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December — Holiday Things to Do on or Around ANNA MARIA ISLAND – Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals

Visiting with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals this year? Check out this list of holiday
things to do.
 
December 5 – December 22 — Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And then Some) at Manatee Performing Arts Center located at 502 Third Avenue West in Bradenton. Performing every Christmas story ever told — plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from anicent times to topical pop-culture, and every carol ever sung.
 
Friday, Dec. 6 @ 6:00 pm — Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce tree lighting, 5313 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach
Holiday Open House from 5-8:00 pm — Holmes Beach holiday celebration when area businesses will stay open late for some holiday shopping. There will be light bites, refreshments and entertainment. Gulf and Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.
Information: 941-778-1541
Holiday of Lights on St. Armands
Friday, December 6 — Holiday of Lights on St. Armands
One of our favourite places to eat and shop—St. Armands Circle! This special event “Holiday Night of Lights” is St. Armands official kick off to the holiday season. Join their Christmas carol sing-along at 6:00 pm followed by the tree lighting ceremony. Of course Santa will be there and pictures are available from 6:30-8:00 pm. As you are enjoying your walk around the circle don’t miss the live nativity scene at St. Armands Key Lutheran Church. Information: starmandscircleassoc.com
Saturday, December 7 from 9:00 am-1:00 pm—Holly Berry Bazaar and Food Market, Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 941-778-1638
10:30 am-2:00 pm—Lester Family Fun Day at the Center of Anna Maria Island, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. This 18th annual fun day offers lots of fun activities for the whole family. The fun includes pony rides, balloon animals, a dunk tank, crafts, cookie decorating, bounce house and more. There will be burgers, hotdogs and soda available to purchase. Games are 25 cents. And, the most important guest, Santa, will arrive at noon,. Information: 941-778-1908
5:30-7:30 p.m. —Maritime by Candlelight, Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th St. W., Cortez. Information: 941-708-6120
Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra’s “A Glorious Hallelujah!
Sunday, Dec. 8 @ 2:00 pm — Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra’s “A Glorious Hallelujah!” holiday concert, Palma Sola Presbyterian Church, 6510 Third Ave. W., Bradenton.
Sunday, December 8 at 6:40 pm Roser Memorial Community Church Bethlehem Walk — The walk begins in front of the church, located at 512 Pine Avenue in Anna Maria. Wear a costumes or come as you are (some costumes are available at the church on a First come basis) and bring a flashlight. The walk is a re-enactment of the joy of Christmas Eve with Mary, Joseph and animals travelling from inn to inn with Christmas carols being sung. Upon return to the church the birth of a Jesus Christ will be celebrated and sandwiches, cookies and hot chocolate will be served.
December 12- December 22 — A Classic Crosley ChristmasManatee Performing Arts Center, Powel Crosley Theater
Enjoy favorite traditions and new celebrations from the Crosley Players. Crosley’s
arrive for A Christmas Carol from the 1930s, Music Most Merry with the Mistletones from the 1950s, and hop aboard the Polar Express with siblings Christopher and Agnes Smith from the 1980s. Weather permitting, the opening and closing of each show will occur outside on the back patio and last for about 15 minutes each. It can be cool on the Bay, so dress accordingly.
Friday, Dec. 13 @ 4:00 pm — Holiday Carols in the Park, City Pier Park, Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard, Anna Maria. Information: 941-347-0109
5-7:00 pm — Anna Maria Island Centre shopping plaza holiday walkabout, 3218 E. Bay Drive, Holmes Beach. Information: 778-7978
5:30-8:00 pm — Anna Maria Holiday of Treasures, Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue, Anna Maria. Information: 941-374-0109
Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade
Saturday, Dec. 14 @ 10 a.m. — Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade
The Privateers annual Christmas parade starts at Bayfront Park in Anna Maria and runs the entire length of the island. It will travel along Gulf Drive and pass right in front of Anna Maris Island Condo Rentals so finding a perfect viewing spot will be easy.
Ending at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach where Santa boards the Privateers flagship, Skullywag.
December 14 from 4-8:00 pm — Christmas on Bridge Street
The Bridge Street merchants host this annual Christmas celebration on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. Bridge Street will be closed to traffic for this fun event. For everyone’s enjoyment there will be live bands, local Sweet Adeline singers, a cornhole tournament and free children’s Christmas ornament making activities.
7:00 pm — Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Bradenton Beach
While you are enjoying the holiday festivities on Bridge Street, you can also enjoy the spirit of the season watching owners set sail on their beautifully lit boats. The second annual Bradenton Beach Holiday Boat Parade will begin at 7:00 PM in the Intracoastal Waterway. The boat parade can be viewed by land. The parade will start south of Longboat Pass Bridge head North passing the Bridge Street Pier ending at the Bradenton Beach Marina. In total, the parade is expected to take 60 – 90 minutes.
Tip: Your best viewing will be from the Bridge Street Pier or the Cortez Bridge where the parade ends. These two spots will provide an optimal view of the lighted boats. As the boats approach the Bradenton Beach Marina near the end of the parade they will come right beside the pier before turning into the Marina.
Information: 941-778-2288
Selby Gardens Lights In Bloom
December 14, 2019 – January 4, 2020 — Selby Gardens Lights In Bloom
Stroll through the Selby Gardens at 811 South Palm Avenue in Sarasota. More than two million sparkling lights shine and twinkle transforming the Selby Botanical Gardens at the 16th annual “Lights in Bloom” celebration. You can explore and view the tropical holiday wonderland with nightly visits from Santa and his elves (before Christmas Eve). Take a tour of the holiday decorated Mansion. There will be children’s arts and crafts, activities and games, plus live entertainment. Grilled foods will be available for purchase. The gardens is closed on Christmas Day and there will be No Lights in Bloom December 31 and January 3. For tickets and additional information //selby.org/events/event/lights-in-bloom-2/
Now through to January 6, 2020 UTC Holidays on the Green
The Mall at University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota
Featuring a real ice skating rink, ice sledding, horse drawn carriage rides and a classic carousel. Friday’s and Saturdays at 7 pm enjoy holiday movies on the lawn.
In the spirit of the season we hope you enjoy these holiday events.
For the latest up to date news, things to do, travel tips, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog
Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals
Note: Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals offers the above company names and affiliated links as suggestions only. We are not receiving commissions from the above and are listing only to assist our guests. We recommend services that we or close friends and family have experienced.
The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared without the written consent of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals.

