UNUSUAL LOCAL SHOPS – Anna Maria Island

THE SEA HAGG IN CORTEZ FISHING VILLAGE  –  941-795-5756

Don’t miss taking a stroll through this very unique store minutes from our condo. While travelling East you will find The Sea Hagg on Cortez Road about three blocks past the Cortez bridge.
Before you even enter the shop you will see many interesting pieces. The front yard, referred to as the Salvage Garden, you will find old boats, sculptures and probably something that no one else has. So many eclectic items and nautical themed salvage. Located a short walk across the Cortez Bridge from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. – Anna Maria Island 34217 – Florida

The inside of The Gift shop is amazing. You will see some of most interestIng floor to ceiling Nautical curiosities, antiques and gifts. If you’re looking for an unusual, one-of-a-kind piece, this place will have it.

I found some cute mermaid and seahorse decorative soaps as well as coffee mugs priced very reasonably. I thought some items were priced high, but asked myself, could I find them somewhere else? The answer was, probably not.

The Sea Hagg will ship items (domestic delivery) to your doorstep, please ask them about International delivery.

VILLAGE OF THE ARTS IN DOWNTOWN BRADENTON  –  villageofthearts.com

Located only five blocks from downtown Bradenton in a quaint residential-commercial area.

The Village of the Arts is full of 1920’s restored bungalows. These colourful bungalows are home to galleries, restaurants, studios and specialty shops. This vibrant art community has lots of unique venues. The Village offers an eclectic mix of art, ranging from pottery, paintings, metal work, jewellery music, gourmet cuisine, fashion and literature.

It is amazing to go into these artists own homes/studios to view their products. We found so many different types and styles of art on display and were amazed how talented all these artists are. The variety of art and artist is beyond impressive. All the neighbours we met were very friendly and the artists were very talkative.

There are several restaurants to choose, the following are my favourites, Bird Rock Taco Shack, Arts and Eats and Orytgia.

Businesses are open year round, seven days a week, but each has different daily hours. We found the best time to go is the First Friday night or Saturday afternoon of the month (First Friday Art Walk) as most places will be open. I recommend calling the galleries and the restaurant you’re planning on visiting the day before because this is a live/work community and many places are by appointment only. Most places in Village has easy access to free street parking.

We love the Village of Arts and the mom and pop feel of a genuine live/work neighbourhood along with the sincerity of the unique artists and vendors.

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


Looking for a different way to see Anna Maria Island? Here are a few tours we recommend…

Paradise Boat Tours – 200 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach FL – 941- 465-8624
A twenty-eight passenger power catamaran with padded seating and wind protection for cooler days. This is a great tour for all ages with a discount for seniors and children 3 and under are free. Take this fully narrated 90 minute tour while looking for dolphins, manatee, stingray and other wildlife. They advertise that 95% of their tours see dolphins. Tours are daily with sunset BYOB. (Located just a few minutes walk of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217).

Happy Paddler Kayak Tours & EcoVentures – Anna Maria, FL – 941- 773-1920
Enjoy an amazing tour combining ecology, history, preservation, and wildlife. Happy Paddler tours are suitable for any fitness level. They offer different tours all at a comfortable pace and you can take little breaks along the way.You can plan to encounter ospreys, egrets and pelicans, along with manatees, dolphins, possibly even a sea turtle!
We highly recommend Casey for a truly unique gulf coast experience.

Snapper Addict Fishing Charter – 2504 88th St Ct NW, Bradenton, FL – 941-812-6364
Captain Layne has been fishing local waters his entire life. He will personalize your fishing trip, just tell him what you want. Great for the first time or seasoned fisherman Layne will customize your trip bringing his vast experience and love for fishing to your offshore adventure. Snapper Addict specializes in light tackle helping you catch Snapper, Grouper, Kingfish, Hogfish, Covina or Shark. Individual or a family looking for a fun afternoon on the water? Give Snapper Addict Fishing Charter a call, you will be glad you did!

