Every year, Paxton Richards said, he has made a few adjustments to the Heatstroke Hot Rod Hoedown.
He didn't have to do that this time.
"Every year I tweak it to get it to make sure it's really good," he said. "Last year I got it to where I liked it, so I'm just going ahead and doing it again this year."
The 11th annual Heatstroke Hot Rod Hoedown is scheduled to start at noon Saturday at P-Man's Classic Cycle in downtown Bradenton.
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A full day, and a full night, of live music is the main attraction, and Richards said the lineup includes some of the best bands in Florida. Richards said he makes sure there's something for all tastes.
"We've got rock, blues, reggae, instrumental surf-rock, kind of like Dick Dale, we've got a punk band," he said. "Anything you want, we've got it."
And, it's all free.
"I wanted to give something back to the motorcycle community, to the hot rod community," Richards said. "They've always been good to me."
There's plenty of food, beer and other beverages available at reasonable prices from vendors, and prize drawings for motorcycle accessories. Bike shops from around the area will have displays at the festival, and skaters from the Bradentucky Bombers roller derby team will also be on hand, as they are most years.
"They pretty much skate around knocking people down," Richards said.
Besides the music, probably the most popular event of the hoedown is the slow race. Motorcyclists ride side-by-side down a track. Each rider has to stay in his own lane and he can't put his feet on the ground. The last one to the reach the finish line wins.
Here's the entertainment lineup: 1 p.m. Vital Signs (rock); 2 p.m. Swamp Donkie (acoustic); 3 p.m. Guitar Gary Blues Band (blues); 4 p.m. Surf Kats (instrumental surf music); 5 p.m. Haps Honda presents Heatstroke Deadmans Slow Race; 5:30 p.m. The Jones's (rock); 6:30 p.m. The Strangeways (ska/reggae); 7:30 p.m. GoToHells (rock); 8:30 p.m. Ober Rivers and his DUI's (outlaw country rock); 9:30 p.m. Los Diablos (punk rock); 10:30 p.m. Hail Dale (rock).
Even though Richards didn't tweak this year's hoedown itself, he did make an addition.
For the first time, he's turned it into a two-day event with a kickoff party on Friday night at Aces Live, at 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton. There's a $5 cover charge for the kick-off party.
Two of the bands from Saturday's festival -- Swamp Donkie and Ober Rivers and His D.U.I.'s -- will play at the kickoff party. They'll be joined by The Bloody Jug Band, an Orlando-based group that won't be at the hoedown itself.
"They play washboards and fiddles and all of that," Richards said. "But their lyrics are really dark. They're all about murder and stuff."
Details: Noon-midnight Sept. 13, P-Man's Classic Cycle, 721 Seventh Ave. W., Bradenton. Admission: Free. Information: 941-744-1157, facebook.com/Heatstroke2014.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.