The Best Annual Events on Anna Maria Island, Florida
Festivals, Fireworks and More
Despite its small size, Anna Maria Sound has more than its fair share of fun annual events and festivals. From holiday tree lighting ceremonies to orchestra performances on the beach, there are so many exciting events to experience on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Plan your trip around a big event, but don’t miss daily happenings at Compass Hotel. Check out our events calendar to see what’s on during your stay.
Springfest is Anna Maria Island’s annual fine arts and crafts festival, held every March. With eighty different artists and crafters, there are so many beautiful pieces to peruse, admire and purchase. That said, the main highlight of Springfest is the gala raffle. Winners will get to take home a stunning piece of art, while the proceeds go to the Art League’s Scholarship Fund.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
If you happen to be in town during St. Patrick’s Day, don’t miss out on the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Put on by Beach Bistro, the exciting parade starts at the restaurant and winds its way all the way to 85th Street. With bagpipers, high school bands, traditional Irish step dancers, and so much more, this Irish-inspired parade is definitely a sight to see.
4th of July
The 4th of July is one of the biggest celebrations on Anna Maria Island. First, there’s the incredible firework show put on by the Sandbar Restaurant. This local eatery has been putting on this annual show for more than 30 years! On top of that, Anna Maria Island is an incredible spot to see loads of other nearby firework shows, including ones in nearby Sarasota and Bradenton.
Symphony on the Sand
Symphony on the Sand is one of the most unique annual events on Anna Maria Island, held every September. The concept is exactly what it sounds like: The Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra plays beautiful music while on the sand at Coquina Gulfside Park. While the beautiful music is already enough on its own, this event also includes quite a few food options – from fancy small plates to casual concessions.
As the largest annual event on Anna Maria Island, BayFest draws in hundreds of guests every October. This festival has all sorts of different attractions, which means there’s something for everyone. Live music, tasty food, local crafters and even a kid-friendly pirate ship are just the start. By far the highlight of Bay Fest is the antique car show. With more than 100 hot rods and muscle cars, this event draws in car lovers from all along Florida’s Gulf Coast.
With the holidays comes a whole host of fun Anna Maria Island events, but the Holiday Walkabouts are arguably the most beloved. Each of Anna Maria Island’s three main cities, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton, claims one weekend in December for its Holiday Walkabout. And that’s when all of the holiday decorations are put up, the stores stay open late and the trees are lit up in hundreds of twinkling lights. Sounds pretty magical, doesn’t it?
New Years’ Eve
Anna Maria Island loves a good firework show. For New Years’ Eve in particular, locals flock to the Beach House Waterfront Restaurant. This incredible seafood restaurant is a great viewpoint to watch fireworks all along Florida’s Gulf Coast – from Bradenton to Sarasota and beyond. So are you ready to ring in the new year in flashy Florida style.