Manatee Heritage Days 2016: Events offered throughout the month

Published on: January 28, 2016

Every Day:

De Soto National Memorial’s Living History program at Camp Uzita reveals Spanish and Native American life in 16th century Florida. Daily programs from 10:00 AM through 4:00 PM, 8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy, Bradenton. Demonstrations by Park Rangers and staff in historic clothing and armor bring to life the day to day skills of native villagers and Spanish soldiers in 1539. Park staff members present talks that explain the lasting impact Hernando De Soto had on the history of America and native peoples. FREE! Call (941) 792-0458 or visit

Saturdays, March 5, 12, 19, 26

Historic Valentine Open House, Robinson Preserve: 1704 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL, 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM. Come visit beautiful Robinson Preserve, where our historic welcome center, the Valentine House, will be open Saturday mornings. Includes historic photo display and interactive exhibits. FREE! For more information, contact (941)748-4501 X 6035.

Downtown Bradenton Farmer’s Market, Historic Main Street or 12th Street West, Bradenton, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Locally grown produce, products, crafts, live music, and kids’ activities. Note: Saturday, March 19, the market expands to include Mainly Art welcoming local artists and craftspeople selling their handmade goods. FREE!


Daily Events

Tuesday, March 1

Manatee Genealogical Society meeting at Manatee County Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. W., Bradenton. 9:30 AM to Noon. Featured speaker is Joanne Daerr Ryder, former president and newsletter editor for the Charlotte County Genealogical Society .   FREE! Use the auditorium entrance on 2nd Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets. The Society welcomes new members.  For more information: or


Thursday, March 3

Exhibit Opening Reception: “Gold in the Gulf: A History of Florida’s Shrimp Industry,” Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th Street West, Cortez, 5:30-7:00 PM.  Explore the history of shrimping in Florida and how it has developed, in less than 100 years, into an over 40 million dollar a year industry that supplies 87% of American caught shrimp. Learn about the diverse people and families involved in this business, from Italian immigrants to Vietnamese refugees. Celebrate the opening of this new exhibit with light refreshments courtesy of FMM. FREE! RSVP is appreciated, (941) 708-6120 or email On exhibit through April 16, 2016.


Saturday, March 5

Anna Maria Island Heritage Day, Anna Maria Island Museum, 402 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria, (Trolley Stop 42) 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. This is a true Island heritage event with a Settler’s Market selling local fruits, vegetables, honey, eggs, flowers, Our famous Settlers’ Bread and home baked goods. There will be Blue Grass music all day, Bar-B-Q, museum and Belle Haven tours and settler era crafts and demonstrations; Bee Keeping, Candle Making, Wool Spinning, Quilting, Knitting, Woodworking, Rug Making and more. Old fashioned children’s games and scavenger hunts will be held all day as well as an art corner. Don’t miss this charming event that reflects the true history of the island; back when homesteaders farmed the land in order to “prove” up their homestead.   Some of the Island’s best pickers are in the band that plays in the main area of the park, bring your fiddle or banjo and join in! The demonstrations are held in the shady, native garden located along the mangrove shoreline of Lake La Vista. FREE! For information call, 941-778-0492, go to or email


Native American Experience at Emerson Point Preserve, Emerson Point Preserve, 5801 17th Street West, Palmetto, meet at the Pavilion by the Ranger’s Station, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM.   Step back in time as we explore Florida’s past and discover what life was like for Native Americans that once lived here. We will learn about many of the skills practiced by Florida’s early inhabitants and their way of life during a walk through the site of an early Native American settlement. We will also discuss the transformation the state has experienced throughout the years and gain a new perspective about the place where we live. Program suitable for participants ages 6 and older. FREE!  Register by calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6044 or email


ArtSlam, Old Main Street, Bradenton and partner cultural sites, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. This fifth annual outdoor public event in downtown, celebrates youth and creativity, featuring dozens of young artists, musicians and performers, site-specific art installations, and interactive art experiences in a festival atmosphere. FREE!


