|Experience the charm of a holiday festival with family-friendly entertainment, heritage artisans, “make and take” crafts for adults and youth, model trains, visiting vendors, vintage films, and a Victorian Santa, “Father Christmas”. The entire Park will be decorated in seasonal colors and Victorian accents with plenty of old-fashioned Florida fun to delight every age! The annual festival takes place Sunday, December 15, from 11 am to 4 pm at Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Avenue East, (State Road 64), Bradenton, Florida, 34208. Parking is free.
Special event admission* is: $5.00 for Adults; children twelve years and under are free.
*The entry ticket is your chance to win tickets to the Manatee Players production of
The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
This year’s entertainment highlights include:
The First Brass, featuring Mark Allebach on the keyboard and Gary Reinstrom playing trumpet, French horn, Bagpipes and Whistle. They will perform a variety of music, including Christmas songs to bring the joy of music to those attending the festival.
Magic of Manatee’s double quartet, The Eighth Notes and The Gulf Coast Sandpiper Barbershop Chorus EZ Keys will stroll through the Park enchanting guests and winning smiles with their heart-warming style and pleasing songs.
Peace Lutheran School Junior Chimes return to ring in the holidays with the resonating sounds of the season’s favorite melodies. Amy Mehnert directs the accomplished students who produce the heavenly harmonies.
Twas one Crazy night before Christmas will be presented by choral and drama students from Rowlett Magnet Elementary School under direction of teachers Cathy Noeth and Starloe Galetta. The show takes a light-hearted look at Christmas in the typical American household with clever songs, hilarious antics and entertainment for everyone.
Southeast High School Chamber Orchestra will perform holiday classics such as: Snowflakes, Celtic Suite, Concerto in Re Maggiore #246 and The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. The concert combines familiar melodies and pleasant sounding 18th century arrangements directed by Joe Downs.
Join the Bashaw Elementary School Chorus for December ‘Round the World as they travel all around the world celebrating holiday traditions in North America, Europe, Africa, Israel, Japan, and China. Their program will charm all who see it, reminding us of our global connections. Teacher Barbara Sullivan will direct.
Ron Bopp, The Organ Grinder, a Board Member of the Carousel Organ Association of America, will share what he and other members consider the “The Happiest Music on Earth” by playing rolls of Christmas music and telling more about the history of these unique machines.
The ever-popular Sugar Creekers Model Railroaders return with imaginative layouts and fascinating landscapes featuring their N-gauge model railroad collection. See the expansion of a Manatee Village Historical Park in “miniature”! You won’t believe the detail, even the cemetery is now included.
Author and local historian Cathy Bayless Slusser will be on hand in the Wiggins General Storefront to sign her new book, of From a Heavenly Land: Eliza’s Story, the powerful and inspiring true story of one woman’s life on the Florida frontier.
Other favorite activities enjoyed by festival-goers are suggested here:
Browse the booths of visiting artists and craftsmen selling their wares. Discover the Museum’s Whistle Stop Gift Shop where you can give the gift of history. Its exciting array of local and regional Florida history books, history-inspired merchandise, area souvenirs and Christmas ornaments may provide the answer to your last minute shopping needs.
Introduce yourself to “Father Christmas” a Victorian Santa, and don’t forget to share your holiday wish list. Watch demonstrations by heritage artisans, learn about old time folk toys, and stop at stations around the park where adults and youth can create free crafts to take home, such as: citrus pomanders, lacy Victorian cards, fancy paper chains, cornucopia ornaments filled with candies, and reindeer lollipops.
Steal away to watch rare vintage silent movies such as the 1905 version of “The Night Before Christmas” and a 1910 version of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”, both produced at Thomas Edison’s studios.
Listen to representatives from the Manatee County Audubon Society relate an all volunteer activity that has been a Florida tradition since 1900 – the 114th annual Christmas Bird Count organized by the National Audubon Society.
And, restore your energy – enjoy the tasty refreshments offered by food vendors.
This program is produced by R.B. “Chips” Shore, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Department of Historical Resources and the Manatee County Historical Commission. Proceeds for this event support continued community and educational programs of the Manatee County Historical Commission.
About the Clerk’s Office
The Clerk of the Circuit Court was established as a public trustee by the Florida Constitution in 1838. The Clerk of the Circuit Court serves as the Clerk of Courts, the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, Auditor, Recorder, and Custodian of all County Funds. In Manatee County, the Clerk’s office also administers a child support enforcement program, violence protection advocacy program and Teen Court programs. Located at 1115 Manatee Avenue West in Downtown Bradenton, the Courthouse is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Please be sure to visit our web site at www.manateeclerk.com