|Bradenton, FL (March 4th, 2014) – The Hernando de Soto Historical Society is proud to announce the annual De Soto Seafood Festival presented by Bright House Networks with Event Sponsor – Heintz & Becker, to be held April 4-6, 2014. Now celebrating its 30th year, the De Soto Seafood Festival continues to offer Manatee County families and visitors the area’s premier downtown event. This year’s Festival will feature a sampling of local seafood available for purchase, performances by two national recording artists (country star Travis Tritt and hip-hop/pop culture icon Vanilla Ice), favorite regional bands, and a number of award-winning artisans and artists showcasing their talents. Organizers also have announced a location change for 2014 as the Festival location shifts north to historic downtown Palmetto.
Travis Tritt takes the Baker’s Paint and Body Main Stage on Friday evening. Tritt landed on the country music scene in 1990 with his hit album Country Club. At the time, his conspicuous lack of a cowboy hat and musical aggressiveness set him apart from other early 90s Nashville stars. The next eight albums and scores of hit singles led him to amass more than 25 million in career album sales, two Grammys, three CMA Awards and a devoted fan base that filled venues coast-to-coast. Tritt’s popular singles include “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” “Here’s a Quarter,” “Anymore,” “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” and “It’s a Great Day to be Alive.” As Tritt prepares to launch a new album, he credits his maturity with revitalizing his energy and love for live performance, almost 25 years after his career began.
Saturday night’s headliner, the iconic Robert Van Winkle aka Vanilla Ice, He exploded on the Rap/Pop music scene in 1990/91 selling 10 million albums in 4 months and hitting #1 on the Billboard charts with single “Ice Ice Baby” and number one album positions. His worldwide album sales are over 15 million and individual songs total over 160 million and are still selling. Grammy-nominated Vanilla Ice has appeared in several major motion pictures and television shows, including his current hit Vanilla Ice Goes Amish. His recent success in real estate led him to The Vanilla Ice Project, a TV series featuring DIY projects (which won The Factual Award for the Best Home TV Show) as well as a live seminar series across the country. Vanilla Ice can also be spotted currently in commercials nationwide, as well as touring internationally across the globe.
Numerous popular local bands will also grace the Baker Paint & Body and Norma Rae’s stages at the De Soto Seafood Festival this year. Returning favorites like Highway to Hell AC/DC Tribute Band, Kettle of Fish, The Boss Hawg Band, The Boneshakers, and Gator Nate and the Gladezmen among others will perform throughout the weekend. Over 20 local and regional seafood vendors plan to serve the crowd, which in 2013 numbered over 30,000 over the course of the 3-day event. A variety of local artisans will also purvey their handcrafted goods, as in years past.
Proceeds from the De Soto Seafood Festival benefit the Conquistador Historical Foundation, which in its 75th year, continues to contribute thousands of dollars to promoting youth educational initiatives in Manatee County annually. In 2014, a $3 admission fee per person (12 and under Free) helps offset the Society’s costs to host the 30th annual De Soto Seafood Festival presented by Bright House Networks with Event sponsor – Heintz & Becker, as well as raise funds for Manasota Operation Troop Support and the Early Learning Coalition. We also would like to thank all the contributing sponsors, Gold Coast Eagle, USa Fence, Tidy Coast Event Services, Goodson Electric, Armstrong Bros Plumbing, US Tent Rental, Clear Channel Radio, and Big Johnson Bail Bonds.