Christmas on Bridge Street Benefits Local Food Banks
The annual Christmas on Bridge Street event held Saturday, December 13th drew a record crowd of approximately 1000 people throughout the evening in the Bridge Street market lot, the site of the Sunday markets. The event featured delightful holiday music provided by local performers, Russ and Brandi and Samantha Brady and Sheri. Holiday wreaths and gift baskets containing over $5000 in certificates for dining, shopping, accommodation stays and merchandise from local shops were raffled off with the arm’s length of tickets available for $20 being the most popular way of purchasing. The event showcased about a dozen or so vendors selling holiday themed crafts as well as other great gifts for everyone on Santa’s list. A hot chocolate bar where kids could top off the creamy Christmas staple with tiny marshmallows was a big hit and Santa delighted kids of all ages as he walked through the crowds wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.
A group of children from the Anna Maria Island Community Center treated the crowds with a Reader’s Theater rendition of “The First Christmas Stocking”, directed by volunteer Beth Shaughnessy and education director, Kathy Bogad. The event also featured “snow” and the lighted boat parade hosted by the Cortez Yacht Club.
The Bridge Street Merchants, a not for profit 501c3, hosted the event which was able to contribute proceeds to local food banks and the Cortez Yacht Club. Proceeds were distributed as follows: Manatee County Food Bank -$750, All Island Denominations Roser Community Food Pantry – $750, Cortez Yacht Club – $300.
Bridge Street Merchants president, Angela Rodocker, stated, “What a great turn out for Christmas on Bridge Street, and thank you to all of the businesses and individuals that support this annual event. We are appreciative and proud to be a part of such a generous community.”
Sponsors for the event included: Bridge Street Merchants, Brighthouse Networks, Bradenton Herald, Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper, GrayHawk Windows and Doors Remodeling, Ideal Image, Edgewater Real Estate, Kimball Construction, IMG Academy, The Beachhouse Restaurant, METV and Duke Overstreet.
The event organizers wish to thank all the sponsors, volunteers, businesses who donated items for the raffle, the market vendors, the musicians and of course Santa Claus. The Bridge Street Merchants wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Safe and Prosperous New Year!
The Bridge Street Merchants Association is a non-for profit group formed in 2006 comprised of merchants dedicated to promoting historic Bridge Street, the Bradenton Beach community and its businesses.
Chiles Restaurant Group