Vol 6 No. 4 - October 19, 2005

Food, fun and weather boost Bayfest

The crowds are shoulder to shoulder down by the main stage on Pine Avenue.
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

ANNA MARIA – Pine Avenue looked like a marketplace in Hong Kong Saturday afternoon as hundreds of people came out of their summer hibernation to enjoy the season's first festival.

The event drew 10,00 to 12,000 people to Anna Maria. The event’s major sponsor was the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber Executive Director Mary Ann Brockman said, “I have no idea how much was raised. I won’t know until the bills all come in. It could be next week.”

Rows of colorful, classic cars from local collectors lined the street at the beginning of the festival, followed by non-profit group tents, arts and crafts, a youth band area and a children's area in the Roser Church parking lot. The food court was in the parking lot of Bayview Plaza and the county's portable stage showcased more music.

The car collectors gathered around 3 p.m. to get their door prizes and trophies. The top winners were the 1934 Ford Cabriolet modified coupe owned by former Holmes Beach City Councilman Don Howard and his wife, Nancy, who won the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce trophy, and the 1956 two-tone Ford Sedan, owned by Dick and Carolyn Hudson, who got the Anna Maria Island Sun trophy.

The youngsters enjoyed a bubble machine, face painting in front of Roser Church and several booths in the Roser parking lot that included a rock climb, a bounce house and a large slide.

The food court included burgers and chips from Skinny's, grouper sandwiches from the Anna Maria Oyster Bar, crab cakes from the Sun House, seafood gumbo from the Rod and Reel Pier, hot dogs, chili and sandwiches from Paradise Café, pizza from Solo's and kettlecorn. There was also homemade fudge, tortilla chips, salsa and chicken Caesar wraps from Fit to Eat, crab cakes from Banana Cabana, chicken wings from the Wing Station and shrimp skewers and clam chowder from Shell's.

To keep people cool, the Anna Maria Island Community Center served ice-cold soft drinks and water. There were beer trucks set up and the Chamber served frozen margaritas.

Proceeds from the event go to the Chamber's Scholarship Fun, children's charities and hurricane relief. The Anna Maria Island Sun was a sponsor.

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