7 Tips for Staying Safe in Winter Weather

7 Tips for Staying Safe in Winter Weather

7 Tips for Staying Safe in Winter Weather Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

7 Tips for Staying Safe in Winter Weather

Weather experts say that our area hasn’t experienced this cold of winter weather in many years! While Bradenton’s winter weather will be brief and warm up over the weekend, here are some tips for staying safe during dropping temperatures.

1. Stay inside.

This is the best way to ensure that you are keeping safe and warm in the winter weather. The same goes for your furry family members. Keep them inside if possible. If you have pets that must stay outside, ensure they have access to shelter and unfrozen water.

2. Check on your loved ones.

Ensure that your family, friends and neighbors are safe as well, especially those that are more at risk: those that have young children, are elderly or are chronically ill.

3. Bundle up!

If you must go outside, make sure to wear many lightweight layers underneath a wind-resistant coat. Gloves, hats, scarves and waterproof boots will help maintain your body heat.

4. Take extra precaution when outdoors.

With cold and icy conditions in this winter weather, it’s advised to walk slowly, take a buddy with you, and always make sure you have your mobile phone with you.

5. Keep your generators outside.

These should never be kept in the home—even in the garage or basement—to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. This is also a good time to ensure that your CO detectors are functioning properly.

6. Don’t let your pipes burst!

To prevent your pipes from bursting, keep your faucet trickling water. You can also open the cabinet doors around your pipes in your bathroom and kitchen to allow warm air to reach your pipes, but make sure to remove any cleaning products if you have children or pets in your home.

7. Supervise your space heaters.

If using space heaters to heat your home during winter weather, make sure to keep them on a level surface and at least 3 feet away from any furniture, clothing, paper or any other flammable item. Also, make sure to turn these off before going to bed and leaving the room.

Next: Rainy Day Dun Near Riviera Dunes Marina

6 Free Holiday Events Near Bradenton, FL

6 Free Holiday Events Near Bradenton, FL

6 Free Holiday Events Near Bradenton, FL Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

6 Free Holiday Events Near Bradenton, FL

Holiday season is in full swing! From dazzling parades to photo moments with Santa, there’s an abundance of free holiday events that you and your family will not want to miss. All the yuletide fun kicks off this weekend!

Here are six free holiday events near Bradenton, FL!

Jingle Paws Jubilee

Dec. 3, Noon–5 p.m.

Phillippi Estate Park, Sarasota

Even the furry family members get to join in on this holiday season! This Sunday, head to Phillippi Estate Park for the annual Jingle Paws Jubilee. At the jubilee, you can get your holiday shopping done as there are many exciting pet vendors as well as dogs and cats available for adoption! Then, don’t miss the Holiday Costume Parade & Contest, live DJ music, delicious food vendors, raffle prizes, demonstrations and more!

Holidays Around the Ranch

Dec. 8, 6–9 p.m.

Lakewood Main Street

Entering by a horse-drawn carriage, Santa Claus himself will make a grand appearance at Lakewood Main Street for the annual Holidays Around the Ranch. Grab some hot cocoa or eggnog as you peruse the vendors or join the carolers for a round of seasonal favorites. Kids will also enjoy the outdoor snow slide!

Poinsettia Parade and Tree Lighting & Poinsettia Festival

Dec. 9, Parade 5 p.m., Lighting and Festival 6:30–9:30 p.m.

North Port

The Poinsettia Parade is one of the free holiday events that you do not want to miss! Beginning at Sylvania Avenue, decorated vehicles and groups will join in in the Poinsettia Parade, led by North Port Fire Rescue. Of course, what’s a holiday event without St. Nick himself? Santa will of course make an appearance. Once the parade comes to a close as the tree lighting and festival kicks off! With live entertainment by Stone Krow and local school choirs, there will also be family-friendly events including face paintings and a giant slide as well as food and holiday vendors on site. Kids can meet Santa at City Hall, too! 

Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade

Dec. 9, 6–9 p.m.

Manatee River

Bradenton boat lovers will love the annual holiday boat parade! Volunteers from our local community join in every year to deck out their boats and ride along Manatee River for all to see. Spectators can best view the holiday boat parade from the Green Bridge Fishing Pier, Bradenton Riverwalk or Pier 22, where the judging takes place for best decorated boat!

2nd Annual Holiday Classic Movie on the Riverwalk

Dec. 15, 6–9 p.m.

