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Plenty of Bradenton events set to ring in new year

MANATEE -- There are lots of Manatee County events planned to help say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012. Here are a few of them:

The Old Main Street Merchants Association, in conjunction with the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority, hosts its second annual New Year’s Eve Celebration with this year’s revelry doubling as a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society’s fight against breast cancer.

All the bars on Old Main Street are participating with $2 shot proceeds going to the charity. In addition, Gold Coast Beverage Distributors has donated a keg of pink-colored Bud Light and 12-ounce cups will be sold for $2 to raise funds. Fittingly, the ball being dropped is pink. There will be live music from 8 p.m. until midnight by Michael Mac Band and Friends featuring Julliet guitarist Jimmy DeLisi. Dozens of vendors will line the street throughout the evening. The party starts at 5 p.m. Saturday. Old Main Street will close between 3 p.m. and 1 a.m. Incidentally, downtown Sarasota has cancelled its popular New Year’s Eve event.

Here’s a look at the rest of the area’s planned celebrations.

MANATEE

New Year’s Eve at Post 24: American Legion Kirby Stewart Post 24, 2000 75th St. W., BradentonChampagne, dinner, dancing and a Continental breakfast headline an outstanding New Year’s celebration for American Legion members and their guests. Festivities begin with a cash bar at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 31, and featuring a prime rib or chicken dinner at 6:30 p.m. Dance to the Sophisticated Jazz Orchestra from 8 p.m. For tickets and seating arrangements, call 941-794-3489 .

New Year’s Eve Extravaganza: BeachHouse Restaurant, 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton BeachThe BeachHouse Restaurant will host its 18th a nnual New Year’s Eve Extravaganza starting at 9 p.m. Dec. 31 featuring dinner, dancing, party favors, and music by DJ Chuck C. There will be a balloon drop, a champagne toast and a spectacular fireworks display at midnight. Tickets: $99.99. Open seating on the Gulf front deck will be available with regular menu selections and New Year’s Eve specials. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Advance ticket purchase is required for the inside dining room. Information: 941-779-2222.

New Year’s Eve Celebration: Bayshore Gardens Recreation Center, 6919 26th St. W., BradentonCelebrate New Year’s Eve with a Roaring 20’s theme 8 p.m. Dec. 31 and enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, midnight champagne and great dance music by Ernie Litz. Cost: $25 per couple. Information: 941-756-9255.

New Year’s Eve Dinner/party: Pier 22, 1200 First Ave. W., Bradenton Pier 22 offers a Pre-Party Holiday Dinner at 6 p.m. Dec. 31 or a New Year’s Eve Party at 9 p.m., both on the outdoor waterfront terrace and patio. Live music by The Arch from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Pre-Party dinner features a holiday buffet for $24.95 per person which includes Pier 22’s House Salad, pesto-crusted salmon, chicken Saltimbocca, shaved prime rib, garlic mashed potatoes, vegetables and cheesecake. The New Year’s Eve Party and Extravagant Buffet for $49.95 per person includes a gourmet cheese and fruit, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, antipasta, tomato basil bruschetta, Pier 22’s house salad, 1976 Salad, carved tenderloin, grouper picatta, chicken Saltimbocca, garlic mashed potatoes and dessert. At midnight, mini-cheeseburgers are served. Party favors are included. Reservations are recommended and can be made online at www.pier22dining.com or by calling 941-748-8087.

Fourth annual Shamrock Shiver Charity Plunge: Gulf of Mexico and Clancy’s, 6218 Cortez RoadThe Fourth annual Shamrock Shiver Charity Plunge will be at noon Jan. 1 in the chilly Gulf waters followed by a post-Plunge party at Clancy’s, featuring door prizes, beverages, food and music by the Jack Tamburin Band. All proceeds will benefit Caring for Children Charities. Info: 941-952-1109.

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