Bradenton Beach Marina – 402 Church Avenue North, Bradenton Beach FL – 941-778-2288
Offering a wide selection of boat tours, boat rentals and jet ski rentals. Want a boat rental on Anna Maria Island where you can spend 1/2 day or full day cruising the bay? The Bradenton Beach Marina offers bowriders, deck boats and pontoon boats. Their boat tours include dolphin tours and sunset cruises. No matter which tour or rental you choose we know you will enjoy the great views of beautiful Anna Maria Island.

Segs by the Sea – 102 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach FL – 941- 209-5970
Segs by the Sea offers a variety of beautiful scenic Segway tours throughout Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, and Cortez. Enjoy Bradenton Beach and the surrounding areas using this Eco-Friendly form of transportation. Segways are available for self guided rentals, guided and and custom tours. Training and helmets are provided. Segs by the Sea also offers bikes, electric bikes, scooters kayaks, stand up paddle boards and golf carts for tours and rentals as well. Jetskis, boat rentals and tours, and parasailing can also be reserved at Segs by the Sea, Bradenton Beach.

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


Anna Maria Island Historical Museum ~ Belle Haven Cottage ~ Old City Jail 

This small museum is worth the stop! The staff are welcoming and extremely knowledgable. All sorts of interesting facts – ie: one of the original island residents was the creator of the Fig Newton recipe! – Or, tourists used to rent WOOL bathing suits at the beach when they visited the island!
We stopped in on a whim while shopping on Pine Avenue and really enjoyed it. You can browse and spend just an hour or you could take your time and spend hours reading and investigating all they have to offer. Great for both adults and children. They offer a scavenger hunt for kids with a prize at the end. Admission is free, but please remember to leave a donation!
Just a short free trolley ride from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island 34217
Learn about the early settlers and the Museum Building that was constructed as an icehouse in 1920. It went on to serve as an automotive garage, a sea turtle hatchery, and a public administration building. In 1992, the City of Anna Maria began leasing the building to the Historical Society for use as a museum. The museum’s exhibits tell the story of the first settlers on the island and their legacy including archived records for research into families and businesses. You can also learn the Island’s fishing and baseball history.
After seeing the Museum visit The Belle Haven Cottage which is a historical cottage furnished with heirlooms and antiques demonstrating early island living. The cottage was originally built on the City Pier in 1920 and was used as a fish packing plant, rental cottage and bait shop. In 1926 it fell into Tampa Bay Bay and was pulled from the waters to become a family home on the Island for decades. Belle Haven was rescued from demolition in 2001 and moved to the Historical Park being restored in 2006.
Continue to the Old City Jail that was built in 1927 to detain local troublemakers and house the rowdies who had a little too much to drink at the local roadhouse. It was used as a jail until it caught fire in the 1940’s. Left with no roof, no windows bars and no door it is used as a photo op for visitors. The jail is one of the most photographed attractions on the island and a  “must-see” site that was featured in Ripley’s “Believe it or Not”.

Sale of Settler’s Bread-On Wednesdays, November through March come for food and fun in the Historical Park.

Taste the original Settler’s Recipe Bread. Proceeds benefit theAMIHS Scholarship Fund. 

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


New Years Eve on Anna Maria Island

CELEBRATE NEW YEAR’S EVE 2017

There are lots of exciting events this year on Anna Maria Island or in nearby Bradenton or Sarasota.

Hosting its festive beachside New Year’s Eve party that rivals the best of them, with a full fireworks display. 

Dinner will be served outdoors on the covered deck as well as inside the restaurant. Enjoy their impressive seafood and cocktails. First-come-first serve tables so come early.

SEAFOOD SHACK – 4110 127th St W,  Cortez, FL 34215    941-794-1235

Seafood Shack’s The Neptune Room will host a most entertaining New Year’s Eve celebration. Includes party favors, multiple bars, drink specials, Chef’s special Party Appetizer Menu and live music & dancing with The Eric Von Band.BRADENTONOld Main Street, 400 12th Street W, Bradenton

Food trucks, pubs, casual eateries, boutique shops, and other independent businesses are all joining in the festivities of Main Street Live this New Year’s Eve.

Aside from an eclectic and unique selection of specialty food providers from all over the city, you will find a bustling center of local live music, family activities, and dancing on the closed off streets.

