Log in Subscribe

Weekend Adventures in Bradenton: April 12-14, 2013


Fanatsia Barrino

public domain phot from Wikimedia

BRADENTON – It's a weekend full of fun as the Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribfest returns to the Manatee Fairgrounds for another rockin' year of deliciousness. The De Soto Society's annual Bottle Regatta is also back and the cool, white sand of Siesta will heat up for the annual Siesta Fiesta. Grab your sunblock and get ready for another Weekend Adventure in Bradenton!

The 7th annual Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribfest will take place at the Manatee County Fairgrounds on Friday (4-10pm), Saturday (11am-10pm) and Sunday (11am-8pm). The three-day music and food festival will once again feature a full lineup of nationally renowned acts including: Grammy award winner & American Idol season three winner Fantasia; Southern/Classic Rock legends 38 Special and Foghat; Smooth Jazz sensation Eric Darius and chart-topping blues band The Lee Boys. Headlining the event will be former Mötley Crüe lead singer Vince Neil.

In addition to the music, award-winning grilling teams from across the nation boasting titles and awards such as “Greatest Ribs in America”, “Golden Ribs Award”, “Best Sauce in the Nation” and numerous “People’s Choice Awards” will have their BBQ Pits “smoking” and are ready to defend their titles. Featured at this year’s event will be the Carolina Rib King who recently won 1st place on the TLC network’s extremely popular show BBQ Pitmasters. Tickets are on sale NOW at www.gulfcoastribfest.com and at participating Walgreens stores.

clientuploads/De Soto/Bottle_Regatta_Pan.jpg

Wet, wacky and wild! The De Soto Heritage Festival Bottle Boat Regatta is packed full of fun and will be held again this year on the South side of the Palma Sola Causeway. Bring the family out to see teams compete in home made boats of all shapes, sizes and themes!

Witness various teams of friends, co-workers and children who have spent countless hours fabricating an array of exotic-looking boats that float on hundreds of plastic bottles! Teams row the bottle boats with paddles to get from the start to finish line. The heat is on as teams vie for a range of awards from fastest boat to best dressed crewe and more! It’s sheer lunacy and a good time for all!

The Fiesta on Siesta Key returns this weekend. The artists will line Ocean Boulevard with their professional display booths while the crafters will display their unique and affordable crafts throughout Siesta Key Village for a sidewalk craft fair.

All artists and crafters will be present for the duration of the show, available to discuss their work and inspiration. Ocean Boulevard will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at Ocean and Canal and running through to Beach Road.

The event appeals to people of all ages including serious art buyers looking to add to their collections. With a wide variety of art mediums on display and prices ranging from $25 hand-designed earrings to $30, 000 metal sculptures, there is something for everyone.

The volleyball event returns for its fifth year and 2013's tournament will be the largest collegiate sand competition ever held with 150 doubles teams from twenty-six institutions.


The format for the 2013 Fiesta on Siesta Key will differ from past years. Florida State University, Tulane and other institutions that have added Sand Volleyball programs are lining up to compete. “The Fiesta is a three-day event, with Sand Volleyball programs participating to fulfill their NCAA Sand scheduling requirements. 

Sand Programs will compete in true NCAA Sand competition on Friday, April 12, and on Sunday, April 14. The schools with indoor/court programs will compete on Saturday, April 13, along with the Sand Programs that choose to participate. Play will start on Friday with six dual competitions and run through Sunday, concluding with pairs and singles competitions.

This year Fiesta will also host USA Volleyball (USAVB) High Performance Beach National Team tryouts for players in the following age brackets:  Under-21, Under-19, Under-17, Under-16. Players selected will be asked to participate at USAVB National camps and events.


No comments on this item

Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.