Maria City walk about as well as the Anna Maria Island Privateer parade.  Sorry, who could forget the Anna Maria Island Community center holiday event.  Maybe the best information page we can provide is a previous December Anna Maria Island Events page to give our visitors some ideas of what to do.  Take a look, we hope this helps your holiday spirit!

Bishop Animal Shelter
5718 21st Ave W.
Bradenton, FL