You will have to take a short drive off of Anna Maria Island for the event, but it is well worth it. Be sure to leave room for a few different dinner options. There’s every type of cuisine available in downtown Bradenton and more. The event starts at 5pm and will continue past midnight.

SARASOTA

You are guaranteed a full afternoon and evening of excitement at The Pineapple Drop in Sarasota. 

Rivalling the Times Square ball drop enjoy the fun in a much warmer climate.

The drop occurs at midnight, but the party starts earlier in the afternoon at around 1 p.m. around Lemon Avenue and Main Street. People from all over the country visit for the carnival-like atmosphere, vendors, incredible local food, gifts, rides, live music and a host of other spectacular attractions.

Marina Jack Fireworks – 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota    941-365-4232

Marina Jack’s will be host to a brilliant firework display. The display will be outside the marina at midnight. You can watch the fireworks from an inside table or free at the Bayfront Park or other nearby points.

Inside the marina you’ll get to enjoy live music while dining on elegant seafood and sipping their specialty cocktails.

Seating for dinner at the Deep Six Lounge & Piano Bar and Blue Sunshine Patio Bar & Grill at the marina will start at around 7pm. The dining room will have two seating options, one from 4pm to 7pm and another starting at 8:45pm. Or, take a cruise on the Marina II with a full buffet, while dancing to live music.

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM ANNA MARIA ISLAND CONDO RENTALS!


ANNA MARIA ISLAND – RAINY DAY THINGS TO DO ….

 

Every once in a while it rains in Paradise. If you happen to be on Anna Maria Island on a rainy day there is still plenty to do. Below is a list of a few things we do to endure a rainy day. Those listed off the Island, can be found on Manatee Avenue or Cortez Road in Bradenton, all a short drive from the condo.

  • Bowling at AMF Bradenton Lanes-4208 Cortez Road West-Only 10 minutes east of Anna Maria Island you will find open bowling on Cortez.
  • Take in a movie at Oakmount Theatre – 4901 Cortez Road West, Bradenton is only 10 minutes from Anna Maria Island.  There you will find all the normal requirements necessary to enjoy the latest blockbuster of a movie.  Popcorn, reclining seats, hot dogs, candy, soda, everything you need to ensure you are on a true vacation.
  • Trolley Hopping (bring an umbrella) – Take the entire day and hop on the free Island TROLLEY. Get off at the many stops and enjoy the many stores, bars and restaurants along the way. Make your last stop at the Island Grocery Store and buy fresh seafood to cook for dinner that night.
  • Visit the Bradenton Beach Library – Relax and read a good book or catch up on the latest magazine gossip or news at the Tingley Memorial Library, 111 2nd Street N. Bradenton Beach. Located two blocks south of Cortez Road, within walking distance of the condo and near a Free Trolley Stop. You do not need to be a member of the library to use the services. You will need a library card if you plan to take books, CD’s, or DVD’s home.  Enjoy their free 24/7 Wireless Access to use with your own device or use their on-site computers with Internet. They have current popular fiction and non-fiction large print books and an amazing collection of movies, as well as magazines and puzzles available for check-out or purchase. They have an ongoing book sale including first editions and rare books. The children’s area has plenty of books, games, a computer for their use as well as toys to play with.
  • Spa Day – Pamper yourself with a SPA DAY.  Anna Maria Island offers many spas that can accommodate your every whim. Massage, pedicure, hair, sea wraps, you name it.  Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach boasts several spa choices to choose from.  In addition there are several individuals that will come to your VACATION RENTAL and give you a massage in your accommodations. It’s a bit tough to schedule a rainy day in paradise but you should be able to plan your spa day last minute as there are plenty of choices on Anna Maria Island.
  • Enjoy your Anna Maria Island beach rental – The benefit of a beach rental is the feeling of being in a home and not just a hotel room. Our beach rentals offer great amenities and activities. During your visit you may find DVD players, board games, books and wireless internet to keep you entertained. Or, curl up on the couch and take a nap. What better place to do that than in your luxury beach rental.
  • Our last suggestion is to wait a few hours. Anna Maria Island rarely has weather where it rains all day. If you are lucky you just might look outside and the sun will be shining again.
  • For the latest up to date news, things, to do, events, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog

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MARIETTA MUSEUM OF ART AND WHIMSY IN SARASOTA

The MARIETTA MUSEUM OF ART AND WHIMSY is a delightful place to visit with the entire family. You’ll find a large variety of interesting works to see from fine art to kitsch. The Marietta Museum offers a traditional museum setting as well as a beautiful sculpture garden too. This museum and sculpture garden is unique in offering light hearted paintings, sculpture and a wide range of artworks. The different artworks include a mosaic mirror in the ladies room offering choices of “who will I be today”.  Your children will find enjoyment as they see the stainless steel rocket ship, the cool bench that looks like a toucan, as well as the very realistic police officer that is actually a soft sculpture.

We loved the sound and light show. When we talked or exclaimed the lights on the walls and ceiling reacted with a crazy dance.

Founder and Curator Marietta (Mary) Lee was an emergency room nurse for many years and found art helped her to de-stress. Her passion to share her love of art is what led her to start this attraction. She had a great desire to share her collection at this museum and to create a space for people to relax and enjoy art. Her wish was that art be inclusive to all. A unique feature of this museum is half the artists are women, half men, and almost all are still living.

You can’t miss the museum on North Tamiami Trail as the exterior is painted bright pink with Key West accents.

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Annual Christmas Cookies N’ Cans Party December 9, 2017 Saturday from 1 to 4 PM

The museum’s yearly cookies swap.  Visitors can bring homemade or store bought cookies to eat and exchange.  Cans or nonperishables can also be brought to be put under the Christmas tree for the All Faiths Food Bank.  Any Left over cookies are packaged for local police, firemen, Sarasota Building Dept., and the Sarasota Library.

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The Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy is open November 24, 2017 to May 26, 2018

ThursdayFridaySaturday 1PM to 4PM – Closed for Major holidays

No Cafe or Retail store on site.

There is No Entrance fee, but a $5.00 Donation per person, per admission is suggested.

(Credit Cards are not accepted)

This is a non profit organization and your donations are greatly appreciated to help keep this lovely museum operating.

Just a thirty minute drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217.

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 Rentals/Blog 


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December Lights – Anna Maria Island

We welcome our guests to delight in a Beach Christmas when you vacation with us. No shovelling snow, instead shovel sand to build your very best sand castle. The Island is all decorated for Christmas and has many activities for you to enjoy.
 
December 8, 2017 – 5:30 to 8 pm
Anna Maria Holiday of Treasures – Stroll along Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria and enjoy cookies and eggnog with entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus at City Pier Park.

At 6:00 pm see the Roser Children’s Choir perform in the the Historical Park at 402 Pine Avenue

December 9, 2017 – 10 am – 12:30 pm
Privateer’s Christmas Parade and Santa Open House
The parade will go the entire length of the island, starting at the north end  (Bay Front Park) ending at Coquina Beach, where Santa will board the Privateers’ Flagship “Skullywag” for all the kids to sit on Santa’s Lap. Hotdogs, chips and soda will also be provided for all the kids.
December 9 & 10, 2017 – 10 am – 4:30 pm both days 
Winterfest – A festival of Fine Arts & Fine Crafts will be held at Holmes Beach City Hall Field. 5901 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island
December 10, 2017 – 8:30 am – 10 am
Candles & Carols – Enjoy a presentation of the Advent Cantata “Candles & Carols” at Roser Community Church, 512 Pine Avenue in the City of Anna Maria
December 15, 2017 – 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Holiday Open House at Anna Maria Island Centre, 3246 E Bay Drive, Holmes Beach. The Shops will be open late spreading holiday cheer with entertainment, eats, treats and fun for everyone.
December 16, 2017 – 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Christmas Festival on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach –  see the beautifully decorated Christmas tree with music playing, games, food and drinks while shopping on beautiful historic Bridge Street.
December 24, 2017 – 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service – there will be two candlelight services held at Roser Community Church Sanctuary, 512 Pine Avenue in the City of Anna Maria.
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

