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Arts and Entertainment Weekend Adventures in Bradenton: Dec. 7-9, 2012


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Preston Whaley of The Elephant in the Room

BRADENTON – Has your gift-giving budget left you with the holiday blues? Don't fret, TBT's got three free admission events this weekend that will help get you in the spirit without breaking the bank. Winter Wonderland returns to Old Main Street; PAC's got a free art opening; The Elephant in the Room is playing at Cork's with no cover and Christmas time returns to the Village of the Arts. Get off the couch, cheapskate: it's time for a low-rent Weekend Adventure in Bradenton!

Hot local band The Elephant in the Room will be at Cork's Cigar Bar this Friday night. Fresh of their recent Art Slam appearance, the group is quickly becoming known for their blend of rock-n-roll with a modern blues twist.

The trio, made up of Bradenton residents Preston Whaley Jr., Jim Copening and Chuck Early, always put on a good show, so get down to Old Main Street, which is adorned with its Christmas decor and catch the holiday spirit. 

Cork's is one of the few cigar-friendly pubs in downtown Bradenton and in addition to their impressive happy hour, they've also got the cheapest pint of Guinness in town. There is no cover for Friday night's show. Cork's Cigar bar is located at 425 Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton.

Snow mountains, a festive street party and Santa Claus return this weekend to downtown Bradenton for the 17th Annual Winter Wonderland festival.

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The family-friendly party on Old Main Street is scheduled for 5-9 p.m. Saturday with food, arts and crafts vendors, along with games for kids, hay rides and more. The event’s signature attraction, the snow sledding mountains, will be in the parking lot north of Old Main Pub. There also will be a miniature mountain for toddlers who want to sled.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be es­corted down Old Main Street around 6 p.m. Saturday to the entrance of Westminster Courtyard, 222 Old Main St., where they will meet with visitors until about 8:30 p.m.

Bradenton Yacht Club’s 15th Annual Holiday Boat Parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and is ex­pected to pass the downtown waterfront between 8-8:30 p.m.

Bradenton Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey is the founder and organizer of Winter Wonderland. For more info contact her at 941-932-9449 or Marianne.barnebey@cityofbradenton.com.


On Friday evening, The Palmetto Art Center will host an opening for the new works of local artist Cheryl Moody. Moody is proud to be Bradenton born and lucky enough to have grown up in a family who loved to travel, yet revered the natural beauty of their native state. She was always encouraged to draw or paint as far back as she can remember, and the time in the woods or on the water has accordingly affected the direction of her work.

Moody says she finds the energy of transferring a vision to canvas exhilarating. During the heat of summer, she started a project of small daily paintings of objects found around the house, mostly
out of the refrigerator...kitchen paintings she calls them. These will be on display Friday from 6-9 p.m.

Cheryl's husband, landscape architect John Moody, will be strumming live music to accompany Cheryl's work. PAC open gallery night coincides with Historic Downtown Palmetto's family friendly "First Friday."

Slick's Car Garage will also be open with classic cars, bikes and rockin' tunes. For those who cannot attend the opening reception, PAC Gallery is open Monday - Friday Noon - 2PM, closed on Wednesdays.

PAC is located in historic downtown Palmetto  at 907 5th Street West, right next door to Growers' Hardware. For detailed directions visit PalmettoArtCenter.com.

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Divine Excess decked out for the holidays

It's an Olde Fashioned Christmas at The Village of the Arts in Bradenton this weekend. The Village is the Gulf Coast's Largest Art Community, featuring over 35 galleries and 5 restaurants in colorful restored vintage cottages. Friday, Dec. 7., from 6-9:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., stroll through this quaint village festooned with holiday lights to the sounds of Christmas Carolers and the Barber Shop Quartet.

Enjoy a visit with Santa and special holiday treats and sugar plums and a Christmas Tea Room at restaurants throughout the Village. Special displays of antique quilts, toys, dolls and vintage holiday fashions by Retro Rosie, plus Village artists will be displaying their latest one-of-a-kind creations for your holiday shopping pleasure.

The 12th Annual Lighting of the Village will take place at 6pm. Located 4 blocks south of Manatee Ave. between 9th. St. West & 14th. St. West, the event is put on by the Artists Guild of Manatee. Visit www.villageofthearts.com, more info.

The Arthritis Foundation’s 17th Annual Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis kicks off this special weekend with a race/walk at 7 p.m. Friday along the downtown riverfront. Registration starts at 5 p.m. Click here for info.

Old Main Street closures
Old Main Street will close from 2:30-10 p.m. Friday for the Jingle Bell Run festivities, which also will feature live music, food, and other vendors. The street will close again around 8 a.m. Saturday for the Down­town Bradenton Farmers’ Market and remain closed all day and night Saturday.

This Sunday, the Palmetto Farmers Market will be hosting a very merry guy. He's been gracious enough to fly down to sunny Southwest Florida to have pictures taken with him and local families. (Okay, they bribed him with promises of cookies, but he's happy to stay for pictures too!) 

That's right: Santa Claus is coming to the Palmetto Farmers Market, next to 414 10th Avenue West! Mr. Kringle will also have his own Write Letters to Santa Booth, where kids can scribe messages to the big guy. He will be there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A Kids' Building Area will be provided by the Home Depot, and a Bounce House will also be available for the little ones to romp around in.

In addition, the Farmers Market will have their Sunday booths up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., which will be filled with farm-fresh vegetables, fresh baked goods, hand-squeezed lemonade, crafts, and much more. Last but not least, the PPD will be here with identification packs for families, as well as information on keeping kids safe. So bring the whole family for a day of festive fun - even the dog! (Santa is pet friendly.)


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