Bradenton Riverwalk

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, and don’t miss the beloved Christmas comedy, “Elf,” on Bradenton Riverwalk. Your whole family can join in to enjoy popcorn and other refreshments while you sit back and enjoy this holiday favorite. There will also be face painting fun, photo opportunities and music before the movie begins.

Main Street Live Street Party

Dec. 31, 6 p.m.–midnight

Old Main Street, Bradenton

End 2017 with a bang at the Main Street Live Street Party! Downtown Bradenton’s annual New Year’s Eve block party is back this year with folk-rock band Have Fun, Will Travel headlining the event. The street closes as vendors and local food trucks fill the streets for this fun final night of the year.

Next: Don’t Miss these 4 Breweries near Sarasota

The 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic is This Weekend!

The 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic is This Weekend!

The 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic is This Weekend! Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

The 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic is This Weekend!

It’s that time of the year! Make sure to clear your schedules because the 8th Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic is back again this weekend and ready to wow you with amazing sand masterpieces!

Every year, professional sand sculptors from around the world come to Sarasota to participate in this international sandsculpting festival. Luckily, for us, the event is in our own stomping grounds, and we don’t have to travel too far to be a part of this exciting and unique annual event.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic:

This year, artists hail from Canada, Czech Republic, Amsterdam, Lithuania, Singapore and various states in the U.S.

Kicking off this Friday, you can view and vote for the masterpieces crafted by master sand sculptors. For four days, there will be live music, a party tent and dining tent as well as shopping vendors. Looking to learn more about sandsculpting? There will be demonstrations and lessons for you to learn! Kids will also enjoy the Learning Curve, an art and science lab where they can expand their knowledge about Siesta Key’s own white quartz sand as well as other sand varieties from around the country.  Lastly, there will be fun competitions including a 10-minute quick sand competition and other amateur contests for your entertainment! See the full schedule here

On Sunday, the winner will be announced in an awards ceremony. Then, voting for the People’s Choice Award ends on Monday at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced via the event’s Facebook page and website on Tuesday, the 14th. 

When: Friday, Nov. 10–Monday, Nov. 13

Hours:

  • Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Sunday and Monday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Admission:

Admission prices are based on a daily basis.

  • Adults $10
  • Children ages 5–17 $5
  • Seniors ages 65+ and Active and Retired Military $8

To avoid the crowds when parking, hop aboard the Siesta Key Breeze Free Trolley Service!

Next: Don’t Miss these 4 Breweries near Sarasota

6 Tips for Prepping for Hurricane Season

6 Tips for Prepping for Hurricane Season

6 Tips for Prepping for Hurricane Season Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

6 Tips for Prepping for Hurricane Season

Did you know that hurricane seasons runs through Nov. 30? Even if you don’t live in the hurricane hot spots like Orlando or Jacksonville, it’s always good to keep in mind the precautions for hurricane season if you plan to vacation there. Here are six tips to make sure you’re ready for hurricane season.

1. Plan ahead for emergencies.

When you’re in the thick of hurricane preparation, it can be hard to gather your thoughts for what to do next. You’ll need emergency supplies for you and your family, insurance will need to be ready in case of an emergency, and you must have a plan for your vehicles in the event that you need to evacuate.

2. Determine your hurricane season risk.

How will your home stand during flooding or wind? Are there trees leaning toward your home? Flooding is known to cause the most damage to your home, and this is especially a greater risk during hurricane season. You can see how your home rates for flood risk with these helpful maps.

3. Make sure you have insurance coverage.

Insurance coverage can often take up to 30 days to take effect, so it’s important to make sure you are covered now! From special deductibles to private homeowners insurance, there are several varieties of coverage that you can look into for your home. Flood insurance is a separate type of insurance that must be purchased outside of your homeowners insurance.

4. Locate your evacuation zone.

Investigate whether or not your home or vacation home is located in an evacuation zone. Evacuation zones are essentially any areas that can be affected by flooding.

5. Form your hurricane emergency plan.

Hurricane season emergency plans are crucial to ensure the safety of you and your family. From knowing where the emergency supplies are to where your family will meet in the event that you are dispersed, there are several scenarios that must be discussed just in case.

Your emergency plan might include where you will evacuate to and the basic procedures for securing your home. These procedures might include boarding the windows, moving patio furniture indoors, gathering essential supplies and knowing the plan for caring for your pets.

