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Famous people from Clearwater, FL

Despite being largely a tourist destination lined up with world-class attractions, high-profile restaurants, and five-star hotels, Clearwater FL is also a very family-friendly community with many exemplary neighborhoods. This combined with the great infrastructure, well-established education system and numerous public amenities make the city one of the most coveted residential areas. Clearwater’s ability to incorporate livability into what is otherwise a tourism and business dominated city is quite remarkable. As such the city is and has been home to some very popular individuals through its history. Below is a list of some of its famous current and former residents:

Lynn D. Stewart

Stewart is a prominent businessman who is mainly credited with co-founding Hooters, Inc. Stewart and his five associates established the very first Hooters restaurant in the Floridian city of Clearwater in 1983. Their brand went on to grow to a giant restaurant-chain with over 430 locations around the world. Originally from Illinois, Stewart is currently a permanent resident of Florida.

Keith Fitzgerald Thurman Jr.

Former WBA welterweight world champion Keith Thurman is another native of Clearwater city. Popularly known as “One Time” due to his habit of knocking out his opponents, Thurman is by far one of the most formidable welterweight fighters according to a 2019 ranking by The Ring magazine. Thurman is a resident of Clearwater-born and raised.

Hulk Hogan

Terry Gene Bollea alias Hulk Hogan is a former professional pro wrestler who enjoyed a very successful career in the sport especially during his time at WWE. He is also an accomplished entrepreneur, actor, musician, and TV personality. Though born in Georgia, Bollea is a proud resident of Clearwater city. He also owns a home in the famous suburban city of Beverly Hills, CA. Despite his retirement from wrestling, Bollea is still considered by many people as one of the best wrestlers of all time.

Michele Nielsen

Nielsen is an accomplished attorney who worked for homeland security and the White House as the chief of staff and deputy chief of staff in the Donald Trump administration respectively. She was later named as the secretary of homeland security, a position she resigned from less than two years after her appointment after a series of questionable border incidents and altercations with President Donald Trump. Despite being born in Colorado Springs, Nielsen grew up in Clearwater but later moved out to study in Washington, DC.
Other popular residents and former residents of Clearwater city include famous disc golfer Ken “The Champ” Climo, musician Juliet Simms, internationally recognized boat builder Clark Mills and Sara Blakely who is credited with founding Spanx Inc.

Annual events in Clearwater, FL

Visiting Clearwater city has never been boring. Apart from its immense beauty and signature attractions, the city also offers a number of annual events that entertain and educate both the locals and visitors. With lots of sporting activities taking place within the cities premises every year, Clearwater has become a favorite getaway destination for sports enthusiasts in the recent past. Its location also offers convenient access to all the events taking place throughout the Tampa Bay Area. This article gives an insight into some of the annual events you can enjoy while staying in Clearwater, FL:

Spring Training

Spring is always a good time for sports lovers in the City as the Philadelphia Phillies take to the majestic Spectrum Field to prepare for the upcoming season. This preparation features a series of games every year and is a perfect way for the fans to enjoy watching their team play without really having to worry about the results. Spring Training also offers wannabe baseball fans a chance to learn everything there is about the game. The famous Toronto Blue Jays also prepare for their season within the City in the less popular Dunedin Stadium.

Firestone Grand Prix

This is another sporting event that draws people from all over Florida to the St. Petersburg-Clearwater city’s backyard. There is no better way to experience the thrill of watching cars race at insanely high speeds than from a front row in one of the most scenic waterfront cities on the East Coast.

Tampa Bay Blues Festival

This is one of the most prominent annual music events in the Tampa Bay Area and it takes place in Vinoy Park right next to Clearwater city. The festivals span a total of three days filled with non-stop music performances. The music is accompanied by tasty local and international cuisines, premium wine/beer, and art and craft displays. Tampa Bay Blues Festival makes a perfect way to spend a day with your family and friends.

Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival

Probably one of the longest running annual events in the city, Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival features over two weeks filled with fun beachfront activities and entertainment. The festival showcases sand based-art displayed in a giant walk-through structure next to the pier in Clearwater FL. Other activities include street performances, live entertainment, sand sculpting classes, fireworks, sand sculpting competitions, and other sand related demonstrations. There is also a kid’s area to keep the little ones smiling all day long.

