BRADENTON – It's time to Stuff the Bus this weekend and help the Food Bank of Manatee stock up its pantry shelves as the holiday season approaches. There are also special grand opening events on the mainland and out on the island as Village of the Arts and the Anna Maria Green Village welcome new businesses to the local economy. Whether you give some food or eat some food, you can do your part to support the local community on this culinary Weekend Adventure!
Manatee County School Buses will be stationed at all Publix Supermarket in Manatee County on Saturday, November 17 from 9 a.m. to dark and on Sunday, November 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., collecting non-perishable food items for The Food Bank of Manatee. This year's goal is 130,000 pounds!
Arts & Eats Restaurant and Gallery, located in the center of the Village of the Arts in Bradenton at 1114 12th St. West, will celebrate its Grand Opening on Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17 from noon – 8 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to the Food Bank of Manatee. Arts & Eats has enjoyed a soft opening to rave reviews from guests since September 20. November 16 will launch their official grand opening celebration.
The Grand Opening will feature a ribbon cutting by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce at 12 p.m. on Friday, performances by local singer/guitarist Joshua Simpson at 5 p.m., and a performance - benefit for the Creative Percussion Ensemble (made up of talented local students) on Saturday. In addition to all the music, there will be prizes and giveaways, a small plates menu, and artist demos.
There will also be a grand opening event out on the island, celebrating the Anna Maria Green Village and its newest members. Hometown Desserts, AMI Outfitters and the new Relish Café are now part of the fantastic Relish Marketplace from Rhonda Grote.
There will be an official ribbon cutting for the Green Village at 5.30 p.m., with fantastic food and drink to enjoy, music by Trevor Bystrom, a local and very talented musician who will be playing guitar. Gene Aubry, a nationally-recognized and well known local architect, who was the the architect for the Green Village, will be signing his newly published book. And Bob Brown Art Gallery will be showcasing extraordinary Abstract Art by Bob Brown.
All the galleries and shops in Pine Avenue will also be open that night, making it a really great street party, so head west and spend some time in our beautiful island communities.
The inaugural Sarasota Bay Water Festival is set for this Saturday, November 17 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota. More than 70 organizations from the public and private sector are involved as sponsors and exhibitors. The free festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Founders say the festival was organized to celebrate the importance of Sarasota Bay to the region’s environment and economy. Hosted by The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, the event will include live music on the main stage featuring five local bands, plus a Creative Arts Tent presenting a dozen local wildlife photographers, vintage boat displays, local food trucks, a beer and wine garden and more.
Festival organizers will also unveil the Brita Hydration Station, a touch-free, sensor-operated water dispenser that provides filtered municipal water without the waste or cost of single-use bottled water. Visitors are encouraged to bring their reusable water container for free water. Reusable containers will also be for sale along with other items. Other components of the sustainability plan include composting and trash recycling with support from Waste Management, Sarasota County and Manatee County.
Festival organizers encourage visitors to carpool and use alternative transportation. A free water taxi between Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota and the Sarasota Sailing Squadron has been set up with sponsorship by Freedom Boat Club. The water taxi departs every 30-40 minutes starting at 9 a m. Other transportation options include hourly stops by SCAT and the Longboat Key Trolley, a free bike valet, and a free kayak valet.
‘Main Street Live!’ is back!
Main Street Live!, formerly known as Get Down Downtown, returns to Old Main Street Thursday with live music from local jam band sToneFish. This event is 5-10 p.m. every third Thursday of the month through June with live music, food vendors, arts and crafts and drinks.
Old Main Street between Manatee and 3rd avenues west closes to vehicular traffic around 2 p.m. the day of the event, so please make sure your vehicle is not parked on Old Main when the traffic barricades go up or your car could get towed.