The 30th Annual Winterfest Festival of Fine Arts and Fine Crafts will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9 and 10, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at city hall field, 5901 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. This is the 30th year for this event, which is a main money raiser for the Anna Maria Island Art League, along with Springfest in March. There will be more than 100 vendors.

This family event features continuous live music on stage Saturday and a large food court offering a variety of food and beverages. Also exhibiting will be community organizations that include various, historical and environmental groups with information about these worthwhile causes.

A highlight of the festival is a gala raffle of art work donated by festival exhibitors.  Proceeds benefit the League’s scholarship fund, which provides classes to children and adults. The raffle gives everyone a chance to collect great art for a small donation. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5, and winners need not be present to win.

The League is looking for volunteers to help run the show. For further information contact the Art League at 5312 Holmes Boulevard, Holmes Beach, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., call  941-778-2099 or e-mail at [email protected]

Express yourself on rocks

There will be a nature rocks painting class at Robinson Preserve, 1704 99th St. N.W., Bradenton, on Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to noon. Rock painting is a great way to connect with nature, slow down, cultivate focus and relax. The county will provide rocks, paint and brushes to give all the opportunity to paint a rock to then hide on site or elsewhere in the community. Brushes are provided or painters may use their own.

This program is suitable for ages 13 and up. Reservations are required. Call 941-742-5757, ext. 4, or e-mail [email protected] to reserve a spot.


Fire tonic class

The Folk School at Florida Maritime Museum at 4415 119th St. W. in Cortez hosts a hands-on class on how to make Fire Tonic, led by returning Folk School teacher, Jillian Ross, the Ferment Lady, on Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The cost is $35, and the deadline for signing up is Nov. 29.Fire Tonic

Fire Tonic is an infused immune support beverage that has been used for several decades to help fight off common colds and flu. This tonic is usually made up of apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger, onions and hot peppers. It is also great for building immunity and aiding in digestion. Students will each take home a tonic for themselves.

Family Fun

Santa Paws is coming

A Paradise Realty and Kathy Woodruff are sponsoring the Second Annual Santa Paws holiday donations to help our four-legged furry friends at the no-kill shelters in Manatee County. Stop by 5201 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, before Monday, Dec. 18 and drop off any of the following items:

  • Dog and cat food
  • Treats
  • Toys
  • Blankets

Cash or checks made payable to Manatee County Animal Services, Humane Society of Manatee County or Bishop Animal Shelter. Notate Santa Paws on the check.

For more information, contact Kathy Woodruff at 941-524-4190.


Holly Berry Christmas Bazaar set

Just in time for holiday shopping, the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation at 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, will hold its Holly Berry Christmas Bazaar on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a very well attended sale with new and gently used items and one-of-a-kind crafts, suitable for giving.

Church members have been making pot pies and frozen meals and sweets for their cookie walk and lunch will be available for sale. There are some fancy homemade pillows and other coastal crafts. There will be plants and funny signs outside. Shoppers are advised to come early for the best bargains.


Go west in a covered wagon

The Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department is hosting a covered wagon ride through Robinson Preserve, 1704 99th St. N.W., Bradenton, from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25. There will be a naturalist guide to explain the preserve and the wildlife that lives there.

The ride is suitable for all ages. Riders should arrive a minimum of 15 minutes in advance. Meet at the wagon-loading ramp near the screened-in pavilion. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

View the stars

Island Branch Library

The Island Branch Library at 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, will host a telescope program from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29. There will be an expert to help set up telescopes. The library has two telescopes that could be checked out. For more information, call the library at 941-778-6341.

Personal Development

Catch it early

You could be alerted to possible stroke or other health problems by taking Prevention Plus Stroke and Vascular Screening offered on Monday, Nov. 27, at The Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. The screenings are being offered at reduced prices.

They include stroke/carotid ultrasound for $40, abdominal aortic aneurysm test for $40, arterial disease test for $40, thyroid ultrasound for $40, abdominal ultrasound for $95 and heart scan-echocardiogram for $95 or all six tests for $179.

Blood tests, liver, cholesterol, PSA and TSH tests are also available. To register, call 888-667-7587.

Gentle yoga

The  Anna Maria Island Art League is hosting gentle chair yoga with instructor Cindy Phillips on Wednesdays from noon to 12:45 p.m. at  5312 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach. The cost is $12 per class. Spaces are limited.

Phillips is the owner and director of Island Yoga Space. She holds a bachelors degree in humanities/performing arts from Southern Oregon University.

Gentle chair yoga combines breathing with postures to help improve strength, flexibility, balance and tranquility. This class will focus on stretching to foster healing and soothing of the spirit and gaining an overall sense of well being, followed by balance and strengthening poses utilizing a chair as a prop.

For more information, call 941-778-2099 or visit  Anna Maria Island Art League Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Just for veterans

Veterans who are having problems or who have questions about benefits can visit the Island Branch Library on Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m. A veteran’s services specialist will be available to help. For more information, call the library at 941-778-6341.