Other popular events in the area include Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Mainsail Art Festival, Clearwater Offshore Nationals, Spring King of the Beach Fishing Tournament, Clearwater Chalk Art Festival and the Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup.

Things to do in Clearwater, FL


Clearwater is a fast-growing beach town with incredibly beautiful sandy beaches, warm subtropical weather and lots of natural and man-made attractions. As such, the city has established itself as one of the leading tourist destinations in Florida. With its high profile shopping destinations, exquisite marine life, unique natural beauty, and fascinating historical past, Clearwater FL has everything you would ever wish for in a holiday destination or a residential community for that matter. Its location in the vicinity of St. Petersburg and Tampa cities also make it a Gateway to many other attractions that these two coastal cities have to offer. Below is an overview of some of the activities and places you might want to consider exploring during your time in this picturesque Floridian city:

Check out the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

As mentioned earlier, Clearwater is home to exquisite marine life and this aquarium is just but a reminder of what the city has to offer. The facility serves as a rehabilitation center for aquatic life with some of its beneficiaries being turtles, dolphins, otters, stingrays, and sharks. In a bid to create an interactive environment, visitors are allowed to feed some of the animals including pelicans and stingrays. Visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium which also offers tours of their marine hospital can be a fun and educative experience for the whole family.
Spend a day at the beach.

Clearwater Beach

It goes without saying that most of the people who live or visit Clearwater are mainly drawn by its sunny weather and white sandy beaches. This means that a trip to one of the local beaches is a must for anyone visiting the city. Clearwater Beach is a perfect place to relax, play in the water, or just busk in the sun. Directly connected to the famous Pier 60, the beach also offers activities like swimming and sport fishing and is a perfect place to watch the Sunset. Being the main beach in the city, Clearwater Beach is a perfect destination for anyone looking to have some fun on the waterfront.

Visit Pier 60

Measuring a whopping 1,080 feet, this majestic fishing pier is one of the most visited Clearwater attractions. It offers features like viewing pavilions, telescopes and fishing areas. The facility is open for 24-hour per day and is perfect for people who love nighttime fishing or watching the sunrise/sunset.
Other popular spots that you should visit include Cleveland Street District, Clearwater Beach Marina, Capitol Theater, Beach Walk, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Pinellas Trail, and Sand Key Park. You can also board one of the local cruise ships and explore the beauty of the Floridian waters or catch a game at the Spectrum Field.

History of Clearwater, FL

Clearwater is a small city located on the waterfront end of Pinellas County. Sandwiched between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the smallest of the three coastal cities that constitute the Tampa Bay Area with the other two being St. Petersburg and Tampa.

History has it that the area that is currently occupied by Clearwater city was originally the ancestral land of the Tocobaga groups of Native Americans. With the arrival of European explorers and settlers in the region towards the beginning of the 18th century, these groups of native inhabitants were exposed to “new diseases” which nearly wiped them out of existence. The survivors were driven away by repeated incursions from other stronger and more aggressive groups of indigenous people. For this reason, the areas that were formerly inhabited by the Tocobaga remained unsettled for the large part of the century.

Efforts by the government to establish growth and development in this part of the Floridian coast during the 19th century were however met with aggression by the Seminoles who had now gained a strong footing in the area. This led to the construction of an Army outpost, Fort Harrison, near modern-day Clearwater Harbor in an attempt by the U.S. Army to take control over the land and establish new non-native settlements. Despite being outnumbered, the Seminoles outmaneuvered the U.S. Army and kept frustrating them using their dirty fighting tricks. This led to the development and enactment of a federal act in 1842 which offered free land to any person willing to settle in the area and fight off Seminole incursions. It is at this point that the population of Clear Water Harbor (Today’s Clearwater) started to grow. The name of the city is said to have been coined in reference to the many freshwater springs which existed in the area at the time.

When the railway arrived in the late 1880s, the area started to grow into a town and was officially incorporated as such in 1891. The construction of Belleview Biltmore made Clearwater a designated holiday town and its reputation and population shot up. The town was elevated to a city in 1914 and designated as the new administrative center for Pinellas County which had been formed two years earlier.

