Best bets: March 1-6

February 28, 2013 


Music on Main: Main Street, Lakewood Ranch

Main Street at Lakewood Ranch will host a Music on Main concert 6-9 p.m. March 1 featuring live music by The Lauren Mitchell Band. Beer, wine and food sales benefit the Florida Wine Fest. Bring chairs and blankets. No coolers allowed. Dogs on short leashes are permitted. Admission is free. Information: 941-907-9243.

First Fridays Car & Bike Show: Slick's Garage, 923 Fifth St. W., Palmetto

Slick's Garage hosts a First Fridays Car & Bike Show and community party 5-11 p.m. the first Friday of each month. This month's theme is Blues & BBQ with live music, food and drink vendors, children's entertainment, charity auctions and more. Information: 941-776-7298.

Anna Maria Island Cityfest: "The Field," 5801 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach

Come out to the island and stroll through rows of arts and crafts vendors, taste great local food and listen to non-stop live music by various local bands, including Kettle of Fish, KoKo Ray, soulRcoaster, Shotgun Justice, Bill Bowdish. Big Jim Allen Ukulele, Chris Grumley, Scott's Garage, Mike Sales 5-10 p.m. March 1 and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. March 2. There will be a kid's zone and a classic car show 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. The two-day event is open to the public. Coolers are not allowed. Information: 941-778-1541.

Manatee County Historic Boat Tours: Pier 22, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton

The Manatee County Department of Historical Resources in partnership with Island Pearl Excursions will host six heritage water tours as part of March Manatee Heritage Days, a month-long focus on the county's history. Tours, with historic narrative by Cathy Slusser, are 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. March 2, 5 and 29. Tickets: $30 per tour. Seating is limited. Reservations: 941- 780-8010 or visit


Orange Blossom Festival: Mixon Fruit Farms, 2525 27th St. E., Bradenton

Mixon Fruit Farms will host its annual Orange Blossom Festival 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 2-3. This year's extravaganza will feature the world famous Wallenda Troupe performing three shows daily. There will be pony rides, Ferris wheel, bounce houses, rock climbing wall, bungee jumping, kids rides, tram tours and live performing bears. Live music will be provided by Yesterdayze. Inside exhibits will feature the Citrus and Produce Crate Label Collectors' Swap along with more than 100 crafters and fun for the whole family. Admission and parking are free. Information: 941-748-5829.

2013 Parrish Heritage Day Festival and Parade: various locations, Parrish

The Parrish Civic Association will host the 2013 annual Heritage Day Festival and Parade March 2, starting with a parade at 10:30 a.m., traveling from 121st Avenue to Erie Road, 82nd Street, crossing Highway 301 and ending at Gulf Coast Railway Museum parking lot, 12210 83rd St. E., Parrish. There will be entertainment and food and beverage vendors. Information: 941-812-5291.

Florida Friendly Family Festival: Sutton Park, 1050 Sixth St. W., Palmetto

The Florida Friendly Family Festival will be 10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 2 featuring a variety of fun activities, eco-workshops and entertainment for children of all ages. The festival will offer a wide array of interactive demonstrations, ideas, workshops and exhibits to highlight our environment and show ways that families can conserve in and around their homes. Admission is free. Tours will highlight Florida-Friendly Landscapes and Palmetto's Green Street, Fifth Street West. The Manatee County Utilities Department will host a shower head exchange. Bring your old shower head and exchange it for a new water conserving model. Food will be served and is free on a first come, first serve basis. Information: 941-722-4524.


53rd annual Spring Open House: Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, 3708 Patten Ave., Ellenton

The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Judah P. Benjamin Chapter, and the Florida Park Services will host its 53rd annual Spring Open House 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 3. Visitors can travel back to the Old South through the many lifestyle demonstrations and costumes reminiscent of the era of the 1840-1870. The Gamble Mansion and Patten House will be open to the public with free tours of each building. The Fourth Florida Volunteer Infantry will be dressed in military uniforms re-enacting a Confederate encampment. There will be music, crafts and more. Admission and parking is free. Information: 941-723-4536.

Gumbo Cook-Off: Bridge Street, Anna Maria

The Bridge Street Market and Manatee Children's Services will host a creative Gumbo Cook-Off competition starting at 11 a.m. March 3. Visitors can sample traditional and inventive Gumbo recipes from acclaimed local chefs and culinary aficionados from Anna Maria Island. There will be live music by the Tangled Mangos. Tickets: $5. Proceeds will benefit Manatee Children's Services. Information: 215-906-0668.

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