This week, the Bridge Street Sunday Market features a Chili Challenge December 7th to benefit the AMI Community Center. Chili makers should sign up in advance via www.bridgestreetmerchants.com, while chili eaters should just show up 11-1:30 to taste the island’s best for only $8. The winner earns bragging rights plus a $100 Publix gift card. A macaroni and cheese challenge is set for January 4th, and a Chowder Challenge is set for February 1st, both benefiting local charities.
The weekly markets run 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday through the end of April at 111 Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach on the south end of Anna Maria Island. Locals and visitors can find fresh produce, local art, chair massage, beach-style gifts, jewelry, clothes, home décor, food, fun and more. A limited amount of vendor space is still available in some categories.
Live music this week is by Tangled Mangos, a funk-reggae-blues-bluegrassy duo that formed in Bradenton Beach in 2012 Kyle Shell layers instrumental loops and sings lead, while “Barefoot” Dan Ryan adds to the grooves with the sounds of the Hammond B-3 organ and other keyboards. The duo has performed in a wide variety of venues, from the Orange Blossom Jamboree Festival two years in a row, to Ace’s Live Music in Bradenton and the State Theatre in St. Pete, to island-based tiki bars and restaurants. Their upbeat and feel-good songs get people dancing.
The Bridge Street Merchants, a 501c6, host the Sunday Markets, and provide year-round shopping, dining and entertainment on the south end of the island. Other merchant events such as Market Food Challenges and Christmas on Bridge Street support various local charities.
For Sunday, consider taking the free island trolley right to Bridge Street. Car parking options include: the city lot behind the Bridge Street Bistro, up and down Bridge Street including by the city pier, City Hall (permissible on Sundays) and along the beach just south of Bridge Street. For more information on the Bridge Street Merchants, or vendor space at the Market contact Market Manager, Melissa Enders, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 906-0668 or visit www.bridgestreetmerchants.com.