Parrish Heritage Days Parade and Festival with Annual Chili Cook Off. Parade starts behind the fire department at 10:30 AM, travels up 121st Avenue and ends at the Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museum, 12210 83rd Street East, Parrish.  Floats, animals, bands and children’s groups.  The Parade is FREE! Festival starts at 11:00 AM and runs until 4:00 PM on the grounds of the Florida Gulf Coast Railroad Museum. There is a $5 charge to get into the family friendly festival (children 12 and under are free) where there will be rides, games, food and live music by several local and nationally known bands. To enter a team in the chili cook off (Prize is $500!), go to or email


Manatee Village Historical Park Heritage Days Open House, 1404 Manatee Avenue East, (State Road 64) Bradenton, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM.  At Manatee Village Historical Park – a collection of restored buildings from the area’s settlement history – you can discover what our community was like fewer than twenty years after the first pioneers arrived. Take a step back in time to mid-1860s Southwest Florida and Experience life in Manatee County at the end of the Civil War through Living History Interpreters and Civil War Re-enactors:experience life in Manatee County through living history interpreters and re-enactors presenting daily activities, military camp life, music, dance, and heritage crafts. Vendors will also be on site selling food, unique crafts, and local products.FREE!  For information, call (941) 741-4076 or visit: or


Florida Cowboy Art Reception, Carnegie Library Basement, 515 10th Ave. West, Palmetto, 2:00 -4:00 pm. Join Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum as they open a 6-week long exhibit of artwork featuring the Florida Cowboy, past and present. Refreshments served. FREE, but please RSVP by March 3rd, or 941-721-2034.


Sunday, March 6

Gamble Plantation Historic State Park Annual Open House, one and a half miles west of I-75 (exit #224) on US301, Ellenton, 10:00 AM – 3:00 P.M. Travel back to the Old South during the day through the many lifestyle demonstrations of that time period. The ladies of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will be wearing costumes reminiscent of the era of the 1840’s through 1870’s to add that special touch of authenticity to the day. The Gamble Mansion will be open to the public with FREE tours of the building. Additionally, the 4th Florida Volunteer Infantry will be dressed in military uniforms re-enacting a Confederate encampment. Music, crafts and more await attendees. Also during the event, join Reflections of Manatee volunteers at the Cane Mill in the rear of the Plantation House during the spring open house. Learn about the Gambles and the Sugarcane Culture of the Plantation.  Experience a turn at pushing the cane grinder and making some sugarcane juice or take a taste of syrup or molasses made the traditional way.  Gamble Plantation is the only surviving Sugar Plantation of South Florida. The event is free and young and old are encouraged to participate. Available: Sugarcane syrup or molasses while supplies last for a donation.


Benefit for the Myakka 1914 Schoolhouse, 32755 Singletary Road, Myakka City, 4:00 PM (Gates open at 2:00 PM). Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzaner Stallions 6th annual Dress Performance to benefit the Myakka City Historical Society’s efforts to restore the 1914 Myakka City Schoolhouse. The story tells of General Patten’s rescues of the horses from Nazi control. Taste of Myakka, children’s games, local crafts and more. Tickets required, $15.00 for adult; $5.00 for child (ages 6-12) and available day of event only at the gate. Stadium seating or bring your own chair for seating around the arena (event and seating outdoors). For information, call the Myakka City Historical Society, (941) 322-1304 or (941) 322-1035.


Monday, March 7

Manatee Settlement Tour, 1312 2nd Avenue East and 14th Street East Bradenton 34208, two blocks north of State Road 64, GPS 34208 3:30 – 5:30 PM.  Meet volunteers from Reflections of Manatee, Inc. as costumed guides take you through the shaded streets of Manatee in this slow paced 2 hour walk. Come early and read the 12 interpretive signs within the grounds while you learn about the lost settlement of Angola, a run-away slave refuge known to be on site in the early 1800’s, the Seminoles and Branch Fort during 3rd Seminole War time period, and all those who followed making Bradenton and Manatee County what it is today. The tour takes you to three Curry houses, newly named on the National Register of Historical Places. As you peek inside you learn about the Black Union Soldiers who used one of the houses as headquarters while they took over the Village of Manatee in 1864. Parking and handicap facilities on site. The event is free but contributions to the nonprofit are greatly appreciated. The tour begins promptly at 3:30. FREE! Donations are appreciated. For more information, call 941-746-2035.


