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City Council OKs plans for 2012 Seafood Festival

BRADENTON -- Plans for the annual Seafood Festival won the Bradenton City Council’s approval Wednesday.

The popular event, slated for March 30-April 1, will move to the more easterly side of Bradenton’s downtown, organizers have said.

Council members asked whether a city representative with authority to make decisions would be onsite during the event, and they were assured by City Clerk and Treasurer Carl Callahan that there would be.

After the meeting, Derek R. Williams, representing the festival sponsor Hernando De Soto Historical Society, said he hoped to make detailed plans as early as possible so the festival comes off smoothly.

At a recent workshop, city council members heard a litany of complaints from Williams and others, who contended the city needs to streamline its planning for big events downtown.

The festival draws thousands each year for food, fun and music.

Also approved were the society’s Bottle Boat Regatta, slated for April 14; and a 5-kilometer run and the Grand Parade, both set for April 28. But the council decided it could not approve the society’s plan for an Annual Easter Sunrise Service April 8 at Rossi Park because construction is expected to be under way at the park on that date.

In other action, the council OK’d a change of hours at the Bill Galvano One Stop Center, 701 17th Ave. W. The council amended its hours, changing them from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. to 6 a.m.-6 p.m., except for nightly meetings and in the aftermath of a disaster.

The One Stop Center wants to lengthen its hours to provide better service. The center offers an array of services to the needy.

The council also approved a resolution suggested by students that urged the Florida Legislature to adopt statewide rules controlling the sale and marketing of candy-flavored tobacco products.

Rachael Strebel and Ashton Mulvany, eighth-graders at Lee Middle School, told the council that candy-flavored tobacco products target youngsters, arguing that use of tobacco should be an adult decision.

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