WATER-SHOW NEAR ANNA MARIA ISLAND – SKI-A-REES WATER SKI SHOW

Locking for something different to do?
FREE weekly Water Ski Show every Sunday February 4 to May 6, 2018 at 2:00 pm. The show is near Mote Marine Aquarium on City Island. Once you get to the aquarium just follow the Ski-A-Rees signs.
Just a short drive south along Gulf of Mexico Dr. from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217
Come out and watch the Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team as they perform a themed and spectacular one-hour water show. Fun for the whole family! Prepare to be dazzled with thrilling jumps and tricks, beautiful ballet and swivel lines as well as breathtaking pyramids. See these world-class champions as they rehearse at their base on Lido Key.
The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees are one of the best amateur water ski shows and the only saltwater ski team in the United States. Founded in October 1957 and with the support of the City of Sarasota and generous private sponsors they have been performing free water shows ever since. Being a non-profit organization, without the help from the City, the Ski-A-Rees would not have a place for practices or performances. They hold regular practices and participate in the Florida State Show Ski Championship, Southern Regional Show Ski Championship and compete in the National Show Ski Championship when possible. They were the 2017 National Champions and in 2016 won the Southern Regional Show Ski Tournament.
We thought the Ski-A-Rees put on a wonderful show with great music and entertaining announcers. They are a very professional group and their show is non stop, exciting and a great family activity. The announcer explains the different tricks, the history, and the equipment of the Ski-a-Rees. The skiers show so much skill with lots of fast moving organizing going on. Displaying their talent while performing tricks and even making a twelve person skiing pyramid made us feel like we had stepped back into the 1950’s except the music is up to date which is sure to please people of all ages.
When you go be sure to get there at least an hour early as it usually draws a big crowd. The bleacher seats, some of which are covered, but most of the seats are in the sun so dress accordingly. Sunscreen and hats for everyone! Bring a cushion if you don’t want to sit on the metal seats. We were in the open area which provides a behind the scenes view of the team. Talking to people seated in the covered stands, they were partially blocked from some stunts, but said it wasn’t often. You can also bring your own lawn chair. There is a shaded area under the trees where you still have a good view of the show.

Free parking and snacks and drinks are available for purchase.

Although the shows and parking are free, donations are appreciated as the Ski-A-Rees are a non-profit organization.

