Im not quite sure what community leaders were thinking when they scheduled the Bradenton Riverwalk ground-breaking ceremony for 8:30 a.m. Monday.
More than the requisite gold shovels, politicians and speechifying, there will be entertainment.
Bradenton Beach resident RJ Howson, who while living in Chicago once shared the stage with Buddy Guy, will perform with his potent blues power trio.
Kathryn Parks, who plays Maria in the Manatee Players upcoming production of The Sound of Music, is going to sing the shows famed theme song.
Eight-year-old Hannah Beatt, who plays Marta in the musical, will belt out the Funny Girl favorite Dont Rain On My Parade.
Mayor Wayne Poston and several other city and county officials will speak.
There are even going to be free refreshments, courtesy of NDC Construction.
Sounds worth attending, right?
But at 8:30 a.m. on a Monday?
Isnt that when most people are battling traffic to reach the workplace?
The timing of the event, to put it politely, baffles me.
Regardless, I am stoked its happening.
The $6.2 million Bradenton Riverwalk scheduled to open in the fall of 2012 is the most exciting project this city has seen in more than a decade.
When I first relocated to downtown shortly after being hired by the Herald in 2004, my hopes were pretty high that Riverwalk would happen sooner than later.
I left Bradenton in 2007 and didnt return until about a year ago.
Like before, I decided to live downtown.
Riverwalk didnt even enter my mind.
Now it will basically serve as my front yard in about a year.
Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar, Riverwalks eastern anchor, has been drawing large, peaceful crowds since July.
Pedalling there for great live music, cuisine and libations takes me less than 10 minutes on my beach-cruiser.
When the Bradenton Blues Festival takes place next year, Ill be walking over early for a spot near the stage.
Same goes for proposed jazz, folk, rock, country, gospel, big band and pop concerts.
Full-scale outdoor performances by the Manatee Players, like the ones American Stage produces annually in downtown St. Petersburg, will also be part of Riverwalks future.
Skateboard and sand volleyball tournaments sound fun, too.
I might even have to make a purchase to go with the kayak and canoe launch.
The possibilities for Riverwalk are almost endless.
So having the ground-breaking ceremony Monday morning probably wasnt the smartest move.
But everything else Ive read and heard about the landmark project has this skeptic pretty convinced Riverwalk will be a winner.
Yeah, Im counting down the days.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at (941) 745-7057. Visit his blog at heraldbuzzworthy.blogspot.com.