6. Be prepared for evacuation.

There are a few steps you can take to ensure a smoother evacuation process. First, make sure you have a full tank of gas. In the event that there’s a power outage, you might be unable to fill your car’s tank. Pack one car that you and your family will be using. Since congestion is expected on the road, taking one car will ensure that you can exit the area together and safely.

Next: 7 Things We Love About Sarasota, FL

Sarasota’s Siesta Beach is the #1 Beach in the U.S.

Sarasota’s Siesta Beach is the #1 Beach in the U.S.

Sarasota's Siesta Beach is the #1 Beach in the U.S. Riviera Dunes Marina

Sarasota’s Siesta Beach is the #1 Beach in the U.S.

Sarasota’s Siesta Beach has been awarded the No. 1 beach in the country by Professor Stephen “Dr. Beach” Leatherman! This is the second time that Siesta Beach has been acclaimed in the last seven years. 

It’s no surprise to us here at Riviera Dunes Marina! With its glistening white sand, Siesta Beach is a beautiful beach to visit year-round! Visitors flock to the beach every year for the crystal clear waters, fantastic shelling opportunities and much more. The beach has also been renovated recently to offer more parking opportunities as well as a free trolley for beachgoers to utilize.

Dr. Beach rates beaches from all over the country using 50 different criteria in order to score them for a total of 250 points. Siesta Beach scored a 238 out of 250 points! Some of the criteria included in the list are amenities, noise level, public safety, color of sand, number of sunny days and much more. The full criteria list can be found here

In addition to Siesta Beach, Florida’s Grayton Beach State Park and Caladesi State Park also ranked in Dr. Beach’s Top 10 U.S. Beaches of 2017 among beaches in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Are you looking for more fun things to do in Sarasota? From going snorkeling in seagrass to exploring the sandbars and taking luxury home tours, there’s much to see and do when visiting!

Next: 7 Things We Love About Sarasota, FL

Siesta Beach Ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

Siesta Beach Ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

Siesta Beach Ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Riviera Dunes Marina

Siesta Beach Ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

TripAdvisor just released their 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards and ranked our local beach No. 1 in the U.S.! Our own Siesta Beach, located just 20 minutes from Sarasota is ranked as the No. 1 beach in the country. It’s no surprise to us as Siesta Beach is a lovely destination year-round! 

Runners up in the top five spots include Ka’anapali Beach in Hawaii and Florida’s Saint Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach and the beach at Panama City.

In addition to ranking No. 1 in the U.S., Siesta Beach also ranks No. 5 best beach in the whole world!

With its white sand and nature areas nearby, Siesta Beach is a fantastic place to visit. Perfect for large families or as an intimate getaway for couples, this acclaimed beach does not disappoint. 

If you haven’t visited Siesta Beach yet, here are some perks you’ll get to enjoy:

Cool beaches: Because the sand is comprised of 99 percent pure quartz, you don’t have to worry about burning your feet (this is especially important to note for the little ones) even on the hottest summer days.

Volleyball: The beach is equipped with its own volleyball court. Just bring a ball, and let the games begin!

Safety: Lifeguards are always on duty, so you can rest assured that you and your loved ones will be safe when treading the waters. 

Pavilion: Perfect for toting your own picnic, settle under the pavilion where you can take a break from the sun and fuel up for the remainder of your afternoon at the beach. 

Beach-friendly wheelchairs: Offered year-round, travel from the parking lot to the shore with ease via their complimentary beach-friendly wheelchairs. You can find these at the concession area.

ADA beach access mats: The ADA beach access mats make it a breeze for those in wheelchairs or pedestrians with strollers or beach carts to travel the shore more easily. 

Looking for more beautiful beaches near us? Read about 6 secret islands to visit near Palmetto, FL!

Family-Friendly Winter Festivals in Central Florida

Family-Friendly Winter Festivals in Central Florida

Family-Friendly Winter Festivals in Central Florida Riviera Dunes Marina

Family-Friendly Winter Festivals in Central Florida

Don’t miss all of the wonderful family-friendly winter festivals right here in Central Florida! See a circus performance, embrace Italian culture and food, and join thousands at our local fishing village for their annual extravaganza!

