How to celebrate Christmas on Anna Maria Island

| November 19, 2022

There is no snow. The leaves stay green. You can’t tell from the temperature, but the holiday season is arriving! Christmas on Anna Maria Island may look a little different than where you are from, but it is every bit as fun and memorable. Here are a few ways to observe the holidays Anna Maria style.

Christmas Parade

What is the Christmas season without parades? Most of us remember watching the Macy’s or Rose Parades as kids. But have you been to a pirate-themed Christmas parade? The Anna Maria Island Privateers are a local non-profit that provides scholarships and support to area youth programs. They do a number of events throughout the year, but the Christmas parade is a local favorite. The 2022 parade is on Saturday, December 10th, starting at 10:00 am. The parade will run from the north entrance of Coquina Beach to City Pier Park. Immediately after the parade, there is a Children’s Party with Santa. Events are scheduled until 4:00 pm. For more information about the Privateers or the parade, visit their website.

Christmas in Cortez

The Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage, locally known as FISH, is over 100 acres of environmentally sensitive land set aside as a preserve for education and preservation. This includes the culture and folk life of Florida’s traditional Gulf Coast maritime communities like the historic village of Cortez. On December 10, 2022, they will be hosting Christmas in Cortez for the whole family. This is a family-friendly event with crafts, games, a bounce house, a maze, a Santa meet-and-greet & other holiday festivities. There is no charge for parking, admission or events. There will be food available for purchase. The event is scheduled to run from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. For more information on directions or to learn about FISH, visit their website.

Bridge Street Tree Lighting

A 40-foot Christmas Tree by the water? You bet. The annual lighting of the Bridge Street Christmas Tree is happening on Saturday, November 19, 2022. The tree is decorated with thousands of lights and over 600 ornaments are hung on the tree by hand. The rest of the street lights up with Christmas lights as well. All the lights will come on at sunset through the rest of the year. This free event is at 101 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach FL 34217 and is scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm.

Bradenton Beach Boat Parade

Nothing says Christmas on Anna Maria Island like a Christmas Boat Parade. On Saturday, December 3, 2022, area boaters will show their holiday spirit and their beautifully lit vessels in a parade along the Intracoastal Waterway. The parade begins at 6:00 pm at the south end of Jewfish Key and ends at Bradenton Beach Marina. For route information, suggestions on the best spots to view from and a video of past parades, visit their website.

Christmas on Bridge Street

The last Christmas event scheduled for Bridge Street is on December 17, 2022. This family-friendly event starts at 3:00 pm and runs until 9:00 pm. Kids can make crafts with a local flavor. The Crowsley Carolers will be dressed in period costumes, acting out scenes from a Christmas Carol. Of course, the local shops will be open to help you finish your Christmas shopping. Then, at 6:30 pm, the family film Home Sweet Home Alone will be shown in the Post Office parking lot.

Christmas on Anna Maria Island is a special time, done differently than in other parts of the country. We’d love to have you stay in one of our luxury vacation homes while your family enjoys the uniqueness of a Florida Christmas season. If you need information on these or other local events, our local experts will be happy to help. Just contact us.

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