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Special Events & Programs

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Special Events & Programs

March is Manatee County's heritage month and there will be many fantastic events taking place all around the county. Download a brochure of county-wide events here: 2018 Heritage Days Brochure.pdf

Manatee Village presents several popular festivals annually and throughout the year program events may also include lectures, craft workshops and interactive family-friendly activities at the Village. The best way to keep informed about what is happening is to visit our website or Facebook page frequently, or sign up for our Cabbage Head Gazette newsletter on our Home Page.

Current Events


A Sticky Business: The Turpentine Industry in Florida

Start Date:2/22/2018 5:30 PM
End Date:2/22/2018 7:00 PM

Did you know that Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the foremost experts on Florida’s turpentine industry? Join us on February 22 to learn about what her ethnographic work reveals about life in turpentine camps…

In honor of Black History Month, Manatee Village will host a talk by Barbara Clark, of the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN), on Florida’s turpentine industry.

This talk will take place on Thursday, February 22, 2018 starting at 5:30pm at Manatee Village Historical Park. It will run approximately 45 minutes. A reception with light refreshments will follow. Manatee Village will close at 7:00pm.

Clark’s presentation, “A Sticky Business: The Turpentine Industry in Florida” touches on the basics of how turpentine was procured and produced. After sharing the basics about turpentine production, she then dives into the people that worked in the industry, including those that were part of the Convict Leasing System during the Reconstruction Period in Florida. Ethnographic work from Zora Neale Hurston is heavily relied upon to help present an accurate portrayal of what "camp life" would have been like for turpentine workers in the early to mid-1900s. 

African American novelist Zora Neale Hurston has inspired generations with stories like Their Eyes Were Watching God. During the Great Depression, Hurston also worked as a folklorist and contributor to the Florida Division of the Federal Writer’s Project, part of the Works Progress Administration. For her this project, she traveled across Florida recording stories, songs, traditions, and oral histories in Florida’s turpentine camps. Her work is still considered authoritative today and is an invaluable source for understanding Florida’s history and culture.

This presentation will demonstrate how Hurston’s work now helps us learn about this industry and its impact on generations of families in Florida, spanning from post-Civil War to the 1930s.

Barbara Clark is a Registered Professional Archaeologist and currently serves as Regional Director of the Northwest and North Central Regional Centers of the Florida Public Archaeology Network. She obtained her B.S. in Anthropology from Florida State University in 2005, and her MA in Archaeology and Heritage from the University of Leicester in 2008. She is currently working on a second MA in Public Administration through the University of West Florida. Barbara serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Archaeological Council, the Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation and has been appointed to the Florida National Forests Resource Advisory Committee. Her professional interests include public archaeology, historical archaeology and developing partnerships for preservation through asset-based community development. She is also very involved in advocating for cultural resources protection at the state level and is the primary organizer for Florida Archaeology Day at the Capitol, which is held every year during the state legislative session.

The Florida Public Archaeology Network’s (FPAN) mission is to promote and facilitate the conservation, study and public understanding of Florida’s archaeological heritage through regional centers located throughout the state. FPAN approaches their mission by working in three core areas: Public Outreach, Assistance to Local Governments and Assistance to the Florida Division of Cultural Resources. FPAN was established in 2004 by an act of the state legislature to establish a “Florida network of public archaeology centers to help stem the rapid deterioration of this state’s buried past and to expand public interest in archaeology”.

This public program is offered by producers: Angelina “Angel” Colonneso, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Department of Historical Resources and the Manatee County Historical Commission.


HAIRitage & Hops

Start Date:2/26/2018 5:00 PM
End Date:2/26/2018 8:00 PM

Celebrate the start of Manatee County’s Heritage Days with a HAIRitage & Hops kick-off party at 3 Keys Brewing & Eatery to benefit historic preservation at Manatee Village Historical Park…

March is Heritage Days in Manatee County, and to celebrate, Manatee Village will be partnering with 3 Keys Brewing & Eatery to present HAIRitage & Hops, a kick-off party to be held on Monday, February 26 from 5-8pm.

Each Monday, 3 Keys supports a local non-profit by donating 10% of their sales to the featured organization. Organizations are invited to come out and share their mission, educating the public on what they offer. On Monday, February 26, the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. will be the featured local non-profit. Ten percent of the sales at 3 Keys will benefit historic preservation at Manatee Village Historical Park. Historical Commission members and Manatee Village staff will be there to answer questions about our mission and vision.

Admission to HAIRitage & Hops at 3 Keys is free. Food and drinks are menu prices.

As a part of this Mission Monday, Manatee Village will host a Beard & Mustache Competition fundraiser. The competition will feature four categories: Adult free style (real facial hair), adult fake beard, junior fake beard (under 12 years old), and pet beard. There will be prizes for one winner in each category. Participation in the contest is $5.00. Must be present to win. Competition will begin at 6:30pm.

The Manatee County Historical Commission will host a craft table where kids and adults will be able to make fake beards. Manatee Village will provide historical costumes for photo opportunities.

3 Keys will also offer a chance for kids to bottle their own root beer (charges may apply).

This kick-off event will take place at 3 Keys Brewing & Eatery, located at: 2505 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34208.

Manatee Village Historical Park operates thanks to a unique public-private partnership. This partnership exists through the support of the Historical Resources Division of the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller, and the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc., a 501c(3) nonprofit community benefit organization. The Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. conducts fundraising to help further their mission to “preserve and share the heritage of Manatee County’s founding period, 1840-1918.”

