SUN PHOTO/MAGGIE FIELD
Thomas Helko, 7, dumps green slime
onto Crosspoint Fellowship's Brad Lowery
Saturday during the Food and
Wine on Pine festival.
ANNA MARIA – The mood was festive, and people lined Pine Avenue and Gulf Drive as the City Pier Centennial parade wound its way from Crosspointe Fellowship to the pier on Friday evening.
Grand marshals Carolyne Norwood, Elizabeth Moss and Margaret Chapman waved to the crowd, followed by the Manatee High School drum line and cars full of dignitaries.
The Historical Society Old City Jail float with "convicts" throwing Fig Newtons and the Cracker Horses were big hits. The AMI Privateers, led by a contingent of Bradenton Marauders, concluded the parade by blasting their way down the street with black powder.
Everyone gat hered at the city pier, where Mayor Mike Selby read a proclamation from Rep. Vern Buchanan and recognized guests and those who helped make the event possible. Lindsay Bell sang "The Star Spangled Banner" and led the crowd in signing "God Bless America."
Centennial Committee Chair Sissy Quinn thanked her committee as the mayor and a committee member unveiled the pier's new historic marker, Quinn said, "It's an honor to stand here as the representative of the AMI Preservation Trust and give this marker to the city."
As the ceremony concluded, the party began. Privateers dispensed beer from their tent, and Marauders passed out beads and baseball passes. Pier regulars Frank Almeda and Mark Alonso cut the cake decorated with fishes, lounge chairs and a barbecue grill and passed out pieces to the hungry crowd.
Food and Wine on Pine
On Saturday at the Food and Wine of Pine event, costumed actors strolled the street – Frances Warttig, the city first elected clerk; Annie Cobb, the first non-native child born on the Island; Lena Phelps, one of the Island's first school teachers; Mary Hall, George Bean's daughter; John Roser, who built Roser Cottage and Roser Chapel.
They told their stories to visitors who were taking advantage of the beautiful day to shop and sample food and wine from decorative booths lining the street. Kids on unicycles from the Sailor Circus entertained the crowd, and musicians sang to those passing by.
"The whole weekend was everything and more that we imagined when we started planning this a year ago," said Ed Chiles, who initiated Saturday's event. "The spirit of the event reflected what is special about Anna Maria.
"It was the most ambitious undertaking we've done, and Caryn Hodge worked so hard and did a great job. The restaurants brought such great food, and there are so many other people to thank."
"It was our city at it's best," Quinn exclaimed. "It was a class act with the wonderful food and the nice seating areas the restaurants provided for people."
At the Historical Society compound, people petted the Cracker Horses, whose ancestors came to America with the Spanish explorers in the 1500s; learned about soap making and watched crafters cane chairs, do needlework and make rag rugs.
"I would like to thank all the volunteers at the Historical Society for their support and helpfulness," Susan Anderson, the Society's representative on the centennial committee said. "We planned and worked well together with each other and with the committee. It was a successful event."
"There was a lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated people," Mayor Mike Selby said. "Mr. Roser and Mr. Bean would be proud. Pine Avenue came alive. Everything came off really well."
In the kids' area, hosted by volunteers from Crosspointe Fellowship, green slime flew and kids made hats, sand art and painted using straws. Rev. Ed Moss joked, "This is food, wine and slime on Pine."
Unfortunately, in the afternoon, a storm blew in bringing heavy wind and rain and shutting down the street activity for the day. The storm cleared in time for the fireworks show off the end of the pier.
"It was a really nice event," Quinn said, summing up the day. "It had that wonderful down home feel to it."
Winners, pendants and cancellation
An art show featuring Anna Maria scenes was on display at The Studio at Gulf and Pine, and winners were Midge Pippel, first place for "Sea Turtles Twilight Swim;" Cheryl Moody, second place for Anna Maria Night Lights;" and Marlane Wurzbach, third place for "Sandcastles."
The show will be on display until May 29. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.
Anna Maria Commissioner Jo Ann Mattick won the handcrafted pendant of the city pier by Wendy Thurlow, Diane Serafino won the giclee of the city pier by Tom Tollette and Mary Jo Bopp won the centennial quilt made by Albertine Veenstra.
Quinn said there are 10 pendants remaining, and they are for sale at city hall. She said the centennial committee would be presenting to the city $2,800 from the day's sales.
The remainder of the special pier centennial postmark cancellation envelopes that were for sale at the event also are available at city hall. Anyone wishing to have an envelope canceled with the pier centennial cancellation can do so for the next 30 days at the Anna Maria Post Office.