When the Bradenton area has festivals, we have festivals. The right way. With lots of food. Check out all that’s on the horizon. But we’ve got to warn you: you’ll probably get hungry just thinking about it. Our rotating annual festivals include the Seafood Festival, Rib Fest, Food & Wine on Pine and the Blues Festival – with lots of authentic Southern food, of course. These events take place all over Bradenton area, including Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key.
Search for our festivals on our calendar of events >
Here is a list of our main yearly festivals.
Forks & Corks
A premier food, wine and beer festival for the Suncoast, Forks & Corks showcases the diverse cuisine of The Sarasota-Manatee Originals members and the fruits of the labors of international winery owners and winemakers. Events like interactive wine seminars and The Grand Tasting are held at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, member restaurants and other locations.
Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival
Now in its 30th year, this festival in the village of Cortez features Florida seafood, arts and crafts, live music and museum displays. It runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with admission costing $2 (kids under 12 get in free). The hub of the festival is 4600 124th St. W. in Cortez, and all proceeds benefit the F.I.S.H. Preserve.
DeSoto Heritage Festival Seafood Fest
Part of a family-friendly three-day event celebrating the area’s heritage, Seafood Fest offers local seafood plus non-seafood dishes from area restaurants. Live entertainment is available on two stages, and local artisans and craftspeople sell their wares. It’s held along the Manatee River in downtown Bradenton, centering on 12th Street West/Old Main Street, and admission is free.
Gulf Coast Rhythm & Ribfest
Food, music and family fun are the highlights of this festival held annually at the Manatee County Fairgrounds. Rib-cooking teams from across the country gather to compete and serve festival goers their award-winning recipes, and recording artists perform country, jazz, blues, rock and R&B. In the past, The Charlie Daniels Band, One Night Rodeo, The Grass Roots and Rick Derringer have entertained the crowd.
Longboat Key Gourmet Lawn Party
It's the most delectable event of the season, and it benefits local children's charities and youth scholarships. Sample signature dishes from 30 local restaurants, enjoy wine, beer and soft drinks, live entertainment and free parking - all included with your admission ticket. This year's event will feature expanded Reserved Seating under the big tent with special perks and goodies for only $35. General admission tickets remain a bargain at only $25!
Taste of Manatee
A two-day celebration of local food and entertainment, Taste of Manatee is a Rotary Club of West Bradenton/Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association event held each fall in downtown Bradenton. Live music and family activities are available (there’s even a children’s stage), and past events saw dishes from a variety of local restaurants and national chains. Admission is free.
Suncoast Food & Wine Fest
Another fall food event, the food and wine festival takes place at Sarasota Polo Club in Lakewood Ranch. More than 300 wines are available for tasting and sale, and you can sample dishes from more than 35 area restaurants. There also are beer tastings, cooking demonstrations and a silent auction. Tickets are available in advance only, with proceeds benefitting area charities on behalf of the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch.
Hunsader Pumpkin Festival
The annual Hunsader Farms Pumkin Festival usually takes place during three weekends in October before Halloween. The festival features 100+ craft booths, Live music and shows, hayrides, pony rides, corn maze, scarecrow displays, rock climbing wall, petting zoo, train rides and much much more. It's a great festival to attend for the entire family!
Food and Wine on Pine
The famous Anna Maria Island is host to "Food and Wine on Pine", which is "one of America's greenest streets." This culinary and cultural experience is hosted once a year. Enjoy food from over 25 of the areas finest restaurants, at least 30 upscale wines, beer, more than 30 musical acts, art pieces from over 40 artists, while the kids play in the activities area.
This annual event, which takes place in December, features an array of top blues artists performing on an open air stage starting in the AM and running until 8PM. Stroll along the Riverwalk overlooking the Manatee River, while enjoying the tunes and get ready to have a good time.
Culinaria Restaurant Week
Culinaria brings you all the best from the area’s magnificent culinary scene, and at special prices. It's your passport to a mouth-watering array of local restaurants presenting delicious offerings of authentic flavors of the area.
Mixon's Harvest Festival
Mixon's annual Harvest Festival will have lots of things to see and do....Pony Rides, Bungee Jumping, Bounce Houses, rides, entertainment acts with trampolines and juggling hula hoops, delicious food and lots of crafters! Come enjoy the fun.