MANATEE -- Manatee County officials will host a conference July 11-13 focusing on Florida neighborhoods, with keynote speaker Kenneth Feld, president and chief executive officer of Feld Entertainment.
About 40 workshops and a bevy of local tours are planned as part of the 17th annual Florida Neighborhoods Conference set for the Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto, according to Nick Azzara, county information outreach coordinator.
This is the first year the statewide conference will be held in Manatee County, said Cheri Coryea, county director of neighborhood services.
About 120 registrations have been received already but the county's newly renovated convention center at One Haben Blvd. could accommodate many more, she said.
The registration deadline has been extended to June 24, Coryea said,
Each year, the conference provides Florida residents an opportunity to network, visit communities throughout a diverse state, and share and learn from each other, Coryea said.
"It is our sincere hope that conference participants have the chance to meet and learn from other neighbors, tour Manatee County and learn how to show their love of community by being active, involved and making a difference," Coryea said.
"We have put together a conference that blends the experience of sharing ideas in a workshop setting with experts in many fields from all over the state and found a way to offer a little down-home flavor," she said.
Bus tours will be offered showcasing historic downtown Palmetto, parts of Bradenton, Port Manatee, and a special evening at Sarasota's dazzling palatial mansion, Ca' d'Zan, once inhabited by the Ringling family.
Registration for the three-day event is $55 until June 24, and $90 beginning June 25.
To register, go to floridaneighborhoodsconference.org. Information, call Manatee County neighborhood services coordinator Debbie DeLeon, 941-749-3029.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@sarawrites.