Island prepares for music festival — Bayfest

The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce will soon see its festival organizing come to fruition in the free annual music, food, arts and crafts extravaganza called Bayfest — now in its 12th year.

        “Bayfest is Bayfest,” said chamber president Mary Ann Brockman. “It’s a place to have some good honest fun.”

        Like previous years, it will start in the city-owned vacant field at Pine Avenue and Bay Boulevard opposite the Anna Maria City Pier at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19. The festival expands to Pine Avenue the next day, when all of the avenue — Gulf Drive to Bay Boulevard — will close to vehicle traffic.

        The festival runs until 10 p.m. both days and opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.

        Friday’s entertainment will include MC Scott Pritchard 5-10 p.m.; Koko Ray and the Soul Providers, 6-8 p.m.; and the Billy Rice Band 8:30-10 p.m.

        Saturday’s DJ is MC Chris Grumley, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Live music includes Jimi Gee and the Junior All Stars Band 10:30 a.m.-noon; Scott’s Garage 12:30-2:30 p.m.; Human Condition 3-5 p.m., Shotgun Justice 5:30-7:30 p.m.; and Dr. Dave Band 8-10 p.m.

        Bayfest is expected to draw more than 10,000 festivalgoers — if the weather cooperates, according to Brockman.

        New this year is Shotgun Justice, and last year’s headliners Billy Rice Band and Dr. Dave Band are returning, but switching days, said Brockman.

        Also new, wristbands will be required for alcoholic beverage purchases, she added.

        Food vendors include Johnny’s Bad Dog, AMI Caterers, Tyler’s Homemade Ice Cream, T&L Bar B Q, the Anna Maria Island Privateers, The Feast, Village Idiot Pizzeria, Island Fresh Market, Sandbar Restaurant, Waterfront Restaurant, Island Gourmet, Pete’s Catering and Havana Cabana.

        As in previous years, proceeds from Bayfest will go to the chamber’s college scholarship fund.

        The Anna Maria Island Privateers will host a party aboard its boat-float Skullywag at the Bay Boulevard-Pine Avenue intersection.

        Kids Zone, sponsored by Anna Maria Island Fitness Center, will be located opposite Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.

        “There will be loads and loads of vendors, nonprofits, and exhibitors on Pine Avenue,” chamber administrator Terri Kinder said.

        Also, on Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., a car show will line Pine Avenue between the Anna Maria Island Historical Society and city hall at Gulf Drive.

        About 100 classic and custom cars will park along both sides of Pine Avenue. The car show features a participant-judged contest and Lance’s Cruiz’n To The Hop, spinning tunes from the 1950s and ’60s from a rolling DJ trailer.

        The car show is limited to pre-registered entrants, according to organizer Bill Mergens.

        Brockman emphasized the importance of the car show, saying: “Bill Mergens is very, very important to our Bayfest.”

        For more information about the festival, call the chamber at 941-778-1541.

        For more information about the car show, call Mergens at 941-920-2277.

One thought on “Island prepares for music festival — Bayfest

  1. Tim

    Where would be the best place to park for the event? If Pine Avenue will be closed to traffic on Saturday, what are the alternatives? Will some businesses and private property owners along the way allow you to park for a fee? I hope not!


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