Date(s) - 12/14/2019
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Annual Christmas on Bridge Street, on Anna Maria Island’s southern end, happens Saturday, December 14th from 4 to 8 p.m., with an entirely new format featuring a closed-off Bridge Street so that merrymakers may stroll street-wide, drinks-in-hand, among the shops and restaurants, and amid carolers from the acclaimed Manatee School of the Arts thespian troupe.
The boat parade will arrive at the Bridge Street Pier at 7:30 p.m., while home base for the event will be centrally located at the U.S. post office at 116 Bridge Street. The event starts at 4 o’clock with plenty of time to enjoy the family-friendly activities before the lighted boats appear. A live music lineup of popular Bridge Tender entertainers: Bridgid’s Cross, Terry Helms, Larry Stokes and Doug Bidwell will appear on stage for a special holiday show at the post office from 4 p.m. until the boat parade. Another new twist is that Bradenton Beach Marina has donated their parking lot for the evening, with plans to move their many boats into the water to make room for event attendees. Decorated boats are still sought for the parade with details at www.boat-parade.com and a grand prize of $200 cash.
Of course, Santa will be making the rounds, and there’s a photo opp in front of the large Christmas tree in the roundabout by the pier. This year’s tree has a whimsical candy cane theme decorated by Deb Myers of Mermaid Haven.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the newly reconfigured Bradenton Beach Area Merchants group as well as All Island Denominations Food Pantry at Roser Church. Festive fundraising will happen by way of an ornament walkabout, cornhole tournament and pick-a-prize-style auction. A nominal $5 donation will get you a tagged, fillable ornament and an entry for a Stay & Play Getaway Package donated entirely by BBAM. During the event, visit at least 6 of the participating merchants (no purchase necessary) for a bauble to put inside your ornament. Then return to the post office and your ornament tag becomes your entry slip for a deluxe package including hotel stay, dolphin tour, beach massage and more. Ryan Davis of Yolo Adventures is running the cornhole tournament with a 50/50 first prize winner comprised of the entry fees. To enter the tournament, two-person teams will register at the event between 4 and 4:15 for $20 and an unwrapped new toy that will go to Toys for Tots.
Food and drink specials will be available at the bars and restaurants, with retailers having booths in front of their open stores. Vendor booths are only available to those businesses located on the street, or those BBAM members located elsewhere in Bradenton Beach. “Our BB businesses will really shine on this night. Please come out and celebrate the holidays with us. We’ve pulled together a fun evening with some amazing prizes again this year!” says Amanda Escobio Ryan of Sea-renity Beach Spa & Bou-tiki. Bridge Street will re-open once the event ends, so the typical Bridge Street Saturday night activities can resume without interruption.
Revelers are encouraged to take the free island trolley from anywhere on the island. Other convenient options are the Island Monkey Bus 941-565-6542 and the AMOB City Pier Shuttle 941-778-AMOB (2662), both of which operate solely on tips. In addition to the Bradenton Beach Marina Parking, there are also spots at the City Hall / Tingley Library lot, or along the public beach just south of Bridge Street aka Cortez Beach.
Signature sponsors at the time of this press release include the Bradenton Beach Area Merchants, Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper, Bridge Tender Dockside Grill, Blue Marlin Seafood, Yolo Adventures, Bradenton Beach Marina, Mermaid Haven and Paradise Boat Tours. For more information please contact 203-628-8843 or visit www.mybradentonbeach.com