For the latest up to date news, things to do, travel tips, special offer and more continue to follow our Blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog 

WATER TAXI SERVICE DELAYED, BUT COMING SOON …

In October Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. – Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 wrote, The Sarasota Bradenton Ferry water taxi service will be launching in early 2018. It has now been announced the project has been delayed. We anticipate the launch will take place mid 2018 and promise to keep you updated.

The service will connect downtown Sarasota and downtown Bradenton to Bradenton Beach. The drive between Sarasota and Bradenton Beach (Anna Maria Island) can take approximately 40 minutes without traffic, but the commute by water is expected to take just 28 minutes. With the approval by all three cities in 2017, Captain Sherman Baldwin, owner of Paradise Boat Tours in Bradenton is ready to provide this innovative service. Unfortunately, a Bradenton Beach floating dock is delaying this long-awaited water taxi service.

Sarasota Bradenton Ferry is all ready to launch its 149-passenger high speed catamaran. The docks from the 10th Street Pier at Centennial Park in downtown Sarasota and the Bradenton Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton have been secured. The installation of the Bradenton Beach floating dock to unload and load passengers at the Historic Bridge Street Pier is the only thing holding the project back. Lenders will not release the ferry until all three docks are cleared for use. So until Bradenton Beach gets its dock in place this service is docked so to speak.

The Bradenton Beach dock contractor, Technomarine were to begin work in September 2017, butte active  hurricane season put them behind. We were in Bradenton Beach when Hurricane Irma swept through the area which gives us a better understanding of the delay. Installation of the dock is now scheduled for February 2018.

This long term project becoming a longer term project has work commuters, locals and tourists waiting a little longer. One thing we are sure of is that this long-awaited water taxi service will be worth the wait.

For the latest up to date news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog


What To Do On Anna Maria Island – Family days out – MIXON FRUIT FARMS

Mixon Fruit Farms is truly a unique location in the Bradenton Area to experience the taste of Florida!

Like us, you will probably be surprised when you visit. It is so much more than the citrus grove that we were expecting to see.

They share a portion of their citrus grove with Wildlife Inc. for a Florida Wildlife Care and Education Center providing land and shelter for orphaned and injured animals, birds and reptiles. Cages are built next to the orange trees where you can meet the animals up close. As part of their wildlife rescue project, we enjoyed the interactive show about rescued Florida birds, reptiles and animals.

We took a tour of the orange groves on their very own MIXON Orange Blossom Express. We enjoyed this one-hour tram ride with commentary that provided us with some interesting facts and fun trivia.

The best part was the stop where the animals are recovering from rescue. White skunk, gray raccoon, turtles, birds and we even got to hold a small alligator.

They have a really nice koi pond where you can feed the fish and a shady gazebo for those wanting a break from the sunny rays. We wandered around their tropical garden, another beautiful spot.

If you’re hungry they have an excellent Groveside Café. You can also bring your own picnic to eat outside and enjoy the surroundings.

Our visit wasn’t complete until we stopped at their gift store. We couldn’t buy a box of their citrus fruit without a couple of fruit themed bowls for home that nicely hold our fresh fruit.

Their 14,000 square foot gift shop displayed lots of nice souvenirs, many unique one of a kind gifts, as well as salad dressings, preserves, fruit teas and lots of Florida themed gifts.

The store is full of free samples from orange juice, lemonade, grapefruit juice, wine and more. You can also order and ship home their wonderful tasty fruit.
We were there in December and learned the best time to visit is from November to April which is the citrus season. But, MIXON Fruit Farms is open to visitors year round.

We spent about 3 hours there ending with their amazing must have orange swirl soft serve ice cream. I really think what made this such a great outing was that the staff were so friendly and energetic. This family owned and operated location is truly a Florida treasure!

For the latest up to date news, activities, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog.


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What’s On On Anna Maria Island – Fairs, markets, etc – Looking for a unique gift?

11/13/2017

Come out and see for yourself the talent of Nationwide, Award Winning Crafters.
For 25 years Buckler Craft Fairs have provided endless hours of shopping and have been the largest promoter of all indoor craft fairs.

CRAFT FAIR – November 25 & November 26 2017

FLORIDA STATE FAIRGROUNDS
4800 U.S. 301, TAMPA, FLORIDA

Stroll through the Buckler Craft Fair in Tampa Florida.
Pick up some handmade creations from local & national artist and crafters..
Here are just a few things you will find — Custom home decor, Unique gifts, Scarves and accessories, Jewellery,
Homemade soaps, Purse organizers, Gourmet tea, American girl doll clothes, Baby Items, Hair accessories, Candles,
Furniture and more!
Enjoy a day at the craft fair, there is something for everyone!

