MANATEE -- The shade of the large oak trees in Lewis Park made the chill of Wednesday a little uncomfortable for the 20 people taking a walking tour of Fogertyville.
Local historian Cathy Slusser led the tour, which is one of the more than 30 events this month that makes up Manatee Heritage Days, around the several blocks in the area of First Avenue and 31st Street west, stopping at various homes and sites.
"Florida history is so interesting," said Raymond Knox, who lives in the Sun City Center area and was taking the tour with his friend, Lauralei Collier.
"I like to learn about the places where I live," Collier added.
There will be three scheduled Heritage Days events on Saturday.
Diane Ingram said "Coming Home" is the theme for Palmetto Heritage Day Open
House, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Palmetto Historical Park and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 515 10th Ave. W.
"We're highlighting the exhibits though that theme," said Ingram, who is the supervisor of the Agricultural Museum, "Like with the cows coming home and Cracker cow hunters coming home.
"We hope the people coming Saturday will feel like they're coming home," she said, "and that they'll bring archival material (such as photos or genealogical records) of their families and farm to share with us."
At the Carnegie Historical Library, Mandy Polson, supervisor of the historical park, said there will be yearbooks for people to look at and there will be a group photograph on the steps of the 1914 building at 2 p.m.
"We're hoping people who remember using the library will come and be in the picture," Polson said. "We're calling them our library alumni."
She said another popular activity for the day will be the pie baking contest at 1 p.m. So far there are 16 different pies for the four judges to taste.
The 1880 Post Office will provide a 2013 cancellation postmark, a popular collector's activity that has been part of the yearly celebration from the beginning.
The designer of this year's postmark, local photographer and artist Ed Parker, will also have an exhibition in the agricultural museum called "The Water's Edge."
A book signing, train rides, story tellers, old-time music, quilting, spinning and blacksmith demonstrations, and a chicken and yellow rice luncheon at the Palmetto Women's Club are some of the other activities scheduled for the day.
Another Heritage Days event taking place Saturday will be Music on the Porch, noon to 4 p.m., at the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez, 4415 119th St. W.
Amara Nash, curator at the museum, said Music on the Porch is a monthly event, but this month they have a painting exhibition by The Florida HiWay Women artists.
"The paintings all have a Cortez focus," Nash said, "and the women will be here painting."
She said the working fishing village will hold another event this month, Imaging in Cortez, on March 19, with nature photographer Richard Estabrook giving a walking workshop in photographing historical spots.
"There area limited number of spots so reservations are needed," Nash said.
On the walking tour Wednesday, Slusser, who is the deputy director of the Manatee County Clerk of the Court Department of Historical Resources, told of the three Fogerty brothers who came to Manatee County in the 1860s from Key West and established a boat-building and shipping industry.
"Preserving a town's history is what makes it so interesting for tourists," said Francesca Polotniuk, an English visitor who lives in Lucerne, Switzerland, as she walked along with the other tour participants
"This is my fourth time to Bradenton and just found out about the tour," Polotniuk said. "I've been wishing to do something like this."
Mike and Betty Converse, winter visitors from Crossville, Tenn., said they were taking the tour because they wanted to learn more about the area.
"This community does a great job in preserving their history," said Betty Converse.
Nash from the maritime museum said it was important to celebrate the area's history.
"It gives a community a sense of perspective," she said.
Phaedra Rehorn, supervisor of Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Ave. E., agreed, saying Heritage Days "is a celebration of who we are and where we came from."
All of the historical venues in the county give visitors a "hands-on and close-up experience of history through the years," Rehorn said.
Rehorn and her staff are busy getting ready for their Heritage Day event, an open house at the historical park, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 16.