At Anna Maria Oyster Bar, we LOVE a good party! And luckily for us, the Bradenton Area plays host to a number of outstanding celebrations and festivals throughout the spring that showcase the wonderful culture of our vibrant community. Especially important to us are those events which benefit organizations that are dear to our company’s philanthropic mission and “giving back” philosophy.
For visitors and residents alike, the AMOB team has compiled this list of our Top Ten community events in the Bradenton, FL surrounding area.
Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival, Feb 18-19
Nearly 20,000 people each year attend this celebration of an Old Florida lifestyle, now in its 38th year in the tiny village of Cortez. Event organizers note that the combination of “great live music, nautical arts and crafts, children’s activities, environmental exhibits, more seafood than imaginable and, of course, beer,” adds up to a “party you won’t want to miss.” Our newest restaurant, AMOB on the Pier, is located in Bradenton Beach, just over the Cortez Bridge, which means we are the perfect destination for breakfast before you visit the festival – or a cocktail afterwards. Come by land or by sea!
Margarita Day @ O-Bars, Feb 22
Have you tried a WORLD FAMOUS AMOB Margarita? If not, National Margarita Day at the O-Bars is the best opportunity! We’re offering pitchers of the lime-flavored liquid gold for just $7.50 all day. National Margarita Day is should be one of our nation’s most important commemorative occasions, and this is our way of paying homage to the preferred cocktail of our Southern neighbors. (Mexico or the Florida Keys – you choose!) Now has anyone seen that shaker of salt?
Pirates Opening Day, Feb 25
Bradenton loves baseball! America’s Pastime returns to historic McKechnie Field when the Pittsburgh Pirates take the field on February 25. The Pirates’ opponent? Their Grapefruit League “neighbors,” the Baltimore Orioles, who conduct Spring Training at Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium. The 2017 Spring Training season runs through March 29, so there are plenty of opportunities to take in a game and cheer on those Buccos. PLUS – wear your baseball gear to any O-Bar location and receive a FREE Margarita!
Fine Arts Festival @ ArtCenter Manatee, Feb 25-26
This two-day juried outdoor art festival occurs in the beautiful Manatee River district in downtown Bradenton on historic Ware’s Creek. Featuring regional and national award winning artists, artist demos, music, food vendors with seating, and much more. The Festival attracts art lovers of all kinds. Admission and parking is free – all are welcome. The proceeds of the Festival benefit ArtCenter Manatee’s education and outreach programs. Be sure to visit our friends at O’bricks for a martini after!
ArtSlam, March 4
ArtSlam is a signature event of community arts and culture organization Realize Bradenton. This family-friendly street festival is designed for kids of all ages to experience the creation of art. Plus, It’s an interactive good-natured competition, as 23 teams of creatives take art out of the studios and onto the streets. Celebrate the creative youth in Manatee County, then bring your own creative youth for dinner at any O-Bar! Did you know that from Sunday through Thursday, kids under 10 eat for just a penny-an-inch?
Pier Beer Launch Party, March 12
We’re so excited to introduce our guests to our very own signature craft beer, locally brewed by Darwin Brewing Company! “Pier Beer” is a crisp, refreshing German-style lager that is a favorite of both Brewmaster Jorge Rosabal and AMOB owner John Horne. Join us for a day of fun at Halfway at O-Bar Landside, where from 2-5pm we’ll host a cornhole tournament with great deals on AMOB Pier Beer, 50% off select appetizers, great giveaways, and more.
Women’s Resource Center / Birthday Celebration at O-Bars, March 20
In case you hadn’t heard, the Anna Maria Oyster Bar family of restaurants is celebrating 20 years in the “biz” in 2017 – and we’re giving out birthday gifts all year long! Every 20th of the month, proceeds from our specialty Birthday Cocktail benefit a different community organization. International Women’s Day is in March, and the Women’s Resource Center is very dear to us, so it’s only natural that we’re choosing to give back to the WRC this month. Plus, if you are doing any spring cleaning, bring your gently-used clothing to any O-Bar because all month long we are hosting a clothing drive for the Unique Boutique of the WRC! Receive a FREE Portobello Mushroom Appetizer in exchange for your contribution.
Tax Day Blood Drive, April 17
Another great way to support a community organization always in need of donations is by participating in our annual Tax Day Blood Drive. Because they can’t tax a blood donation… yet. There will be a Suncoast Blood Bank Bus at each O-Bar location (except AMOB on the Pier), and we’ll offer you a FREE lunch or Early Bird Special as our way of saying “thank you” for your donation!
Blues, Brews, & BBQ on Historic Bridge Street, April 22
Our new neighborhood on Bradenton Beach hosts one of the best parties of the season with its annual Blues, Brews, and BBQ celebration. Regional blues musicians are the highlight of this event which benefits the Food Bank of Manatee. Be sure to visit AMOB on the Pier for a bite before you enjoy local craft beer to the sound of great blues music.
Lucky Ducky Race for PACE, April 1-May 13
PACE Center for Girls conducts a quack-tastic annual fundraiser – a rubber duck derby featuring over 15,000 adorable rubber ducks racing down the Manatee River. YOU can adopt one of the ducklings, and if your duck crosses the finish line first, you could win a NEW CAR or one of many other great prizes, including a Weekly Dinner for 2 at any O-Bar location. Through the day of the race on May 13, you can adopt your duck right from your seat at any of our four locations. It’s a fun and easy way to give back to this incredible organization which empowers young girls in our community. Purchase a Quack Pack (5 for $20) or a Flock (30 for $100) and receive a special gift from AMOB!
So there you have it – the Bradenton Area community is FULL of fun, family-friendly activities and events to delight anyone from age 8 to 88. We hope to see you out there enjoying the festivities – please be sure to say hello!