Bradenton weekend guide April 29-May 1: De Soto Parade, more

Joe Miller as the DeSoto Padre holds his cross on Manatee Avenue as crowds cheer and yell for beads during the annual DeSoto Grand Parade in this photo file.

Joe Miller as the DeSoto Padre holds his cross on Manatee Avenue as crowds cheer and yell for beads during the annual DeSoto Grand Parade in this photo file.

The last weekend of April is almost here – and there’s plenty of fun on tap to help you enjoy it. Still need plans? We’ve got you covered.

Here’s a hand-picked guide to good times around Bradenton and Sarasota this weekend, April 29-May 1, 2022.

De Soto Grand Parade

Manatee County’s biggest parade of the year happens Saturday. Tens of thousands of spectators from the Tampa Bay area will line the streets of Bradenton for the 2.5 mile procession celebrating conquistador Hernando de Soto’s 1539 landing in Florida.

The parade is the finale of a month-long heritage festival held by the nonprofit Hernando de Soto Historical Society. It features over 150 entries. They include colorful illuminated floats decorated by local organizations and schools, marching bands and emergency vehicles. Kids can load up on beads and coins.

  • Details: 7 pm April 30. Route: Parade begins at Manatee High School, travels west on Ninth Avenue West, north on 39th Street West and then east on Manatee Avenue West, ending at Ninth Street West.
  • Info:

Hispanic Resource Community Fair

The School District of Manatee County and other organizations will host a free Hispanic Resource Community Fair in Bradenton this Saturday; the event is designed “to assist Spanish-speaking families with much-needed services,” the school district says.

Volunteers will be on site to help families with school and transportation registration, summer camp enrollment, job opportunities, filing for rental assistance, healthcare access, adult English classes and more. There will also be a family food pantry, free haircuts, medical exams and clothing.

  • Details: 11 am-3 pm Saturday. Wakeland Support Center, 1812 27th St. E., Bradenton. Free.
  • Info: 941-909-1999.

Wonder of Bees at Manatee County Ag Museum

A free event this Saturday at the Manatee County Agricultural Museum in Palmetto invites families to learn all about bees.

The celebration of the precious pollinators will include an interactive demonstration hive (no live bees), honey tasting, games, crafts, story time and a bee house building project (one per family). Learn about which plants will attract bees to the yard and garden and also how to avoid getting stung.

  • Details: 1-3 pm Saturday. Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 1015 Sixth St. W., Palmetto. Free.
  • Info: 941-721-2034.

‘Remember When’ vintage car show

The second annual “Remember When Vintage Car Show” will bring classic cars and other fun to the Water’s Edge of Bradenton retirement community this Saturday. In addition to beautiful automobiles, visitors can enjoy food and drink, door prizes and giveaways. Cadillac DJ Jimmy will be set up playing hits of the ’50s,’ 60s and ’70s.

  • Details: 10 am-2 pm Saturday. Water’s Edge of Bradenton, 2015 32nd Ave. W., Bradenton.
  • Info: 941-757-2304

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Brenden Dixon, 21 from Texas, jumps and blows a bubble during afternoon practice on the field at LECOM before the opening night game against the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Tiffany Tompkins

Bradenton Marauders at LECOM

The Florida State League’s Bradenton Marauders are home at LECOM Park this week for a five-game series with the Dunedin Blue Jays.

The Marauders will host a “East Meets West” spirit night on Friday featuring cheer teams, bands and drum lines from Lakewood Ranch High School and Manatee High School, plus games and family fun.

Details: 6:30 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday; Noon Sunday. LECOM Park, 1611 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Tickets range from $ 7- $ 11.


Music in the Park

Realize Bradenton’s annual outdoor concert series will come to a close with a final night of live music at Rossi Park on the Bradenton Riverwalk this Friday.

This week, the Combo Fusion band will entertain with Latin rhythms and a variety of dance music. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs. Dogs on leashes are also welcome.

  • Details: 6-8 pm Friday. Rossi Park on the Bradenton Riverwalk, 452 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. Free.
  • Info:

Performing arts and shows

“Titanic the Musical” at Manatee Performing Arts Center: “Based on real people aboard the most legendary ship in the world, Titanic the Musical is a stunning and stirring production focusing on the hopes, dreams and aspirations of her passengers who each boarded with stories and personal ambitions of their own,” a show preview says.

  • Details: 7:30 pm Thursday, 8 pm Friday, 2 pm Sunday. Through May 15. Manatee Performing Arts Center. 502 Third Avenue West, Bradenton. $ 30- $ 41.
  • Info:
  • Anna Maria Island Players present “The Psychic”: “Down on his luck and desparate to pay rent, Adam hangs a sign in his window offering discount pyschic readings,” a show preview says. “Much to his surprise, the unemployed writer finds himself involved in a string of bizarre and hilarious murders in this 2011 ‘Edgar Allan Poe Awards’ winner.”

    • Details: 7:30 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 2 pm Sunday. Through May 15. The Island Players, 10009 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria. $ 25.
    • Info: 941-778-5755.

    Antonio Chen Guang at Florida State College: “Winner of the first Olga Kern International Piano Competition, the Scriabin Prize and the Rome Prize amongst numerous other international awards, pianist Antonio Chen Guang combines extraordinary technique, a precociously mature musical sensibility and exceptional onstage charisma, ”a concert preview says.