Buckler Craft Show
Date: Nov 25 – Nov 26, 2017
Location: Entertainment Hall
Florida State Fairgrounds

~ Convenient parking
~ Unlimited Re-Entry throughout the course of the show
~ Access to food and beverages
~ Children and strollers welcome

HOURS:
Saturday – 10am to 5pm
Sunday – 10am to 4pm

ADMISSION:
$6.00 per person
Kids 12 & under are FREE!
(one paid admission good both days with hand stamp)
$2.00 Off Admission with coupon or a canned good…benefits local food bank.

Go to floridastatefair.com for coupon to save $2 off admission

For the latest up to date news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog at Anna Maria Island Condo Rental/Blog

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Where To Eat And Drink On Anna Maria Island – Recommended restaurants – Free Mimosa – Brunch on the Beach – with Live Jazz – SANDBAR RESTAURANT

Enjoy Sunday brunch at The Sandbar and listen to some live jazz with Al Hixon.

From November 5, 2017 – December 24, 2017 The Sandbar Restaurant is offering a free Mimosa with brunch.

Inside and outside dining, literally yards from the water ON THE BEACH!

Enjoy being seated around a table with your feet in the sand while your food is being prepared creatively and with a wait staff that’s friendly and prompt.

Sound inviting?

If you are looking for a truly locally sourced dining experience we recommend the Sandbar restaurant. Goods grown in their own farm, serving fish fresh from the docks at Cortez and they make their own breads.

Their menu features picked and plated produce, locally grown clams and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

All this and a free Mimosa? What are we waiting for? …. See you at the Sandbar!

(Print the coupon below or take a picture on your phone & show it to your server)

Getting there is easy catch the free trolley in front of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals going north and get off at Pine Ave. Access the Anna Maria Island Free Trolley Schedule Here.

For the latest up to date news, events, activities, thing to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Bradenton Beach, Fl 34217


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What To See On Anna Maria Island – Exhibitions – 11th Annual artsHOP-Anna Maria Isalnd

11th Annual artsHOP – Art walk & Seahorses Public Art Launch – Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Bradenton Beach

Looking for a fantastic way to spend an afternoon?

Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island is celebrating the 11th Annual artsHOP by hosting an Art Walk and Seahorses public art launch on Saturday November 11th from Noon to 5pm. Bridge Street will be offering plenty of art, music, food and fun.

The Art Walk is a low-key event which is typical of the Island. It is a stand-alone activity for locals and visitors to the island. Larry Wilhelm, of Longboat Key, will provide the live entertainment for the Art Walk as a pirate strolling minstrel.

The Art Walk will also be the start of the 3rd Annual Bridge Street Public Art Project. Seahorses will be first available for pickup for a $30 refundable fee at one of the Bridge Street shops, Sea-renity (Stop # 4)

Historic Bridge Street features the beach to the west and the bay on the east.

Bridge Street is a walkable community with spectacular water views from both the pier looking out over Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico beaches.

All of Anna Maria Island provides you with an “Old Florida” experience, but the feeling is exceptionally vibrant on Bridge Street. Here you will feel what Florida was like decades ago.

As you look for that perfect piece of art, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants on Bridge Street. Enjoy some shopping at any of the quaint boutique style shops and take in the scenic view of the water with a walk on the Bridge Street Pier.

This tourist attraction is a former bridge, once the only way to access the island. You will see plenty of fishermen there and families stopping to watch the boats pass by.

Hop on the free Anna Maria Island trolley which stops nearby so you’ll be able to get to Bridge Street easily while taking away the worry of having to pay for transportation or parking.

ArtsHOP on Bridge Street is a place to enjoy the art and also a fun day trip to this scenic, family friendly area.

A perfect way to spend another perfect day on Anna Maria Island!

For the latest update news, activities, events, things to do, special offer and more continue to follow our blog at Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Bradenton Beach, Fl 34217

Click here for more local information about #whattoseeannamariaisland

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What to see in annamariaisland – Exhibitions – 11th Annual artsHOP-Anna Maria Isalnd

11/09/2017

11th Annual artsHOP – Art walk & Seahorses Public Art Launch – Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Bradenton Beach

Looking for a fantastic way to spend an afternoon?

Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island is celebrating the 11th Annual artsHOP by hosting an Art Walk and Seahorses public art launch on Saturday November 11th from Noon to 5pm. Bridge Street will be offering plenty of art, music, food and fun.

