EAST MANATEE -- Hundreds of people gathered Saturday near the banks of the Braden River Saturday to taste some gumbo, enjoy a libation and hear some home-grown bluegrass and country music.
The Braden River Music Festival and Gumbo Cook-Off was held at the idyllic Linger Lodge Restaurant and Campground off of 85th Street in East Manatee.
What started three years ago as a small bluegrass festival has become a more eclectic event, with Americana, country and even some rock music.
"This is the best one yet," said Mark Horn, music organizer and mandolinist of the group HWY 41 SOUTH, which performed along with Mitch Lind and The Lagerheads, The Schmitz Brothers, the Generations Bluegrass band, Kim Betts and Gamble Creek, and Roy Schneider.
Horn and Dave LaRusso, the general manager at Linger Lodge, said the main goal is simply for people to have a good time. "My goal is to break even," Horn said. "I've never not broken even," he said with a smile.