The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 1 - September 24, 2008


Get ready for Bridging the Gap
Bayfest 2008 joins Gap campaign
Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

SUN FILE PHOTO A classic truck is on display at last year’s Bayfest on
Pine Avenue in Anna Maria. Organizer Bill Mergans has more than 75
vehicles signed up so far for this year’s display.

ANNA MARIA – Organizers are working hard to finalize plans for Bayfest, fall’s first festival and the city’s most popular street party, which is set for Saturday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.on Pine Avenue.

"Bayfest is not showing any signs of being affected by the bridge closure," Bayfest Chair Cindy Thompson said.

Bayfest is one one of a host of Bridging the Gap events being sponored by local merchants and The Sun.

Area restaurants will be participating in a Taste of the Island to offer delectable dishes guaranteed to please the most discriminating palate. Restaurants include Paradise Café, Sun House, Sandbar, Waterfront and Moveable Feast. The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce will be selling soda, water, beer, wine and rum runners.

After filling your plate, you can wander over to the main stage to listen to your favorite local musicians including the Blues Alternators, Koko Ray and the Soul Providers, Kettle of Fish and the Dr. Dave Band.

Vendors are lining up to offer furniture, jewelry, clothing and arts and crafts from 80 to 100 booths lining the street, and local non-profit organizations such as the Island Community Center, Turtle Watch and Anna Maria’s Environmental Education and Enhancement Committee will offer information.

Auto aficionados won’t want to miss the classic and customized vehicles that will be on display amid sounds of oldies playing in the background. Organizer Bill Mergans has more than 75 signed up. There will be trophy presentations between 4 and 6 p.m.

New this year will be a motorcycle show from 4 to 6 p.m. that also will include trophy presentations.

While moms and dads shop and groove to the music, children can take part in games and activities including a rock wall, bounce houses, a racetrack and a balloon game. Thompson preschool will feature a Fall Festival catering to the preschool age group, and all of the proceeds will go to the hurricane victims in Texas.

Anyone interested in participating in Bayfest can call Thompson at 761-4766, the AMI Chamber at 779-9412 or e-mail

Click to view Adobe PDF of Bridging the Gap Page Click to download the Adobe Free Reader

Click to view Adobe PDF of Calendar of Events Click to download the Adobe Free Reader

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