Although the Second World War briefly turned Clearwater into an army base, its growth never wavered. Today, the city is one of the most sought after residential communities on the East Coast. It is also a top vacation destination for people from all over the world.

History of Bradenton, FL

Bradenton is a small fast developing city located on the Florida coast between St. Petersburg on the Tampa Bay area and the city of Sarasota in Sarasota County. The city’s population was estimated to be around 58,000 in 2018. Bradenton city serves as the headquarters of the local metro area which is comprised of both Sarasota and Manatee counties.

The story of Bradenton’s inception starts with two brothers, Hector and Joseph Braden, who arrived along the Manatee River in the early 1840s. They initially settled in a log cabin about 8 kilometers up the stream. Their intention was to establish a plantation in the area. Even the unfortunate death of Hector who drowned into the river in 1846 did not prevent his brother from realizing their dream of establishing a giant sugar plantation. Joseph additionally established a sugar mill near the meeting point of today’s Braden and Manatee rivers. He also constructed a wooden pier at the edge of what is now known as Old Main Street. This pier helped him with the loading of processed sugar into the boats for shipping.

After his plantation started thriving, Joseph moved out of the initial log cabin to the newly constructed plantation home under the name “Braden Castle” in 1851. This new tabby structure was located a short distance from his Sugar Mill.

Despite his thriving business, Joseph was unable to pay a debt he had borrowed, leading to the confiscation of his land and properties in 1857. After this, he relocated back to his native Tallahassee. The “Braden Castle” area was used as a picnics site for many years in the 1900s; long after Joseph Braden was gone. Some of its remains can still be found on the site.

The plantation land which was part of today’s Bradenton area started to develop into a settlement community on the 1860s. When the community experienced massive population growth in the 1870s, the land owner by the name Major Turner petitioned to have a post office and new name for his upcoming town. Unfortunately, the residents did not turn up in large numbers for the first town meeting which was vital if the town was to qualify for an independent post office.

Interestingly, Turner hired people from neighboring communities to attend his second meeting and the consequently the town was approved to have its own Post office. Turner also suggested that the town be named Bradentown in memory of the late Hector Braden. The acting secretary at the meeting misspelled the word to “Braidentown” and it remained that way until after the arrival of the railway in 1904. The “i” was dropped from the name in 1905. The name was altered again almost 20 years later when the “w” was dropped and the city of Bradenton was born. In 1943 Manatee and Bradenton cities were merged to form modern-day Bradenton city.

Famous people from Bradenton, FL

Being a first growing city with a population of estimated to hit 60,000 by 2020, Bradenton is one of the most family-friendly communities on the Florida coastline. The city boasts of having numerous well established and actively growing neighborhoods and some very beautiful waterfront homes. As such, Bradenton is one of the most coveted residential areas in Manatee County. The City is and has been home to several popular people in the fields of acting, sports, politics, and more. Below is a list of some of the most popular residents, former residents and natives of Bradenton, FL:

Paul William Azinger

Azinger is an accomplished pro-golfer who doubles up as a golf analyst on television. He has 12 PGA titles to his name with one being a championship title. He ranked among the top ten best golfers in the world for around 300 weeks between 1994 and 1918. Azinger is originally from Massachusetts but currently resides in the coastal city of Bradenton.

Chris Berry

Broadcaster Chris Berry is another popular former resident of Bradenton. He was born in Illinois but his family relocated to Bradenton where he grew up and attended Manatee High School. He has worked with some of the most prominent U.S. communications firms including CBS Radio News, KNX-AM and WBBM (AM). He is currently the senior VP at iHeartMedia.

Myron Demond Butler

Butler is a decorated musician in the gospel industry who is mainly known for his role as the lead singer in the famous Myron Butler & Levi choir. He has also worked as a vocalist and backup singer for many notable artists including Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, and Kirk Franklin among others. Butler was born in Bradenton but his family relocated to Dallas, TX. It is in this music-rich State that he developed an interest in music. He was the won several acclaimed awards including a Grammy award.

Who will be the next famous person from ? Only time will tell!  Stay tuned!

