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Weekend Adventures in Bradenton: March 8-10, 2013


BRADENTON – Pirates, baseball, cute furry animals, and live music at the Riverwalk; all of this can be experienced this weekend right here in Bradenton. The 8th annual Pirate Fest will kick off on Saturday morning and don't miss a free concert by the David Smash Band at the Riverwalk's amphitheatre Friday night. Come back Saturday morning with your dog for the Paws in Motion Walk-a-Thon, to benefit the Humane Society of Manatee. So grab your eye-patch and get Fido's leash – it's time for a Weekend Adventure in Bradenton!

The Pittsburgh Pirates will host the eighth annual Pirate Fest on March 9. The event will be located on 9th Street West, just outside the main gate at McKechnie Field. The

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festival, which is presented by ABC 7, runs from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Pirates will face the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 p.m. at McKechnie Field.

Several local businesses and community organizations will be represented at the community-oriented event. There will be an abundance of family-friendly activities to delight fans of all ages. Among the many scheduled activities are giveaways, face painting, inflatable games, live music provided by Matthew Huff and mascot fun with the Pirate Parrot and Marty the Marauder. Participants can have their photo taken to create a free commemorative postcard. Autograph sessions with select Pirates players will be featured throughout the morning.

Pirate Fest is free and open to the public. After Pirate Fest the Pirates take on the Minnesota Twins. A post-game concert featuring country music star Chris Lane will take place on the boardwalk after the game. A ticket to the game is required for admission to McKechnie Field. Single game tickets are available by visiting the McKechnie Field box office, calling 1-877-893-2827, or by visiting www.Pirates.com. Due to 9th Street being closed for Pirate Fest, fans wishing to park in the Boys and Girls Club parking lot must access the lot through the back entrance on 6th Street.

The Pirates will mark the eve of Pirate Fest with a night game against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, March 8 at 7:05 p.m. After the game there will be a spectacular fireworks display presented by Budweiser and Bright House Networks. It will be the first fireworks show performed at McKechnie Field since its renovation during the off season. Bright House Networks customers can present their statements at the McKechnie Field box office to purchase a Grandstand ticket for $1 off the price of admission.

Bradenton has been the Spring Training home of the Pirates since 1969. The team’s High-A affiliate, the Bradenton Marauders, began playing at McKechnie Field in 2010. For more information about Pirate Fest, Spring Training, or the Marauders, call 941-747-3031 or visit www.BradentonMarauders.com.    

Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet pitching legend and current Pirates announcer Steve Blass! Blass will conduct a book signing prior to the Pirates-Twins game. Blass will be signing his new book A Pirate for Life. The signing will last from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. inside the McKechnie Field gates. Only fans holding a ticket to the game against Minnesota will be able to access the book signing. Blass won a World Series while pitching for the Pirates in 1971 and is currently a broadcaster for the team. For more information about A Pirate for Life, visit  www.triumphbooks.com

Pirate Fest

Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

McKechnie Field

1611 9th Street West



On Saturday morning, over two hundred people and their best friends will be on the Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton for the annual Humane Society fundraiser. Commissioner Carol Whitmore will officially start the walk after Meredith Garofalo leads everyone in the National Anthem. John Neal, of John Neal Homes, a lead sponsor for the event, will be on hand to thank everyone for their support.

Walkers raise money in pledges from friends and relatives and come out for a leisurely one-mile walk with their furry friends, all to benefit the dogs and cats at the Humane Society. Everyone registered for the Walk-a-Thon is entered in a drawing to win a Kindle Fire. This year, the beautiful River Walk will offer lovely views for walkers along the route and there will be plenty to do when they return. 

At Rossi Park, thirty-five vendors will circle the park with everything you could imagine for pets and some things for humans too. The Doggie Fun Zone sponsored by Pets Life Naturally in the center of the park will give dogs a chance to show their stuff on a challenging obstacle course. Every walker who raises the $25 dollar registration fee will receive a chance to try the Doggie Fun Zone. There will be a Bounce House for kids and chair massages for anyone who needs to get some kinks out. Raffle tickets will be on sale for a chance to win great prizes like certificates to local restaurants, bowling, baseball tickets, grooming (for pets and humans) and much more. There are also individual and team prizes for those who raise the most donations. The highest donation raised by an individual wins the prize of “Spokespet” for the Walk-a-Thon next year for their pet.

Anyone interested can still join the fun by registering online or by coming out on Saturday at 8:00am and registering at the event. Register online by visiting www.humanemanatee.org and click on Paws in Motion.

Paws in Motion Walk-a-Thon

Saturday, March 9, 6 p.m.

Bradenton Riverwalk

452 Third Avenue West


The Bradenton Riverwalk is alive with “Music in the Park”! A free event by Realize Bradenton, the six-concert "Music in the Park" series takes place Friday and Saturday

David Smash

evenings all through March, 6-8 p.m., at the Riverfront Amphitheater, 452 Third Avenue West in Bradenton. Food and beverages will be available for sale. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs. 

The David Smash Band will play at the Amphitheater on Friday, March 8. Originally from Lithuania, David won second place in his country's version of America's Got Talent. He has a love for America's early Rock and Roll, blues, and current music. The David Smash Band recently played on the main stage for New Year's in Sarasota and they rocked the audience. 

(The United States Coast Guard Concert that was designated to take place on Saturday, March 9, has been canceled.)

Music in the Park at Riverwalk featuring the David Smash Band

Friday, March 8, 6 p.m.

Bradenton Riverwalk

Riverfront Mosaic Amphitheater

452 Third Avenue West



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