    “The Legend of Georgia McBride” at Florida Studio Theater: “Casey is struggling with his gig as an Elvis impersonator in a run-down, small-town Florida bar,” a show description says. “When the bar owner brings in a B-level drag show to replace his act, Casey finds that he has a whole lot to learn about show business – and himself.”

    “A Skeptic and a Bruja” at Urbanite Theater: “Priscilla buys a home in the middle of nowhere with the hopes of turning it into a lucrative bed and breakfast,” a show description says. When she starts having paranormal experiences, she calls Sam and Jess from the hit ghost-hunting show “A Skeptic and a Bruja” to help her. None of the women are prepared for the haunting they encounter next. ”

    • Details: 7:30 pm Thursday and Friday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Saturday, 2 pm Sunday. Extended through May 8. Urbanite Theater, 1487 Second Street, Sarasota. Ages 40 and up: $ 36. Under 40: $ 20. Students: $ 5.
    • Info:

    Dennis Blair at McCurdy’s Comedy Theater: A longtime compatriot of legendary comic George Carlin, musical comedian Dennis Blair has a storied career of inspiring laughs on TV, radio and stage.

    • Details: 7 pm Thursday, 6:30 and and 8:50 pm Friday and Saturday, 7 pm Sunday. McCurdy’s Comedy Theater, 1923 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. $ 25.
    • Info:

    Farmers’ markets

    Downtown Bradenton Public Market: Formerly the Bradenton Farmers Market, this weekly community gathering is back on Saturdays with a fresh name. But you’ll still find a bounty of produce, food, handcrafted goods, arts, music, cooking demonstrations and more along Old Main Street. The market offers more than 40 vendors.

    The Beach Market at Coquina Beach offers fresh produce, arts and crafts, jewelry and apparel, health and beauty items, music and more on Anna Maria Island. The market will be held on Wednesdays and Sundays December through March.

    The Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch welcomes more than 90 regional vendors to Waterside Place each Sunday. Offerings include produce, meat and seafood, prepared foods and breads, crafts, jewelry, plants and pet treats. Live music from a rotation of local musicians and yoga sessions are another regular feature at the market.

    Oneco Farmers Market is open seven days a week. The permanent market boasts more than 100 vendors in one location, including meats and seafood, fresh produce, sweets and treats. There are also restaurants and arts and crafts vendors to check out, and the market frequently hosts free community events.

    • Details: Open 7 am-8 pm daily. Oneco Farmers Market, 5108 15th St. E., Bradenton.
    • Info:

    Sarasota Farmers Market brings vendors selling arts and crafts, goods and services, produce, food, plants and more to downtown Sarasota. There’s also live music to enjoy.

    Newtown Sarasota Farmers Market offers local produce, fresh-baked goods and other items twice a week in the Newtown neighborhood. The market also hosts community gatherings including events for kids and food festivals.

    • Details: 10 am-5p.m. Friday and Saturday. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, 2523 Cocoanut Ave., Sarasota.
    • Info:

    Meadows Farmers Market: Started in Oct. 2021, the Meadows Farmers Market promises organic fruits and vegetables straight from local farmers. Other attractions include artisans, food vendors and live music. Events at the market include yoga, tai chi, wellness talks and holiday celebrations.

    Red Barn Flea Market combines the best of a farmers market, a flea market and a food court in one stop. At Red Barn, you’ll find permanent storefronts, vendor booths, fresh produce, local food offerings, live entertainment and more.

    See a movie

    Whether you’re interested in Hollywood blockbusters, independent film or an old-timey drive-in movie experience, there’s a theater nearby that can satisfy. Here are your local movie options:

    Ruskin Family Drive-In: In operation since 1952, this drive-in plays classic flicks, family favorites and new movies with Wed.-Sun showings.

    There are two options for audio: bring a portable radio or leave your car radio turned on during the film. You can also bring folding chairs to set up outside of the vehicle (bug repellent is recommended if you go this route).

    “The Bad Guys” (PG): 8:15 pm Fri.-Sun.

    “Marry Me” (PG-13): 9:55 pm Fri.-Sun.

    • Details: 5011 US 41 N., Ruskin. Ages 9 and up: $ 6. Ages 5-8: $ 1. Cash only. $ 5 fee for bringing your own food. Alcohol not permitted.
    • Info:

    Sarasota Film Society: Sarasota Film Society’s Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota theaters are a great place to catch a weekend flick. Screenings include independent and art films as well as blockbusters. Check the society’s website for the current lineup of movies.

    Some of the society’s movie offerings can be streamed virtually from home.

    • Details: Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Drive 8, Sarasota and Burns Court Cinemas, 506 Burns Lane, Sarasota. Online streaming available anytime.
    • Info: or 941-955-3456

    Other Bradenton area movie theaters:

    • AMC Bradenton 20, 2507 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton. 941-752-3796

    • AMC Sarasota 12, 8201 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. 941-922-4900

    • CMX CinéBistro Siesta Key, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail # 1100, Sarasota. 941-361-2456

    • Regal Oakmont, 4801 Cortez Rd. W., Bradenton. 844-462-7342

    • Regal Hollywood, 1993 Main St., Sarasota. 844-462-7342

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    Ryan Ballogg is a news reporter and features writer at the Bradenton Herald. Since joining the paper in 2018, he has received awards for features, art and environmental writing in the Florida Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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