Today's best bets: Dec. 9

December 9, 2012 

Second Annual Strongman Contest "Brawn on the Beach": BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach

The BeachHouse and City Fitness will host its second annual amateur Strongman Contest "Brawn on the Beach" 10 a.m. Dec. 9. Contestants will compete in five categories for cash prizes and include a Truck Pull, Farmer's Walk, Log Lift, Husafell Stone Lift and Atlas Stone Lift. Entry for observers is free. Attendees will enjoy music by DJ Chris Grumley, food and beverage specials. Proceeds will benefit Hope Family Services. Information: 941-779-222 or visit

MTI Car Show and Food Truck Rally: MTI, 6305 SR 70 E., Bradenton

Napa Auto Parts, Snap-on and Suncoast Food Trucks will host an MTI Car Show and Food Truck Tally noon-6 p.m. Dec. 9 on the ground of MTI's future new Main Campus. There will be at least eight different types of food trucks, ranging from stuffed burgers to BBQ to mac and cheese. Proceeds will help MTI automotive students to SkillsUSA Championships. Information: 941-751-7900, ext. 2095 or visit

Beach Market: Coquina Beach, Bradenton Beach

The beach market at Coquina Beach will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 9 featuring fresh produce, arts and crafts, jewelry, local artists, sand sculptures, apparel, purses, scarves, pottery, furniture, collectibles, woodworks and more. Larry Wilhelm, singer and entertainer, will perform. Information: 941-518-4431.

"Millions of Light, Magical Nights": Sarasota Jungle Gardens, 3701 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota

Sarasota Jungle Gardens will celebrate the holiday season with its 11th annual Holiday Lights "Millions of Lights, Magical Nights," 6-9 p.m. Dec. 9 and Dec. 14-24. Visitors can enjoy millions of sparkling holiday lights while meandering along decorated trails and exhibits. Santa's visits for family photo opportunities are at 8 p.m. and the Cory Music Show will perform live holiday songs and sing-alongs inspiring seasonal spirits. Master magician, Nathan Coe Marsh, will take the stage at 7 and 8 p.m. A special holiday dinner and child friendly meals will be available for purchase. Admission: $11 adults, $6 children ages 3-12. Information: 941-355-1112. or visit

Atomic Holiday Bazaar: Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Florida's original indie arts and craft show "Atomic Holiday Bazaar" will be 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 9 featuring vintage apparel, jewelry, housewares, clothing, antique assemblage, vinyl and other items. Tickets: $5 adults; free for children age 12 and younger. Information: 941-366-7761.

Anna Maria Island Art League "Winterfest 2012": Holmes Beach City Hall Field, 5801 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach

Browse and purchase original artwork created by the highly regarded local, regional and national artists selected to participate in Winterfest 2012, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Dec. 9. In addition, the festival features live music by the Anna Maria String Band, KoKo Ray, the Gumbo Boogie Band, State Road 64, The Hurricanes, The Anderson Brothers and The Bontrager Sisters. Also featured will be the annual AMIAL's "Young at Art" children's art exhibit and hands-on activity area. A selection of food and beverages will be available for purchase. Information: 941-778-2099.

"Plantation Christmas" Open House: Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, 3708 Patten Ave., Ellenton

The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Florida Division, the Gamble Plantation Preservation Alliance and the Florida Park Service will host a "Plantation Christmas" Open House 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 9 featuring many lifestyle demonstrations from the Old South of that time period, lavishly decorated Gamble Mansion and Patten House, authentic costumes, the Fourth Florida Volunteer Infantry in military uniforms re-enacting a Confederate encampment, music, crafts and fun for everyone. Admission is free. Information: 941-723-4536.

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