This public program is offered by producers: Angelina “Angel” Colonneso, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Department of Historical Resources and the Manatee County Historical Commission.


Guided Walking Tours for Heritage Days

Start Date:3/9/2018 9:00 AM
End Date:3/10/2018 4:00 PM

Learn about the Village of Manatee and women in early Manatee County with FREE docent guided walking tours of Manatee Village Historical Park…

March is both Heritage Days in Manatee County and National Women’s History Month. To celebrate, Manatee Village Historical Park will be opening a new temporary exhibit in the Wiggins General Store on March 9, “Progressive Women: Herstory in Florida, 1840-1918”. This exhibit will explore topics like education reform, women in industry, and the women’s suffrage movement in Florida as a whole, with highlights on women in Manatee County.

As an exhibit opening celebration, Manatee Village Historical Park staff and docents will lead free guided walking tours of Manatee Village. These tours will take place on March 9 and 10 from 9am to 4pm, with the last tour departing at 3pm.

Two themes will alternate: one tour will give an introduction to the general history of the Village of Manatee and the other will celebrate Women’s History Month with insights into the impact of women in Manatee County, with a highlight on the role women have played in Historic Preservation in this area.

Tours last approximately one hour. All tours are free, as is admission to Manatee Village Historical Park and its exhibits.

This public program is offered by producers: Angelina “Angel” Colonneso, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Department of Historical Resources and the Manatee County Historical Commission.


Doc Anna: Swamp Doctor of Florida

Start Date:3/22/2018 5:30 PM
End Date:3/22/2018 7:00 PM

Manatee Village Historical Park partners with the Florida Humanities Council to present an interactive performance on the life of Doc Anna, the "Swamp Doctor" of Florida...

Come meet Dr. Anna Darrow who, in 1909, became the second woman doctor licensed in Florida. Darrow braved swampland, alligators, snakes, and outlaw gangs to heal the sick, nurse the wounded, and deliver babies.

Dr. Darrow is portrayed by Carrie Sue Ayvar, a third generation storyteller, dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of storytelling. She is the recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Award winner for Service and Leadership, as well as a Chautauqua scholar and Kennedy Center trained Artist in Education. Her performances blend entertainment and education. 

This talk is offered as the final event in a five part series. Manatee Village was selected as a Florida Humanities Council (FHC) Speaker Series partner. The previous four talks discussed Chief Osceola, the development of transportation, the Civil War, and lighthouses, all as they relate to Florida and Manatee County. These talks are made possible by funds from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. 

This talk is FREE and open to the public. It will begin in the 1887 Old Meeting House Church at 5:30pm and will run about 45 minutes. A reception with light refreshments will follow. Manatee Village grounds will close at 7:00pm. 

No RSVP required, seating on a first come, first served basis.
Open to the public. Ages 13 & up recommended.
For more information on the Florida Humanities Council, please visit:


1850 Manatee Burying Grounds Clean Up

Start Date:3/24/2018 9:00 AM
End Date:3/24/2018 2:00 PM

*Space is limited. Online registration is required. Register Here

Manatee Village Historical Park is seeking volunteers to participate in quarterly cemetery clean-ups for the 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds.

On Saturday, March 24, the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) will lead a Cemetery Resource and Protection Training (CRPT) at Manatee Village to train future volunteers in best practices for preserving cemeteries. This workshop will take place from 9am to 2pm. There will be a lecture in the morning, followed by an hour long lunch break (food is NOT provided), and then the last hour will be spent cleaning the 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds using the techniques taught by FPAN.

All are welcome to come to this free public workshop. It is Manatee Village’s hope that the volunteers who attend this training session will become team leaders for future cemetery clean-ups. If you are interested in volunteering at future clean-ups but cannot attend this session, contact Manatee Village’s Volunteer Coordinator, Melissa Porter, at

This public program is offered by producers: Manatee County Angelina “Angel” Colonneso, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Department of Historical Resources and the Manatee County Historical Commission, in partnership with the Florida Public Archaeology Network.

Group Tour Information

Group tours are provided for groups of 10 people or more.* The cost is $3.00 per person. Reservations must be made at least 14 days in advance by calling (941) 749-7165. 

*Group tours may be provided for groups of 10 or fewer people, but the minimum cost of $30.00 will still apply.

Download our group tour application here: MVHP Group Tour Reservation Request rev. 1-30-12.pdf

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Village Hours:

Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
2nd & 4th Saturdays each month, 9:00am – 4:00pm 

Manatee Village will be closed Monday, February 19 in honor of President's Day; Friday, March 30 in honor of Easter Weekend; and May 26-28 in honor of Memorial Day. Manatee Village will then be closed the month of June for in-service work.

Saturday openings this spring are: Jan. 27, Feb. 10, Feb. 24, Mar. 10, Mar. 24, April 14, April 28, and May 12.

Phone: (941) 749-7165

E-mail addresses are public records under Florida law and are not exempt from public-records requirements. If you do not want your e-mail address to be subject to being released pursuant to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact by phone at the phone numbers above, or contact us in writing, via the United States Postal Service, at this address- Manatee County Historical Commission 1404 Manatee Ave. E, Bradenton, Fl 34208.

Location Map:



1404 Manatee Avenue East 
(SR 64)
Bradenton, FL. 34208



Village Hours

Monday – Friday and 2nd & 4th Saturdays of each month 

9:00am – 4:00pm