Bradenton Seafood festival rocks out

jdeleon@bradenton.comApril 7, 2013 

BRADENTON --The good times kept rolling as festival-goers enjoyed the last day of this year's Desoto Heritage Seafood Festival on Sunday afternoon in downtown Bradenton.

There was plenty of fresh seafood to taste, cold drinks galore, a huge play area for little ones and music rocking into the final hour of the festival.

"We love it," Leaoni Perry said. "It's a good time, good food and good bands out here."

Perry and her date Eugene Truman came from Spring Hill for their first time to the seafood festival. Perry even did a little shopping and was sporting her new summer dress.

"We are having an amazing time," Truman said.

This year's annual Desoto Seafood festival featured two stages at either end with a line-up of bands to make sure everyone shook, rattled and rolled.

For many it was a first time at the annual event.

"We didn't know they did this down here," Michelle Coffee said.

Coffee and boyfriend Greg Abdallah moved to Bradenton a couple years and were enjoying their first festival.

For some it wasn't a first time but well worth the hour drive from Tampa.

"We are having a great time," said Sharon Brantley. "The seafood, all the food is the best."

The food is one of the biggest attractions with every kinds of tasty seafood delight to wow the taste buds of the thousands that poured into the streets.

For vendors, the seafood festival is an important weekend.

"I do it every year," Norman Sutherland said. "A lot of people know me here."

Sutherland, owner of Catch a Fire, sells his authentic Jamaican sauces every year at the festival.

"It creates a lot of new customers," Sutherland said. "It's great exposure."

Sutherland says the seafood festival is also a good money maker for him, with Saturday alone bringing in about $1,000 in sales. Most years he averages about $2,500 in sales.

With two stages playing music throughout the three days, many festival-goers spent most of their time rocking out.

"The music is my favorite part," Cathy Constance said. "Normally we are here Saturday for the main day but we were out of town."

Constance and husband Larry Lushinsky didn't let that stop them from catching at least one day of the festival.

"I came here to hear Big Daddy," Constance said. "We know the keyboard player."

The couple came up from Sarasota for their fourth annual visit to the Seafood Festival.

Bradenton's little ones were also having a good time Sunday afternoon.

"The bungee jump and slide were my favorite," Colelissa Layne said.

Layne, accompanied by her grandmother Alicia Cook, was enjoying the rides, the music by the Boneshakers, popcorn and snow cones.

Jessica De Leon, Herald Reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter

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