The Bradenton Area Can't Miss Signature Events!

When the Bradenton area has events, we have events. The right way. Featuring the best in food, music, arts, sporting events and more. Check out all that’s on the horizon! But we’ve got to warn you: you’ll probably get hungry reading about the 25th Annual Seafood Festival, start taping your foot and humming your favorite tune when you hear that we have the Best Blues Festival in the country rated by Blues411.com and chanting your favorite sports cheer when you discover all the world class sporting events happening in the Bradenton Area.


The Bradenton Area River Regatta
February
The Bradenton Area will host the third annual Formula 2 (F-2) powerboat regatta along the Manatee River. Held on both sides of the River on Bradenton’s Riverwalk and downtown Palmetto, the F-2 tunnel boats explode from 0-100/mph in less than four seconds and hit four-plus G’s. Spectators won’t want to miss the heart-stopping frenzy to the finish! On shore spectators will be holding their breath for what happens next between the Powerboat Superleague, HydroDrag jet skiers, the mind-blowing Extreme Pogo stunts and the 15-minute, nonstop, heart-pounding performance of Zambelli fireworks illuminating the skies.


Major League Soccer Preseason Tournament
February
Watch some of your favorite Major League Soccer teams like New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC, DC United and many international teams go head to head in this preseason tournament at IMG Academy in Bradenton.


Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival
February
This annual festival in the Village of Cortez celebrates Florida flavor with a two-day seaside event featuring Florida seafood, nautical arts and crafts, educational and entertaining museum exhibits and live music.


ArtSlam
March
Working in teams artists, sculptors, dancers, poets, painters, designers, photographers, musicians, videographers, and other creative individuals will create temporary, one-day, works of public art and performance.


Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training
March
Our city exudes a friendly Southern charm, and our surrounding islands welcome baseball fans of all ages. Every March for more than 40 years, a very popular rite of spring has taken place here. As residents put away their winter sweaters and spring moves into high gear, the Pittsburgh Pirates arrive in Bradenton to play their spring training games. The schedule includes more than 30 games, about 15 of which are home. Season highlights include home games against the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays.


DeSoto Heritage Seafood Festival
March
Held along the Manatee River in Downtown Bradenton, this family-friendly, three-day event puts local chefs and local ingredients on display. A community celebration of heritage along with a shared devotion to good eating and live music adds festival flair.


Pickin Picnic
April
A fun, family friendly event on downtown Bradenton’s Riverwalk that showcases local music, craft beer and food trucks. Watch as the food trucks go head to head in a food truck war in which a "secret" ingredient is given to all food trucks and they have 15 minutes to develop a featured dish. Local celebrities judge the dishes from these wars.


Food and Wine on Pine
May
A unique sustainable culinary and cultural experience, Food and Wine on Pine showcases our area’s farm to fork and tide to table restaurants, wine, arts, history and music. The event is held on the “Greenest Little Main Street in America” historic Pine Avenue on Anna Maria Island. 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.


Snooty’s Birthday Bash
July
Join Snooty, the world’s oldest living manatee as certified by Guinness World records, as he turns 69 years young this July. Friends can attend Snooty's Birthday Bash & Wildlife Festival at the South Florida Museum to sing happy birthday and watch Snooty devour a fruit and vegetable birthday cake!


World Rowing Championships
September
Hosted for the first time in more than twenty years in the US, this week long event will be held at Nathan Benderson Park in the Bradenton Area. The 2017 World Rowing Championships are expected to attract more than 1,000 Olympic-caliber athletes from more than 70 countries.


Australian Rules football USAFL
October
Serving the Australian football community in the U.S., with 40 plus team and over 1200 Athletes, this is a sporting event like no other. Held at Premier Sports Campus, you will not want to miss these athletes going head to head at a high intensity and fast pace.


Symphony on the Sand, Sandblast, Artshop
November
Three different music styles. Three great days! Symphony on the Sand offers the opportunity to enjoy the award winning Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra (a 45-piece orchestra) while watching the sun set on Anna Maria Island and feasting on delicacies from the top restaurants in the area. Held in conjunction with Symphony on the Sand, for those looking for some friendly competition or just another way to enjoy the beach, Sandblast is annual Sand-sculpting competition that pits teams sponsored by local businesses against each other along the white sand of Coquina Beach. Don’t forget ArtsHop, showcasing all the area’s most creative art work.


Bradenton Blues Festival
December
There is always a reason to come to the Bradenton area in December. (Hey, it’s warm here.) But the number one reason to visit that time of year is the Bradenton Blues Festival. This annual festival features a lineup of top blues artists from around the county and all the food, drink, art and vendors you can stomach on the beautiful Manatee River.


Crosley Theater Shows
December - January
The Powel Crosley Theater is committed to producing unique theatrical presentations of the works of some of the greatest authors and playwrights in literary history, including Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, O. Henry, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde. The works of these classic authors are a vital and enriching part of our culture.

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