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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.

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!

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