Circus Sarasota Winter Performance

When: Through Sunday, March 5

  • Weeknights: 7 p.m.
  • Wednesdays & Saturdays: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Sundays: 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Where: The Ulla Searing Big Top, Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota

What: Join Circus Sarasota as they commemorate 20 years with their winter performance! This special show will feature circus legend Nik Wallenda as well as other international circus stars performing amazing acts that will surely dazzle you and the whole family! Make sure to purchase tickets ahead of time as they are known to sell out! More info here.

Admission: $15–$55

The 35th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

When: Friday and Saturday, Feb. 18–19

  • 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily.

Where: Cortez Fishing Village

Parking: G. T. Bray Park, Bradenton

What: Don’t miss the 35th Annual Cortez Commericial Fishing Festival honoring this year’s theme, “Fishing For Our Future.” What began as a small festival with 500 attendants is now a festival that attracts thousands of guests each February. This beloved local festival is perfect for the whole family! Enjoy nautical-themed arts and crafts, children’s activities, delectable seafood, beverages and so much more. Hear live music from Shanty Singers, Jason Haran, Karen and Jimmy Band, Eric Von and many other great artists. Be sure to snag a commemorative t-shirt as a souvenir! More info here.

Admission: Adults—$4. Children ages 12 and under—free.

29th Annual Venice Italian Festival and Carnival

When: Thursday Feb. 23–Sunday, Feb. 26

  • Thursday and Friday: 4 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Noon

Where: Venice Airport

What: The 29th Annual Venice Italian Festival and Carnival is a delicious and delightful four-day festival held in the Venice and Nokomis area. Nosh on authentic Italian cuisine paired with beer, wine and an assortment of other beverages. Then make sure you stick around for doo-wop, swing, classic rock and many more performances for a chance to let loose! The kids will enjoy carnival rides, games, face paintings, caricature artists and their own kid zone! More info here.

Admission: Free.

  • Parking: $5.
  • Prices vary for carnival rides.

Next: Why You Should Vacation to Palmetto, FL this Winter

3rd Annual Bradenton Area River Regatta

3rd Annual Bradenton Area River Regatta

3rd Annual Bradenton Area River Regatta Riviera Dunes Marina

3rd Annual Bradenton Area River Regatta

Attention, thrill-seekers: Prepare to be amazed at boats racing more than 120 mph! Witness daring events like this and so much more when you join in for the 3rd Annual Bradenton Area River Regatta just a few weeks away on Feb. 4.

If you haven’t been to the Bradenton Area River Regatta previously, you’re in for a real treat! The schedule is still not concrete, but there are many exciting surprises in store for all of the Bradenton and Palmetto locals.

Head to the Manatee River for thrilling events including the Powerboat Super League Formula 2 events and the XHydro Cross Jet Skis and Disc Connect K9 show. You’ll also get to hear from the Nashville Yacht Club, Tampa’s own Soul Circus Cowboys and the ZBTB, the No. 1 Zac Brown tribute band, as the headliner. One thing’s for certain, the Powerboat Super Leagues will return for another spectacular performance that you do not want to miss. Other exciting events include extreme sports stunt shows, a family fun zone, a 5K river race and so much more!

Of course, don’t leave the kiddos at home! All ages will enjoy an art activity at the art center, activities at the South Florida Museum, the Little Anglers Fishing Tournament and more.

This free, family fun premiere event will also feature a variety of food vendors for you to refuel throughout the day. Then, make sure you stick around for the fireworks show and awards ceremony in Bradenton.

The Bradenton Area River Regatta will be held rain or shine. New this year will be the two Sarasota trolleys that will transport guest from Bradenton to Palmetto throughout the day.

Stay tuned as more details will be released. Visit BradentonAreaRegatta.com for the latest information.

Next: Your Guide to the 3 Best Boat and Water Tours in Palmetto, FL

Anglers, Download this App and Help Track Invasive Fish

Anglers, Download this App and Help Track Invasive Fish

anglers-download-this-app-and-combat-invasive-fish-riviera-dunes-marina

Anglers, Download this App and Help Track Invasive Fish

Florida recently partnered with the Swedish app, Fishbrain. Fishbrain allows fishermen to connect and share the best fishing spots, tide changes and any other fishing-related news that interest anglers.

Though, the partnership between the state and the app stems from Florida’s interest in locating invasive fish using the app’s data. With approximately 250,000 Floridians using the app already, the data will assist the state and wildlife officials to track down freshwater exotic fish.