The Art Walk is a low-key event which is typical of the Island. It is a stand-alone activity for locals and visitors to the island. Larry Wilhelm, of Longboat Key, will provide the live entertainment for the Art Walk as a pirate strolling minstrel.

The Art Walk will also be the start of the 3rd Annual Bridge Street Public Art Project. Seahorses will be first available for pickup for a $30 refundable fee at one of the Bridge Street shops, Sea-renity (Stop # 4)

Historic Bridge Street features the beach to the west and the bay on the east.

Bridge Street is a walkable community with spectacular water views from both the pier looking out over Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico beaches.

All of Anna Maria Island provides you with an “Old Florida” experience, but the feeling is exceptionally vibrant on Bridge Street. Here you will feel what Florida was like decades ago.

As you look for that perfect piece of art, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants on Bridge Street. Enjoy some shopping at any of the quaint boutique style shops and take in the scenic view of the water with a walk on the Bridge Street Pier.

This tourist attraction is a former bridge, once the only way to access the island. You will see plenty of fishermen there and families stopping to watch the boats pass by.

Hop on the free Anna Maria Island trolley which stops nearby so you’ll be able to get to Bridge Street easily while taking away the worry of having to pay for transportation or parking.

ArtsHOP on Bridge Street is a place to enjoy the art and also a fun day trip to this scenic, family friendly area.

A perfect way to spend another perfect day on Anna Maria Island!

Click here for more local information about #whattoseeannamariaisland

This post was created by Terry Whyte


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Where To Stay On Anna Maria Island – Guest reviews – Super Big Shout Out To The Rudolph Family For Their Awwwwesome Review:

Review #20531558 “The Anna Maria Island Beach Sands-Private Beach Access-Heated Pool-Overlooks The Gulf”

Family Friendly Beach Getaway!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
We absolutely loved the location of this condo! We explored all the beaches but found the one directly across the road had the best beach and least amount of people. We walked to a different restaurant every evening. It’s close to the bridge street warf where we rented fishing rods. Lots of shopping handy too.
The condo itself was very well equipped with everything we needed to cook and go to the beach. Beds where super comfy. The TV was huge with a ton of channels…not that we had time to watch it much!
Our 3 kids slept in the guest bedroom and had lots of room for their things.
All the furniture was very modern and new. The view from the deck is stunning but u can also see the ocean from almost every window.
On our arrival there was wine and chocolates on the counter waiting for us.
Terry was super helpful and gave us lots of advice on where to eat and what to see. He also gave us his cell number if we needed help with anything.
We loved our stay and would return in a heartbeat!

Date of arrival
October 30, 2017

For the latest up to date news, events, things to do and special offers continue to read our blog at Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Bradenton Beach, Fl 34217


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What To Do On Anna Maria Island – News – ANNA MARIA CITY PIER TO RE-OPEN IN 2019

While Hurricane Irma took many last-minute shifts and turns many areas in Florida were spared catastrophic damages, the historic Anna Maria City Pier didn’t fare so well..

It was obvious after the passing blow on September 10th and 11th that Irma had badly damaged the 678 foot pier that was built in 1911. The tin roof was torn off the bait shop and there was significant damage on the northwest side to the wooden planking. The days after Irma swept through Anna Maria Island it was unclear when the City Pier and its restaurant would re-open to the public.

Originally, officials were hopeful it would only be closed for a short time, possibly taking a few months to a year to repair. The initial engineering assessment found the pier to be in poor condition and found shifted beams and missing pilings causing portions of the walkway to sag not providing adequate support. The report recommended an immediate closure with a timeline of 12+ months to complete necessary repairs.

It appears now the damage far more extensive than what was anticipated, and in October the city commission voted for the City Pier to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.

The estimated date to re-open is 2019. While the material will be different, officials say the new pier will look the same as the original. That is a small consolation for those where the pier was their favourite place to look out at the Gulf with Egmont Key to the left and straight ahead the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

It’s not easy now for the dozens of fisherman who sat daily atop their buckets, in the afternoon casting for snapper and shark in the evening.

What will happen to the wooden planks of the pier carved with names and remembrances? I’m sure they will be sold, people lining up to buy a piece of what remains of their pier.

The pier is sentimental to so many, their favourite place to go and for them 2019 can’t come soon enough.

For the most up to date Anna Maria Island news, events, things to do and more continue to read our blog at Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals/Blog – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Bradenton Beach, Fl 34217


Click here for more local information about #whattodoannamariaisland

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