Bradenton is an area rich in culture and heritage where vacationers can find a unique blend of authenticity and an eclectic lifestyle. This location has a lot to offer, from Florida’s Spanish heritage to its scenic beaches. If you are a traveler who loves to explore, Bradenton has many local events you can enjoy. 

We have a list of the prominent local Bradenton events you can look forward to when planning your trip here in 2023. Let’s take a look.

De Soto Heritage Festival

The De Soto Heritage Festival is an annual series of events held in Bradenton, Florida. It has been held for over 80 years at the location of Hernando de Soto’s landing in Florida. The festival events include

  • The Children’s Parade and Party in the Park
  • Seafood Fest
  • Bottle Boat Regatta
  • Musical & Fashion Show
  • De Soto Ball, and Grand Parade 

In 2022, the organizers canceled the festival due to unfavorable weather. However, this year the Grand Parade for the celebration will be held by the Hernando de Soto Historical Society towards the end of April.      

Bradenton Blues Festival

The 2023 Bradenton Blues Festival is an anticipated annual event that features an impressive lineup of musicians that are best in blues music. The lineup for the event, along with its tickets, will be available to enthusiasts from March. The festival will be held in the latter half of this year, in December, and can be a fun opportunity for blues music fans to socialize while enjoying smooth tunes. 

Downtown Bradenton Public Market

This annual market is a popular event where people in Bradenton meet to enjoy fresh produce, local art, and music. It also features demonstrations by local chefs and free family activities you can enjoy with your loved ones. 

Held at the Old Main Street, the market is open on Saturdays from morning till afternoon from October to May. You can learn more about the market vendors by visiting Realize Bradenton’s website. 

Bradenton Area River Regatta

The river regatta is Manatee County’s largest spectator event. The one-day event takes place every February and is a free civic event where people can enjoy music, food, and other activities. 

The event features multiple activities like Formula-2 races on a powerboat circuit, the largest tunnel boat race, and music concerts. There is also a drone light show and similar visual spectacles that people look forward to every year.  

Realize Bradenton’s Music in the Park

Since Bradenton has many music enthusiasts, the place is bustling with musical events. Music in the Park is one such family-friendly event organized by Realize Bradenton. Visitors are encouraged to bring their chairs or blankets and spend a relaxed evening with their friends and family. 

Additionally, the event is also pet-friendly if you leash your pups. Music in the Park is held at the Bradenton Riverwalk Mosaic Amphitheater every Friday from March to May 2023. You can find the lineup of performers on their official website. 

Bradenton Marauders Baseball

If you are a sports enthusiast visiting Bradenton for a vacation, you can enjoy a competitive baseball game. The Bradenton Marauders are popular as a minor league baseball team playing in the Single-A class. They have announced their schedule for premium games with the best promotional events. 

It includes a giveaway, contests, games, post-game fireworks and celebration events. You can purchase the tickets by buying the Season Ticket Plan, Group Package or a 5-Game Flex Pack. The game and the promotions will be opening from April to September on the dates mentioned on their website. 

Exhibit: Living off the land

The Manatee Village Historical Park will display an exhibit titled Living off the Land: Florida’s Pioneering Efforts to Make a Living. If you are interested in knowing about the history and culture of Bradenton, Florida, you can visit this temporary exhibit. 

The event explores how settlers in the Pioneering Period, i.e., mid-19th century through the early 20th century, took advantage of readily available natural resources of the land and sea. The exhibition is open for visitors from Jan 2023 to Nov 2024.  

Plays and Musicals

Bradenton also has several treats for theater enthusiasts. The city has periodic plays and musicals, most of which play at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. You can catch a show and watch a performance if you are in the city for your vacation. 

  • Sondheim’s Company

If you want to enjoy a night watching a musical with your loved ones, you can watch Company playing in Bradenton. Company is Sondheim’s game-changing musical which provides a sophisticated and honest look at modern relationships. 

The musical will play at Manatee Performing Arts Center, and the shows will run for ten days in March 2023. The musical has a run time of 2 hours and 45 minutes, including an intermission so you can count on it for thorough entertainment. 

  • Sinatra! The Musical

If you are a true Sinatra fan visiting Bradenton, you may want to experience Sinatra! The Musical in March 2023. Described as a must-see for fans, Tony Sands ensures this show takes you through a musical journey of Frank Sinatra’s life. 