Local fisherman, if you’re interested in joining the state in their research for invasive fish or simply connecting with fellow anglers, here’s how the free app works.  You can follow another angler, a type of fishing or fish species as well as view other helpful tidbits of information including the local weather report. Users can view and post photos as well as leave comments. The map feature also provides accurate locations of where fish are being caught, which is where you can help, local anglers!

In the state’s pilot project, they’ll be using the data taken from the mapping feature to track 15 species of fish. Fish include tilapia, bullseye snakehead and catfish, among others. As anglers log their catches in the app, this information is then delivered to wildlife officials. While anglers can choose whether or not to share their locations, as some fear the best fishing spots will become less of a secret, the state is hoping this will not deter them from assisting them in the project.

Fishbrain is free, but you also have the option to upgrade to the premium version, which includes special features like the fishing forecast and a species tracking map. The premium version costs $5.99 per month or $60 for an annual subscription.

Next: Your Guide to the 3 Best Boat and Water Tours in Palmetto, FL

Top 5 Places to Spend New Year’s Eve Near Bradenton

Top 5 Places to Spend New Year’s Eve Near Bradenton

top-5-places-to-spend-new-years-eve-near-bradenton-riviera-dunes-marina-blog

Top 5 Places to Spend New Year’s Eve Near Bradenton

Still looking for the most exciting place to spend New Year’s Eve that’s near Bradenton? We’ve got you covered here at Riviera Dunes Marina. Let’s ring in the New Year near Bradenton at one of these fabulous parties.

1. The Seafood Shack Marina Bar & Grill in Cortez

Head to the Neptune Room at The Seafood Shack Marina Bar & Grill for a New Year’s Eve party with country music performances and more! The Eric Von Band will be bringing the tunes. Opening for country music stars including Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert, Eric Von is also a native of Cortez. Other features of the party include cash bars, drink specials and a special menu.

  • Price: $15 (includes cover, fees and taxes).
  • Time: 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Band begins at 9 p.m.
  • Where: The Seafood Shack Marina Bar & Grill, Cortez.

2. Fishermen’s Village

For a family-friendly environment, head to Fisherman’s Village! Enjoy music and dancing with Gator DJ in Center Court as well as with singer and guitarist Michael Hirst. Visit with Pamela, the radio host of “Tropical Tarot & Beyond” for a tarot reading. Get festive with hair glitter designs from Brian and Lori. Then, the kids will enjoy magic shows, balloon art, face paintings by MaryRose, a photo booth and so much more.

  • Price: Free parking and admission.
  • Time: 5 p.m. to midnight; Michael Hirst at 7:30 p.m. to midnight.
  • Where: Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda.

3. Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town

New Year’s Eve is your last chance to galavant around Christmas Town at Busch Gardens. Though nearly an hour from Bradenton, Christmas town is the perfect place to end the year with a bang! Marvel at the two million festive lights and decorations and enjoy holiday entertainment that’s fit for all ages! Visit with Rudolph and Santa and hear live performances featuring holiday classics!

  • Price: $92.99 and up.
  • Time: 9:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Where: Busch Gardens, Tampa.

4. Sarasota Pineapple Drop

If you’re in Downtown Sarasota, head to their annual New Year’s Eve party, the Sarasota Pineapple Drop! Hear live music from Big Night Out on the Mattison’s Stage, beginning at 8 p.m. Jah Movement Reggae Band will be on the east stage near Evie’s at 8 p.m. Then, hear DJs on the Lemon Avenue stage. There’s also plenty of kids entertainment including carnival rides and games beginning at 1:30 p.m.! At midnight, head to the intersection of Lemon Avenue and Main Street for the Pineapple Drop countdown into 2017!

  • Price: Free admission.
  • Time: 1 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
  • Where: Downtown Sarasota.

5. Main Street Live in Downtown Bradenton

Our area’s most popular street party, you won’t want to miss Main Street Live for hours of live music. Bands include The Dram from 6–10 p.m. and Have Gun, Will Travel playing from 10 p.m.–midnight. You’ll also get to the opportunity to peruse a variety of vendors for a festive end to 2016!

  • Price: Free.
  • Time: 6 p.m. to midnight.
  • Where: Old Main Street, Bradenton.

Next: Your Guide to the 3 Best Boat and Water Tours in Palmetto, FL