Wednesday, March 9

Walking Tour of Fogartyville, narrated by Master Boat Builder and Fogartyville resident, Bob Pitt, leaves from Lewis Park, 3100 block of 1st Ave. W., Bradenton, 10:00 AM. This walk will be approximately 2 hours and will highlight some of the historic homes and historic sites in the town once called Fogartyville. Wear comfortable shoes. FREE! For more information, call, the Manatee County Historical Records Library, (941) 741-4070.


Thursday, March 10

Historic Sarasota Bay Boat Tour, Bridge Street Pier on Anna Maria Island, 2:00 P.M. The Florida Maritime Museum is partnering with Paradise Boat Tours to present an educational excursion through Sarasota Bay. During this 90-minute, narrated tour guests will have the opportunity to see natural wildlife, explore Florida’s coastal heritage, and enjoy stories of authentic Cortez. Tickets are $30, $25 for seniors 65 and over, or $20 kids under 12. Call (941) 708-6120 to reserve your seat. Payment by cash, check or credit card due at time of reservation.


Saturday, March 12

Palmetto Heritage Festival, Palmetto Historical Park & the Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 515 10th Ave. West, Palmetto,  10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.  Heritage Station Post Office will be open for business and a special one-day cancellation will be affixed to all outgoing mail. Activities will include Florida Cowboy Art Exhibit, storyteller, music, food vendor, heritage craft demonstrations, children’s activities and crafts. No admission to event, but there is a charge for the Chicken & Yellow Rice Luncheon to be held at the Woman’s Club of Palmetto from 11 AM – 2 PM.  For information, call (941) 723-4991 or (941) 721-2034.


Tuesday, March 15

Rye Cemetery Beautification and Pioneer Experience, Rye Preserve, 905 Rye Wilderness Trail, Parrish, FL 34219, meet at the Pavilion, 8:30 AM – Noon. Volunteer to spruce up the Rye cemetery trail and historic burial ground, by removing litter and invasive plants. After our work is done, we will celebrate the history of the site by playing some games and interactive activities to help you travel back in time to Rye when it was a homestead. Program suitable for participants ages 6 and older. FREE! Register by calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 or email


Wednesday, March 16

Manatee County Historical Society Luncheon, Renaissance on 9th, 1816 9th Street West, Bradenton, Noon. $16.00 for luncheon. Speaker to be announced. You do not have to be a member of the society to attend the luncheons, but reservations must be made by Thursday, March 12. Call for reservations, (941) 792-2928.


Lecture “Overview of Florida’s Commercial Fishing”, Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th Street West, Cortez, 3:00 PM. This lecture focuses on the history of commercial fishing in Florida from the perspective of the industry today. Join FMM’s Education Coordinator John Beale to learn more about the fish and shellfish landed in the state, regional fisheries, and the types of boats used in Florida waters. FREE! Seating is first come first serve, beginning at 2:30. (941) 708-6120 or email


Saturday, March 19

 Fishing Heritage Festival at Jiggs Landing, 6106 63rd Street East, Bradenton, 9:00 AM – Noon. Join us as we spend the morning casting back in time, learning about the early days of Jiggs Landing and reviving the dreams of landing a trophy bass at this historic fish camp. We will get a glimpse of the lifestyle of these days as we take a tour of the late-forties replica cabin and enjoy the enduring pastime of fishing along these shorelines. Participants will have a chance to try their luck at fishing-themed activities and we encourage you to cast out your lines to see what you can catch! Program suitable for all ages. FREE! Register by calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6044 or email Note: Anyone 16 or older needs a valid freshwater fishing license to fish at Jiggs Landing, but a fishing license is not required for other festival events. All state rules and regulations apply for fishing.


Cracker Cowboy Poet Hank Mattson, Carnegie Library Basement, 515 10th Ave. West, Palmetto, 1:00 PM. Palmetto Historical Park & Manatee County Agricultural Museum host Hank Mattson who will entertain the audience with poetry and tales of the life of a Florida Cracker Cowboy. Admission is $5 per person. For more information: or call 941-723-4991.


Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20

Five Centuries of Florida History, Desoto National Memorial, 8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy, Bradenton, 10:00 AM -3:00 PM.   Come experience 500 years of Florida history. More than 30 reenactors from all over Florida will portray men and women from Florida’s past and will have tents and public displays to share their piece of history. Time line programs will occur every hour between 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Junior Ranger activities will be on hand for the kids, come out and experience out history and commemorate 100 years of our national Parks. FREE! To learn more please call (941)792-0458 or visit us at or Facebook at De Soto National Memorial.


Sunday, March 20

Samuel G. Curry Museum House Ice Cream Social, 1302 4th Avenue East north of SR64 and west of 14th Street East, Bradenton. (GPS 34208), Noon – 2:30 PM. Join Reflections of Manatee at the newly recognized National Register Properties in Manatee County. These homes are located on 4th Ave between 14th and 12th street and 1 block North of SR64 in today’s East Bradenton. Ice Cream Socials have long been a part of the community.  Join us as we celebrate the inclusion of three National Register of Historical Places homes in Manatee County. Our two 1860 homes of Amanda (Andress)  and Samuel George Curry, an enlisted man of the Army and Navy during the civil war, their daughter’s homes, Mary Amelia. a school teacher in Manatee School for 50 years, and the Theodosia (Curry)  Lloyd house, built in 1925. Visit with the local archaeologists, researchers, historians and descendants who helped in documenting this phenomenal history of the Curry Settlement while you enjoy a dish of homemade ice cream. Archaeological artifacts from the on-site research which took place will be on display. FREE! (Donations are appreciated). For more information contact: 941-746-2035.


Wednesday, March 23

Imaging in Cortez, a Photography Walking Tour, Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th Street West, Cortez, 8:00 AM. Enjoy a walking photo tour of the picturesque Cortez Village and working waterfront. Nature photographer Richard Estabrook will guide you as you capture historic images off the beaten track. Bring camera equipment and wear sturdy walking shoes. Non-photographers are welcome, too. $5.00 per person Class size is very limited so reservations are required. Call (941) 708-6120 or email for reservations.


Wednesday, March 23

 Imaging in Cortez, a Photography Walking Tour, Florida Maritime Museum, 4415 119th Street West, Cortez, 8:00 AM. Enjoy a walking photo tour of the picturesque Cortez Village and working waterfront. Nature photographer Richard Estabrook will guide you as you capture historic images off the beaten track. Bring camera equipment and wear sturdy walking shoes. Non-photographers are welcome, too. $5.00 per person Class size is very limited so reservations are required. Call (941) 708-6120 or email for reservations.


Friday, March 25

Family Fun after DeSoto Children’s Parade, Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 515 10th Ave. West, Palmetto, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Gather in the Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum after the DeSoto Heritage Festival’s Children’s Parade for free family fun. Enjoy the day with your children participating in hands-on activities. Crafts, face painting, board games, and a movie will be some of the FREE activities offered. The park is located right at the end of the parade route. For more information call 721-2034.


Saturday, March 26

Walking Tour of Downtown Bradenton, lead by historian and author, Georgia Brown, leaves from the Realize Bradenton Information Booth at the Farmer’s Market on Main Street, 2:00 PM. This walk, about 2 hours, will highlight historic buildings along Main Street and around the Manatee County Courthouse. Wear comfortable shoes. FREE! After the tour stay downtown for dinner at one of the many fine downtown restaurants (due to it being high season, restaurant reservations are recommended). For more information, call, the Manatee County Historical Records Library, (941) 741-4070.


Wednesday, March 30 and Thursday, March 31

 Walking Tour of Palmetto, leaves from the Palmetto Historical Park, 10th Avenue and 6th Street West, Palmetto, 2:00 PM. This walk, about 2 hours, will highlight some of the historic buildings along the riverfront in Palmetto and includes a tour of the Palmetto Riverfront Bed and Breakfast. The Bed and Breakfast was a Sears and Roebuck house, built by town founder’s son, J.A. Lamb. Wear comfortable shoes.  FREE! Reservations are required and space is limited, first come, first served. Email the Agricultural Museum to make reservations,