Privateers threaten city hall siege

The long July 4 weekend will begin with a rowdy capture and conclude with a big bang.

Plans for the weekend include a siege at Bradenton Beach City Hall, a parade and three fireworks displays.

The Chiles Group will present the fireworks displays after sundown July 2 on the north end of Longboat Key near the Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant; on July 3 in Bradenton Beach near the BeachHouse Restaurant and on July 4 in Anna Maria near the Sandbar Restaurant. Each event features a public display and the restaurant hosting VIP receptions.

Owner Ed Chiles promised the events would be “bigger and better than ever.”

The Anna Maria Island Privateers krewe also has big plans for the weekend.

The nonprofit’s annual Independence Day Parade will begin about 10 a.m. July 4 at Coquina Beach and travel north through each Island city to Bayfront Park in Anna Maria.

Participation in the parade is free, but entries must be motorized.

From Bayfront Park, the Privateers will navigate their float back to the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe at the Manatee Public Beach, where they will award scholarships to college-bound students and celebrate American patriotism and scholastic achievement with a barbecue.

The krewe will launch its holiday weekend at 4:30 p.m. July 1, laying siege to Bradenton Beach City Hall, 107 Gulf Drive N.

Privateer Tim “Hammer” Thompson gave city commissioners and Bradenton Beach Mayor Bob Bartelt fair warning during a commission meeting June 16.

Thompson, with a menacing growl, warned that Bartelt would be kidnapped and held for ransom. AMIP would be demanding cash, as well as a key to the city and a commission proclamation to gain Bartelt’s release.

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