Every Saturday through June and July, the Bridge Street Merchants hosted the Bridge Street Night Market events, which drew crowds to Bradenton Beach for relaxed evenings of music, arts and crafts. In the cooler months, the merchants group hosts the popular Sunday markets.
Now that we're into August, the group is offering a new event, right in that same spot, with a different kind of energy.
The Barbecue, Beer & Bluegrass Festival offers live music from one of the area's best bluegrass bands, lots of great barbecue and beer, wine and mixed drinks.
It's a family-friendly event, organizers say, and because the area won't be packed with arts and crafts vendors, there will be plenty of room to lay down blankets or set up lawn chairs, and to dance to the music of Stumble Creek Station. There's also lots of shopping in the immediate vicinity
The festival is set for 5-10 p.m. Saturday. It's free and open to all ages.
Stumble Creek Station is based in Bradenton but keeps busy with gigs all over the area, especially at venues in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. You may have caught them a few weeks back when they played at a Bridge Street Market in June.
Stumble Creek Station members are Andy Karpay (mandolin, vocals), Austin Kennedy (guitar, vocals), Howard Bard (five-string banjo, vocals) and Doug Conroy (acoustic upright bass, vocals). They have a reputation for expert playing and fun shows, with music influenced by everything from traditional bluegrass to the Grateful Dead.
Details: 5-10 p.m. Aug. 3, Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach. Tickets: Free. Information: 215-906-0668, www.bridgestreetmerchants.com.
-- Marty Clear