This weekend's best bets: April 11-13

April 11, 2014 

The DeSoto Heritage Festival Bottle Boat Regatta will be 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 12 on the Palma Sola Causeway featuring wet, wild and colorful hand-constructed exotic boats that float on plastic bottles and have only paddles for propulsion. Various teams of friends, family, co-workers and children will participate. Information: HERALD FILE PHOTO



Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribfest: Manatee County Fairgrounds, 1303 17th St. W., Palmetto.

The Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribfest featuring prize-winning ribmasters and musical acts is 5-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday. Entertainment includes Tracy Lawrence, 8:30 p.m. Friday; Lyfe Jennings, 6:30 p.m. and Musiq Soulchild, 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Doug E. Fresh, 4 p.m. and T-Pain, 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $15 Friday, $25 Saturday and Sunday ($20 in advance). $30 two-day passes are offered. Children age 12 and younger are admitted free with an adult. There are also several VIP packages available at Tickets can also be purchased at Circle K stores and at the gate.

Bradenton Riverwalk "Music in the Park": Mosaic Amphitheater at Riverwalk, 452 Third Ave. W., Bradenton

Realize Bradenton's "Music in the Park" offers a free concert by Kristopher James, 6-8 p.m. April 11. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Information: 941-840-0013.

Holmes Beach downtown art walks: various locations, Holmes Beach

Holmes Beach art walk will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. April 11. Eleven participating galleries, and dozens of artists, include Island Gallery West, Arts for the Earth, Fukinsei Art Lab, SteamDesigns, Libby's Island Jewelry, Beach Life AMI, Anna Maria Island Art League, Artists' Guild Gallery, Restless Natives, and The Sidebar Gallery and Island Tattoo. Information: 941-779-9108 or

Island CityFest: Holmes Beach City Hall Field, 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach

The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce will host the Island CityFest 5-10 p.m. April 11 and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. April 12 featuring a food court with island restaurants and vendors, the LaPensee Classic Car Show featuring vintage cars Saturday, a fitness kids zone, fine arts, jewelry and crafts, the world famous Wallendas performing three shows, 5:30 p.m. Friday and 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday, live music by Renegades and Scott's Garage on Friday, and Can't Turn Left, Jesse Sliger, Mike Sales and Restless Natives, KoKo Ray and The Keepers, and Shotgun Justice on Saturday. MCs are Mike Sales on Friday and Chris Grumley Saturday. Information: 941-778-1541.

International Hot Rod Association Nitro Jam Southern Nationals: Bradenton Motorsports Park, 21000 E. State Route 64, Bradenton

The IHRA Nitrojam Southern National Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series with showtime at 7:30 p.m., gates open at 2 p.m. April 11, and show time at 6 p.m., gates open at 2 p.m. April 12. The traditional competition with professional qualifying takes place Friday and eliminations are set for Saturday. The event features the debut of the world's only Jet Dragster championship program being contested by four of the fastest women in drag racing. IHRA's other nitro divisions will include Nitro Harley and Nitro Altered. Tickets: $25 Friday adult, $30 Saturday adult, $10 children both days. Information: 941-748-1320 or


Stories of Valor: Honoring Veterans, Troops and their Families: McKechnie Field, 1611 Ninth St. W., Bradenton

As part of The Legacy of Valor, "Stories of Valor," an upbeat USO-style show, honoring our veterans and their families will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. April 12 featuring a family-friendly, multi-media event including a showcase of local musicians who are veterans, and musical and theatrical performances that take the audience through time with photos films, and interviews projected on large screens. Gates are open at 6 p.m. The event is directed by Rick Kirby, creative director at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. Tickets: $2 advance, $8 day of event. Proceeds will benefit Manasota Operation Troop Support. Bring items to send to U.S. troops. Information: 941-748-4610 or

Anna Maria Island Privateers Thieve's Markets: Coquina Beach Field, Bradenton Beach

The Anna Maria Island Privateers thieve's market is 8 a.m.-3 p.m. April 12 featuring special treasures in part craft bizarre, part flea market. Admission and parking are free. Information: 941-812-8318.

DeSoto Heritage Festival Bottle Boat Regatta: Palma Sola Causeway Southside, Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton

The DeSoto Heritage Festival Bottle Boat Regatta will be 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 12 featuring wet, wild and colorful hand-constructed exotic boats that float on plastic bottles and have only paddles for propulsion. Various teams of friends, family, co-workers and children will participate. Information:

Lakewood Ranch Eggstravaganza: 13400 Adventure Place, Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch

Bring your baskets and children between the ages of 2-13 and join the longest running egg hunt in Lakewood Ranch 9:30-11:30 a.m. with the egg hunt beginning promptly at 10:15 a.m. April 12. The eggstravaganza will feature the Easter Bunny, a live petting zoo, face painting, balloon art, music, pony rides, the Manatee Fire and Rescue team's red fire truck, prize drawings, games and refreshments. More than 13,000 eggs will be spread across the field and separated by a child's age to maximize the thrill of scooping as many as possible. Cost: $5 adults, $3 children, children ages 2 and younger are admitted free. Registration and information: 941-757-1530 or

Buckler's 22nd annual Craft Fair: Bradenton Area Convention Center, One Haben Blvd., Palmetto

Buckler's 23rd annual Craft Fair will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 12 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 13 featuring handmade creations by artists and crafters, including custom home decor, unique gifts, needlework, dolls and toys, country and primitive decor, artwork, jewelry, woodwork, painted glass, gourmet delights, quilts, plants and planters, recycled tire art, pet items, pottery and much more. Admission: $6, children ages 12 and younger are admitted free. Information:


G.T. Bray Community Egg Hunt: G.T. Bray baseball fields, 59th Street entrance, Bradenton

The seventh annual G.T. Bray Community Egg Hunt is 2-5 p.m. April 13 sponsored by the Church at Bradenton. Activities include face painting, bounce houses, bike giveaways, free cotton candy and popcorn and an appearance by the Easter Bunny. Egg hunts are ages 2-3 at 2:30 p.m., ages 6-8 at 3 p.m., ages 4-5 at 3:30 p.m. and ages 9-11 at 4 p.m. Candy and prize bags for each child. Information

Coquina Beach Market, 2650 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach

Come and stroll the Beach Market at Coquina Beach 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays through July. The market features fresh produce, arts and crafts, jewelry, local artists, apparel, pottery, purses, collectibles, health and beauty items and more. Food and beverages are available for purchase. Information: Nancy Ambrose at 941-518-4431.

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