BRADENTON -- The popular downtown street party Get Down Downtown has been renamed "Main Street Live" and kicks off Sept. 20.
The monthly Bradenton bash will now feature new music acts, fresh vendors from Suncoast Food Trucks and a food court with more tables in the intersection area across from the Lost Kangaroo Pub.
Rick Willats, manager of O'Brick's, took over for Cork Miller recently as president of the Old Main Street Merchants Association. The organization started Get Down Downtown and continues to produce Main Street Live.
"We want to be able to mix up the food with six food trucks at the first event and different ones each month," Willats said. "We also want to elevate the music here and mix that up, too."
Events will benefit various local organizations in
cluding the Manatee Players (Oct. 18), Art Center of Manatee (Nov. 15) and the Women's Resource Center (Dec. 20).
Main Street Live is 5-10 p.m. every third Thursday on Old Main Street (except for July and August) in downtown Bradenton. There will be vendors selling foods and drinks, arts and crafts, and more.
The performance schedule through December is Soul Purpose (Sept. 20), Lauren Mitchell Band (Oct. 18), Stone Fish (Nov. 15) Glass Onion (Nov. 21) and Billy Rice Band (Dec. 20).
Main Street Live is free but attendees must be 21 years or older to be inside the bars. Organizers ask attendees to not bring glass bottles outside; the bars will provide plastic cups if people want to mingle outside with beverage in hand.
The drinking establishments on Old Main Street usually stay open as late as 2:30 a.m.
Parking is available in the downtown garage on 12th Street West across from the Bank of America building, the county garage located on 10th St. W. just off Manatee Avenue and in the City Hall parking lot at the corner of 12th Street West (Old Main Street) and Third Avenue.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer and columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow him on Twitter@wtatangelo.