You can listen to all the hits from his songbook in this musical that was three and a half years in the making. The show will take place at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, and you can buy your tickets from there. 

  • Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy is a Pulitzer-winning play and was the most successful in the Bradenton Kiwanis Theater. It is returning in April to bring this heartfelt tale to more audiences. With only one show every day, you can ensure that you spend a nice night out with your loved ones by visiting the Manatee Performing Arts Center to watch this play. 

  • Sunset Boulevard

During April and May 2023, viewers can enjoy Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard at the Manatee Performing Arts Center. Based on the Billy Wilder film, this musical tells the tale of faded glory and unfulfilled ambition. If you enjoy watching a fantastic musical, watch Sunset Boulevard during your stay.

  • The Ballad of Old Manatee

If you visit the Manatee Village Historical Park during April and May 2023, you can enjoy an immersive historical drama featuring original folk music. Actual events and the early settlers of Manatee County inspire it. You can gain an insight into the local history by watching this feature.  

Crosley Estate Historical Open House

The open house is a tour hosted by the Crosley Estate Foundation over a weekend in March 2023. The Crosley Estate Historical Open House is open to the public only once every year, and visitors can walk the grounds and enjoy the displays showcased around the estate. They also conduct tours from 10 am to 2 pm, where people can view a variety of Crosley radios and memorabilia. 

Even though the estate is near Sarasota, it is a mere 20 minutes drive from Bradenton. If you are a fan of antiques or vintage things, this open house can be an experience to enjoy. Since the event has free admissions, you can add it to your list of one of the top free things to do during your vacation.  

Bradenton Boat Show

As vacationers showcasing a liking of boats and other water vehicles, you will be in for a treat. The Bradenton Boat Show is an annual show which offers a vast selection of new boats, fishing gear, and boating accessories at affordable rates. 

You can find Florida’s best boat dealers participating here and learn fishing on the instructional feature held during the event. The show also raises support for non-profit organizations and raises money for charities. 

The event is during a weekend at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. The organizers will soon announce these events’ dates as they usually start during the initial months of every year. 


ArtSlam is an annual public event celebrating youth and creativity. If you are an art lover, you can enjoy this event by engaging in creative processes and experiencing public art, murals, installations, paintings, performances, and much more. 

Whether you spend your vacation in Bradenton with family, friends, or alone, you can enjoy this interactive event due to its unique concept. The event will take place in Old Main Street, Downtown Bradenton, during March 2023 and will be open for the public to experience.  

Manatee County Fair

The Manatee County Fair is an annual fair held in the Manatee County Fairgrounds every January. The practice of holding the fair started in February 1916 and continues today. It typically runs for around ten days and features community tradition, fun, and entertainment for all visitors attending. 

People flock to the fair to see livestock shows, experience rides, taste different food, participate in competitions, buy from various vendors, and view new exhibits. 

The fair, organized by the Manatee River Fair Association, requires paid tickets for people over six years. You can take your group of loved ones to this fair and enjoy the local traditions and culture of Bradenton, Florida. 

Donors of Distinction 2023 Gala

During your Bradenton vacation, if you are in the mood for a casino, you can play for a good cause at the Donors of Distinction 2023 Gala – A Night in Monte Carlo. The event features an old-fashioned casino night, with blackjack, roulette, craps tables, other fun activities, good food, and an open bar. 

You can participate in this event by purchasing tickets or sponsorships and getting a customized VIP experience. The gala will take place at the end of March 2024 at Manatee Performing Arts Center, Bradenton, Florida.  

More Local Bradenton Events

In addition to the abovementioned events, Bradenton has a rich local scene with many eateries and bars hosting live music, karaoke, trivia nights, and other fun activities. As a vacationer in Bradenton, you can attend these events and enjoy a unique holiday experience by immersing yourself in the culture of Florida. 

Spacious AccommodationYou can also elevate your vacation by experiencing a comfortable stay with a trusted company. We at Anchor Down Vacation Properties provide spacious accommodations that fit your requirements. Whether you need a pool or want to bring your bet, we have you covered.

Enjoy a fun vacation in Bradenton by booking your stay with Anchor Down Vacation Rentals.