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Weekend Adventures in Bradenton: Memorial Day Weekend

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Photo: Bradenton Area CVB

BRADENTON – It's Memorial Day Weekend and there's plenty happening. Of course, this is typically the big kickoff of the beach season and the warm sticky weather is a great excuse to get out onto our islands. But if you're not much of a beach bum, you can get down to our award-winning Riverwalk for a music festival and Sunday marks the annual Tribute to Heroes Parade on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. Bust out the grill, grab the cooler and put on your sunscreen, it's time for a Weekend Adventure in Bradenton!


Experience the sounds of area-based musicians and groups at Pickin’ Picnic, at the Amphitheater at Bradenton Riverwalk. This free event features emerging local teenage artists showcasing their talent, 11 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Bands that enjoy national reputations follow, from 4 to 10 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged to bring picnics, folding chairs and blankets. Food, beverage and CD’s will be available for purchase. The event is presented by Realize Bradenton with support from the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority and the Del Couch Music Education Foundation.

Del Couch, founder of the Del Couch Music Education Foundation, states “Through the efforts of Realize Bradenton, my foundation is able to provide youth with opportunities to perform live and showcase their talents at this great community event.”


Some of the regional performing artists at the Pickin’ Picnic include:

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Applebutter Express

The Applebutter Express: Shannon and Kyle Biss, along with Matt Desear on Bass and Joe Trivette on the fiddle bring you good time ukulele funk.

Good Graeff: twin sisters Brooke and Brittany Graeff first formed the acoustic folk-pop duo in 2004 (when they were just 16 years old). They reunited six years later, and used their classical, country, indie rock and blues influences (along with their mysterious twin powers) to reform the new and improved band known as Good Graeff.

Lady and Gentleman: are a two piece folk group from Bradenton/Sarasota, FL. They are influenced by the bands Larry and His Flask, Mumford and Sons, Frank Turner, and City and Colour.

A Gentlemen Army: were formed in 2004 and have played shows all over Florida. They have performed with bands such as Whole Wheat Bread, Authority Zero, Blitzkid, Strike Anywhere.

Faceless Bandits: are a band that is not limited to any particular "genre" of music, but they draw inspiration from bluegrass, folk, and newgrass. Hence the name "Faceless Bandits."

Muphin Chuckrs: formed at Manatee School for the Arts in 1999. They have been creating and playing original rock and reggae music. Influences include Incubus, Sublime, Green Day & The Beatles.



Featuring more than 40 groups, floats and marching bands the annual Lakewood Ranch Tribute to Heroes Parade is back! Children can enter their bikes in a contest and join the parade procession. There will also be music, taps, and a dove release.

You can donate items to Manasota Operation Troop Support (MOTS) or write a letter of thanks to our troops to drop off at the MOTS table. A special VIP Veteran viewing area will be set up for members of the military and their families to sit.

Food, drinks and ice cream will be available for purchase. Wear your Red, White and Blue and come on out to show your support for our vets!

The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with Speeches and acknowledgments from the stage. The streets’ festivities will include face painting, balloon artists, music, grilled foods and beverages. The Tribute to Heroes Parade goes down Main Street starting at 6 p.m.


Tribute to Heroes Parade

Sunday, May 26

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Main Street

Lakewood Ranch


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