Temperatures are expected to plummet into the high 60s on Saturday night, but if you head to Anna Maria Island you can fight off the chill with the area’s best hot chocolate.
This year’s Christmas on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach features, according to organizers, an “epic” hot chocolate bar with “way more than marshmallows.”
It’s set to get going at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and run until 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Of course, there’s way more to the popular holiday event than just hot chocolate. For the second year, the Dickens Carolers, a professional company of actors and singers, will be on hand in period costumes to sing seasonal songs and tell stories. They’re scheduled to perform at 6 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. Russ and Brandi Adams, who call Anna Maria Island home, will host the entertainment program and perform acoustic music as well. The children's’ chorus from the Bradenton’s Rowlett Academy is scheduled to perform at 5 p.m.
The tallest Christmas tree on the island will be a centerpiece for the festivities, and Santa Claus and his sleigh will make an appearance.
Many of the retail shops in the area are planning special sales, and the event also features its own Outdoor Holiday Market.
A silent auction is scheduled to benefit Turning Points, which offers help for homeless individuals and families. You can expect everything from gift certificates for hotel stays, beach massage, mini golf, Segway tours and restaurants, to local art and handcrafted jewelry and wreaths to be available during the auction.