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SARASOTA JUNGLE GARDENS 

 A fun daytime activity if you’re looking to get away from the beach while still enjoying the sunny weather. This family attraction has been a favourite since 1939.
Visit Sarasota Jungle Gardens where you will find 10 acres of lush gardens, jungle trails and beautiful lakes. You’ll see over 200 native and exotic animals throughout the gardens including primates, reptiles, birds and free roaming flamingos that can be hand fed. Don’t miss the daily interactive wildlife, reptile or bird shows all included in your park admission.
Take the Inner Jungle Trail through the Tiki Gardens. The trail is shaded under a canopy of Palms and other Florida native trees, which makes the walk a surprisingly cool reprieve from the hot afternoon sun. Informative signs provide visitors with information about some of the animals in the Tiki Gardens (such as skunks and iguanas) as well as a little bit about the vegetation and plant life..
Walking along you can take a break in the canopy at the Flamingo Lagoon. The water is crystal clear, and you can see big fish as well as ducks and their free-roaming Flamingos. There are coin operated vending machines at the lagoon or you can purchase small or large bags at the gardens entrance. The flamingos will come right up and eat out of your hands.
Further along on the trail are the Koi Pond and Flamingo Café. In the air-conditioned the café you can enjoy lunch, snacks, cold beverages and ice cream. The pavilion near the Café is a great place for parents to kick their feet up and is within viewing range of the large Kiddie Jungle Playground.
Enjoy a stroll through the Butterfly gardens, continuing along the Outer Jungle Trail passing the waterfall and the Flamingo Nesting Island. The Jungle trail contains a handful of pretty little natural springs and is also home to the Petting Zoo, Birds of Prey and the Turtle Pond.
See a variety of large Alligators and Crocodiles by visiting the indoor area known as Reptile World where visitors can see large snakes, alligators, lizards, and other reptiles. Watch the Reptile Encounter show offering kids an opportunity to learn and hold an alligator after the show or even get a photo with one!  
The Jungle Bird show features parrots, cockatiels, macaws, and more performing a variety of different tricks including roller-skating and riding a bike. Be sure to catch Frosty the cockatoo’s twice a day act when he performs his bicycle, unicycle, and scooter tricks! After the show you will have an opportunity to pet or hold one of the exotic birds. There is a daily Wildlife Wonder show featuring red tail hawks, kookaburras, various species of owls, and other small mammals.
Many of the animals found their home at Sarasota Jungle Gardens through approved donations, rehabilitation centers or through state and federal agencies ensuring animals have a safe environment and permanent, caring home.
Go to Sarasota Jungle Gardens website to find admission discount COUPONS.

A visit to Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a fun escape from the beach, and a must do for all ages.

Just a short drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217

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

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OUTDOOR ICE-SKATING RINK OPENS IN SARASOTA

 
Yes, an outdoor ice skating rink in Florida – with real ice!
The outdoor, tent-covered skating rink opened Friday, November 17th as part of the mall’s “Holidays on the Green” at University Town Center (UTC). The mall at UTC is a retail paradise conveniently located at I75 and University Parkway in Sarasota. Now when you shop, you will see this seasonal holiday village nestled among strings of illuminated palm trees between the mall and North Cattlemen Road. The festive “winter” village will be open to the public through Jan. 15.

At the grand opening on Friday of Holidays on the Green there was a featured meet and greet with Ana and Elsa and then a movie showing of Disney’s “Frozen”! The village will also feature various holiday character meet-and-greets throughout the season. There will be a list of characters updated on the mall’s holiday village website – mallatutc.com Read more here: //www.bradenton.com/news/business/retail/mall-at-university-town-center/article185334933.html#storylink=cpy

Just a short drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217.

Each Saturday at 7 p.m. there are plans to show a holiday movie on a big screen. Classic movies such as, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Elf are some of the suggested, but not confirmed. Visit their website for an updated list.

There is also a free small off-track train that children can ride throughout the village.

The ice skating rink sitting under a tent filled with string lights, is equipped with real ice. The cost is $10 to rent skates and use the rink for 90 minutes. If the temperature is 78 degrees or below, the tent flaps will be open. Skating completely outside in the warm Florida air sounds inviting, doesn’t it?

Holidays on the Green Hours (Nov. 17, 2017 – Jan. 15, 2018) weeks 

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 Rentals/Blog

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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

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