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Lakewood Ranch opens up Premier Sports Campus for free 20th anniversary party

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- After 20 years of building a community, you would think there would be a pause for a party with a live band and lots of people congregating to celebrate, finished off with fireworks. Best of all it would be free.

That's what Lakewood Ranch has planned from 6-9 p.m. Friday at Premier Sports Campus, 5895 Post Blvd., to celebrate its first 20 years as a community.

In two decades, lots of milestones could make good questions in a trivia contest, such as:

What came first, the Polo Club or Publix at Market Square?

What was the original name of Lakewood Ranch?

Remember John Clarke, the gentlemanly second CEO of developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch? Is he a native of Africa, Europe or Australia?

These aren't the official trivia questions.

The official questions can be found atfacebook.com/LakewoodRanch. For answers to our questions, look under the report's contact information at the end of this story.

"It's a family friendly event. We will have pumpkin decorating, face painting, a big kids area with inflatables, including bubble soccer in an inflatable," said Rachel Gray, SMR events and promotions coordinator.

There will also be eight food trucks and beer sales.

SMR is asking guests to bring a few nonperishable food items to collection points at Premier Sports Campus for Meals on Wheels Plus.

"It's an organization we work with regularly. This is the time of the year that they need to restock their shelves," Gray said.

Proceeds from beer sales will be donated to Meals on Wheels.

Koko Ray and the Keepers Band will provide live entertainment. The band sounds like Traffic, Counting Crows, Grateful Dead, Rashaan Roland Kirk, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, according to the Reverbnation website.

Trivia players can present their answers at the event. The winner will receive a set of 20th anniversary Lakewood Ranch Tervis tumblers and a Main Street gift card.

There will be an ATM onsite. Guests are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets.

"The evening will end with fireworks," Gray said.

Premier Sports Campus is north of State Road 70 with its intersection of Greenbrook Boulevard.

James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter Polo Club, Cypress Banks, Africa.

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