It's September, so it's a little cooler outside (just a little). And that scary Tropical Storm Erika was nice enough to dissipate before she reached us. Plus, it's a long weekend for most of us.
That makes this a great weekend to get out an explore one of Bradenton's more colorful neighborhoods, the Village of the Arts.
On the first Friday night and Saturday afternoon of every month -- in other words, this Friday and Saturday -- the Village of the Arts hosts its popular artwalk. Galleries, studios, specialty shops and restaurants will all be open for business.
Musicians will perform through the Village of the Arts, and galleries will have opening receptions for their new shows.
If the weather turns nasty, you don't have to walk. You can easily find a place you'll enjoy sitting or browsing for a while, where you can stay, cool off and stay dry while you browse or meet artists and visitors.
The Village of the Arts is from Ninth Avenue West to 17th Avenue West, and from Ninth Street West to 14th Street West. It includes more than 275 individual properties.
The zoning allows both residential and commercial uses, so a lot of the artists, craftspeople and shop owners have their business in part of their homes, which makes for a welcoming atmosphere.
Details: Sept. 4-5, Village of the Arts, 1113 12th St. W., Bradenton and surrounding area. Hours: 6-9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission: Free. Information: 941-747-8056, villageofthearts.com.
-- Marty Clear