Bayfest always has something for everyone
SUN FILE PHOTO
The classic car show is always a crowd favorite, offering more than
100 rare collectible autos, such as this 1929 Chrysler.
ANNA MARIA – On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15, Anna Maria Island will awaken from the summer doldrums with its signature celebration – Bayfest – at the corner of North Bay Boulevard and Pine Avenue.
Now in its 11th year, Bayfest began as a celebration in the parking lot of the Anna Maria Island Center. Paradise Café owner Cindy Thompson was the organizer. A lot has changed over the years, from the location to the size, but Thompson is still in charge.
Whether it's a prelude to season or the first festival of the season, Bayfest is the largest of the celebrations that attract visitors over the winter months. The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce is the main sponsor.
As in Bayfests past, Pine Avenue will be shut off from automobile traffic, but not from shoppers. In the past two years, Pine Avenue has evolved into a shopping haven, attracting tourists and residents alike and offering unique gifts and souvenirs as well as food and services for everyone. Make sure you visit those shops as well as the street vendors. Those vendors will be plentiful.
Check out the one-of-a-kind offerings from Cornflowerblue, Rader's Reef, Wire Wrapped Pendants, Scantsy Wickless Candles, Chelsie Danz Jewelry and Clothing, Tide and Moon Jewelry, AMI Designs, Ann's Menageries and Maverickshop.com. Other items include native Florida folk art, Miche bags, VIP sunglasses, wall sculptures, aprons, towels and scrubbies, jewelry, pet products and information on the Kathleen D. Catamaran.
The list of vendors in the music court, across the street from the Anna Maria City Pier parking lot, includes Kings Crafts, Freedom Boat Club, Tropical Expressions, Crazy Girl Beads, Bedazzled, and Flaming Pearl. Piergear, Hearts Desire, Salada Designs, Island Jewels, Lupe Polynesian Fashions and Barbara Hines art.
This year there will be almost wall-to-wall music at the main stage in the lot at North Bay Boulevard and Pine Avenue as well as food both days. AMI Fitness will run Kidfest to keep the children busy, and the car show returns with a DJ playing oldies.
Bayfest is sponsored by The Anna Maria Island Sun, Miller Electric, Bright House Networks, Waste Pro, LaPensee Plumbing and Pools, Anna Maria Island Resorts, Casa Del Mar in Longboat Key, Air and Energy, Anna Maria Island Historical Society, Thompson Academy, Whitney Bank, Island Scooter Store, The Bradenton Herald, Waste Management and The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce.