“Sarasota Slim” to Headline Bridge Street Blues, Brews & BBQ on Anna Maria Island

For Immediate Release
Contact: Amanda Escobio, Secretary Bridge Street Merchants

Blues Brews & BBQ on Saturday May 16th at 5 p.m. to 10 p.m isn’t the first event to be held at night in the lot on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach in recent years, however organizers hope this extra special blend of great outdoor music, cold beer and tasty food will become an annual event on Anna Maria Island’s south end. All ages are welcome with a $5 admission at the gate and kids 12 and under being free. Proceeds of the event, will benefit The Food Bank of Manatee County, without being an on-site food drive. The gate will open at 4 p.m. for admission and entry. While no outside food or drink will be permitted, event-goers may re-enter anytime with their wristbands, making it easy to check out other dining, drinking, live music, shopping and even mini golf options right outside the lot’s gate on Bridge Street. There’s a limited amount of complimentary table seating, to help sticky fingers with BBQ eating, and guests are welcome to bring their own chairs and blankets, just not coolers.

Motorworks Brewing, Bradenton’s only full production craft microbrewery, will provide 3 different craft beers for the event. A full liquor bar along with standard domestic beers, wine and non-alcoholic selections will also be available. Mouth-watering BBQ will feature ribs, chicken and pulled pork, with both sandwich and platter options.

“There’s a reason this outdoor event leads with the word ‘Blues.’ Music takes center stage with brews and BBQ as supporting acts” says Amanda Escobio, Secretary of the Bridge Street Merchants, who are hosting the family-friendly event. Legendary Blues Guitarist, Gene “Sarasota Slim” Hardage, will be headlining the show. Internationally acclaimed, Sarasota Slim draws great crowds with his commingled blues, funk, boogie, slide guitar and heaps of warm Southern charm. In addition, Luca Sestak, with millions of hits on Youtube, will be performing his distinctive brand of Boogie Woogie Blues and Jazz. Sestak’s piano prowess is a phenomenon for any musician, let alone one who is just a mere 20 years old. “Booking Sestak was a real score for this event. We are very lucky he has family in the Sarasota area. He has toured throughout Europe,” says Steve Arvey, known as “Stone Crab Steve” among other monikers. Arvey facilitated the stellar lineup and is a cross-genre performer himself, as will as an ambassador for the well-established Tampa Bay Area Suncoast Blues Society. Island favorite Mac McConnell will kick-off the music at 5 p.m..

A good time can always be for a good cause, and the Bridge Street Merchants have rallied with a silent auction during the live music with opening bids ranging from just $5-$150 for fresh pie, art, beach massage, restaurants, boat tours and more. The top auction item is a 2-night stay at the Banana Bay Resort in Marathon Key, FL. Participating merchants for the silent auction are: BeachHouse Restaurant, Blue Marlin, Paradise Boat Tours, Drift In, Bridge Tender, Bridge Street Interiors, Searenity Beach Spa, Segs by the Sea, Back Alley, The Lot, the Fish Hole Adventure Golf, and BridgeWalk Resort.

Getting there: Consider taking the free island trolley right to Bridge Street. Car parking: The city lot behind the Bridge Street Bistro, up and down Bridge Street, including by the pier, Bradenton Beach City Hall / Tingley Library, along the beach just south of Bridge Street, and down at Coquina Beach. The “Monkey Bus” is another option at 941-565-6542. For more information on the Bridge Street Merchants and this event see www.visitbridgestreet.com or call 941-896-2222.