Local Information and Events

Manatee County
The area now known as Manatee County was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years. The southern mouth of the Manatee River was likely the landing site of the De Soto Expedition and is the location of the U.S. National Park Service’s De Soto National Memorial. The area was opened to settlement in 1842 and Manatee County had the Gamble Plantation, a sugar plantation that was one of the south’s finest. The area that Manatee County is in today had a major feature for pioneers – the Manatee River. Most pioneers chose to settle here because of the fertile soil at the Manatee River Valley.

Manatee County was created in 1855. It was named for the manatee or sea cow.

With 150 miles of pristine coastline, 27 miles of sublime beaches and an enticing overall annual temperature of 72.7 degrees, it’s no wonder that Manatee County is a magnet for people looking for a great place to live and work.

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Bradenton, FL
The area that would become Bradenton (originally spelled “Bradentown”) was explored in 1539 by the Spanish during the famous expedition led by Hernando De Soto. Bradenton was established in 1842. The original town of Bradentown was incorporated in 1903.The city took the name of Dr. Joseph Braden, whose nearby fort-like house was a refuge for early settlers during Seminole Indian attacks. The current city of Bradenton was formed in 1943, when the Florida legislature merged the cities of Manatee (incorporated in 1888) and Bradentown.
Bradenton is located on US 41 between Tampa and Sarasota. The area is surrounded by waterways, both fresh and saltwater. Along the Gulf of Mexico and into Tampa Bay are over 20 miles (32 km) of Florida beaches, many of which are shaded by Australian pines. Bordered on the north by the Manatee River, Bradenton is located on the mainland and is separated from the outer barrier islands of Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key by the Intracoastal Waterway.

Bradenton Events:
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City of Bradenton

Lakewood Ranch, FL
Lakewood Ranch is an unincorporated community master planned community in southeastern Manatee County built on part of what was previously a timber ranch owned by members of Milwaukee’s Uihlein family. The first neighborhood development, Summerfield, went up in 1995. As the area expanded and population increased, a master-planned community was created called Lakewood Ranch.

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Lakewood Ranch Events

Sarasota County
Sarasota County anchors the middle of Florida’s western coast, approximately 60 miles south of Tampa Bay. It includes the cities of Sarasota, Venice and North Port, and the Town of Longboat Key. The county is home to approximately 390,000 permanent residents; more than 476,000 during the winter months. The community encompasses 725 square miles of land and is surrounded by 37 miles of open shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico. Endowed with inspiring natural beauty, an appealing climate and world-class arts and culture, this coastal paradise has superior schools, significant medical research and education facilities, high educational attainment and a regional workforce of more than 350,000.

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Sarasota, FL
Sarasota is a city south of Tampa on Florida’s Gulf Coast that was once the winter home of the Ringling Brothers Circus. Today, it hosts a number of cultural institutes, notably the Ringling Museum of Art, which showcases old masters and modern art. It’s also the gateway to miles of beaches with fine sand and shallow waters, such as Lido Beach and Siesta Key Beach.

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City of Sarasota