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Bradenton officials are ready for Turkey Crawl

BRADENTON -- Employees of the city of Bradenton solid waste division are calling it “Wild Wednesday.”

Its official name is “Turkey Crawl 2011,” an annual Thanksgiving Eve party along Old Main Street slated from 5 to 11 p.m. today with 1,500 or so revelers expected, according to an application filed with the city.

“Will not place any pumpkins,” the application states, apparently a reference to the notorious aftermath of last year’s event, which city officials are vowing will not be repeated.

Last year on Thanksgiving morning, they found smashed pumpkins, beer cans and bottles littered across downtown.

This year, a new sponsor has stepped up, the Old Main Street Merchants Association, representing Bradenton’s downtown business owners.

“It’ll be run properly,” said Cork Miller, president of the group, on Tuesday. “We have a track record as Old Main Street Merchants. We know how to put events on downtown.

“It’s going to be a nice, safe, fun place to be tomorrow night, everybody will have a good time.”

Old Main Street will close to vehicular traffic from 2 to 11 p.m. or possibly until midnight, according to an email from Tim McCann, the city’s public information officer.

“Remind people to park elsewhere that afternoon, or they’ll be towed!” he said.

Live music provided by the Vin Lamar Band starts at 7 p.m., he said.

“I have instructed my staff to provide two crew members for the event this year,” wrote Brian Henry, Bradenton’s superintendent for Solid Waste/Commercial/Recycle Divisions, in an email. “This is the same complement fielded for the New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day events.

“Additionally, I will be accompanying a crewmember at 7 a.m. on Thursday morning to provide a final cleanup, and document the condition of the downtown area after the event.”

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031.