Annual events in Bradenton, FL

Though it may seem like a small city with little to offer, Bradenton will surprise you in so many different ways. Despite being a hot spot for nature lovers and beach-goers, the city is home to a number of family-friendly annual events that attract thousands of guests every year. Bradenton’s location between Sarasota and the Tampa Bay Area also makes it a gateway to all the attractions and annual events taking place in all the surrounding cities. Below are some of the annual events that you can enjoy while staying in Bradenton, FL:

Manatee County Fair

This is a family-style event that features all sorts of fun from livestock shows to live music and entertainment. The fair also features activities for kids in the kid’s section and a plethora of delicious fair food. Held at the Manatee County Fairgrounds, this January event is a merry way to start the year in Bradenton.

Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival,

This is an event for foodies and wine lovers which takes place just outside Bradenton in the neighboring city of Sarasota. The festival features a wide variety of local and international seafood and a selection of wines and beers to go with the food. Wine and food pairing, wine tasting and live music are some of the activities you can expect at the event.

Bradenton Area River Regatta

This February event turns Bradenton city into a throbbing hot spot of event and activities. The festival takes place along the popular Riverwalk area next to the Manatee River and features lots of free activities and events. Some of the notable activities include boat races, live music, evening fireworks, discounted sales and more. There is a kid’s fun zone and lots of food trucks and vendors.

ArtSlam

For art enthusiasts and wannabe artists, ArtSlam provides the perfect platform to learn, enjoy and promote upcoming artists from local schools in the region. Each year, this event features dozens of students presenting their works in groups. ArtSlam takes place in March within downtown Bradenton and is a perfect way to inspire and motivate kids to participate in art and craft activities.

Other popular festivals and events that offer great entertainment and fun activities for Bradenton residents and visitors include Sarasota Agricultural Fair, De Soto Grande Parade, Sarasota Jazz Festival, Whiskey Obsession Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, and Venice Italian Feast & Carnival just to mention a few.  Bradenton Florida awaits, you should visit today!

Things to do in Bradenton, FL

If you are looking for a perfect beach vacation on the Florida coast where you will enjoy top-of-the-line attractions without having to deal with too much overcrowding, consider visiting Bradenton city. Located between Sarasota and the popular Tampa Bay Area, this sunny city offers a lot of unique attraction and family-friendly activities to suit everyone’s taste and preferences. Below is an overview of activities and attraction that you need to visit during your trip to Bradenton, FL:

Village of the Arts

If you are interested in arts, this beautiful village located in the so-called Sarasota-Bradenton area is a perfect fit for you. The village features everything there is to know about arts. There are numerous art studios, workshops, and galleries all dedicated to the creating, educating and selling quality artworks. Make sure you visit this colorful village and buy yourself a souvenir.

Emerson Point Preserve

Spanning around 150 hectares, Emerson Point Preserve is one of the most visited parks in the city. It features a lot of attractions including beautiful vegetation, wildlife, picnic shelters and benches, historic and pre-historic sites and an observation deck among other things. The reservation is a perfect heaven for nature lovers, hiking enthusiasts and pretty much anyone who needs a place to unwind or spend time with family.

Lake Manatee State Park

Another great way to explore the natural outdoor beauty the Florida coast is by visiting Lake Manatee State Park. Located just outside Bradenton along the Lake Manatee, the park covers an area of over 550 acres. It offers a long list of family-friendly activities including sport fishing, canoeing, sunbathing, boating, swimming, picnicking, kayaking and hiking. For those who love camping, the park also boasts of being the site of a very popular camping area outfitted with full camping facilities.

Riverwalk

This is a 15 mile ADA accessible park along Manatee River that is considered by many people as Bradenton’s prime attraction. The park has an array of attraction and activities including art shows, picnicking, a renowned skateboarding park, exercise classes, beach volleyball courts and docking spaces for boaters. It is also the location of a giant modern family playground, and an amphitheater among other unique features. Riverwalk is the ultimate family destination for a memorable Vacation in Bradenton city Florida.

Other notable places to visit include Robinson Preserve, Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, Bearadise Ranch, TreeUmph Adventure Course, Bowlero Bradenton, Naughty Monk Brewery. The list is simply inexhaustible.

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