The 42nd annual Manatee Heritage Days takes place throughout March. This month will feature special exhibits, lectures, walking tours, and more. Here are some of the unique events on the roster! 

All Month:

Jiggs Landing Heritage Foods: Jiggs Landing Outpost will offer local favorites such as sour orange pie, swamp cabbage and smoked mullet dip throughout March. Purchase tickets for this limited time menu now!

New Exhibits Open at Florida Maritime Museum: The “Caught in the Storm: 100 Years of Florida Hurricanes” exhibit, commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the 1921 storm that hit the Tampa Bay coast and showcasing a timeline of Florida hurricanes throughout the last century, is on display in the temporary exhibit room. This exhibit can also be experienced online and outdoors on the museum grounds. Indoor museum visits are by appointment only, 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Palmetto: Courtesy of Manatee County Agricultural Museum and Palmetto Historical Park, enjoy historic downtown Palmetto with a printed guide for a free self-guided tour. Email Pickup and the starting point of the tour will be at 515 10th Ave. W., Palmetto.

Agricultural Museum’s Sensory Garden Exhibit Opening: Enjoy the new sensory garden, located on the grounds of the park and museum. Visiting is free, and benches/tables are available for an outdoor lunch. Palmetto Historical Park, 515 10th Ave. W., Palmetto; 941-721-2034.

Weekly Events:

Artwalk at Village of the Arts: Join us on the First Friday weekend of every month in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts neighborhood; 6-9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; Village of the Arts, 1227 12th St. W., Bradenton.

Jiggs Landing Heritage Boat Tours: This boat tour takes you back to 1920 Marineland, the first subdivision outside the city limits of Bradenton. The tour is one hour. Admission includes an information booklet about local history, with a box lunch available for additional cost. 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. Fridays-Sundays; Jiggs Landing; $20; 941-727-4181;

Downtown Bradenton Farmers’ Market: Join us weekly for fresh produce, plants, arts, crafts and live music. Free parking. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays; Old Main Street, Bradenton.

Daily Events:

Parrish Heritage Day Parade and Festival: The parade begins at Parrish United Methodist Church. Afterwards, attendees can enjoy the free festival beginning at 11 a.m! Featuring vendor booths, kids’ games, prizes, arts and crafts, food trucks and live music. Masks are strongly encouraged. Saturday at 10:30am! 12180 US Hwy 301, Parrish.

Families Flock Together: In the late 1600s, Florida’s shores hosted thriving communities of Cuban fishermen known as Ranchos. Become a Cuban fisherman for a day and explore the lifestyle, obstacles and estuary habitats of old Florida. March 13th from 10am-12pm! Emerson Point Preserve, 5801 17th St. W., Palmetto; free, but reservations required; call 941-742-5923 x 6044 or email to register.

Native American Experience at Emerson Point Preserve: Discover what life was like for Native Americans who once lived here, and learn about many of the skills practiced by Florida’s early inhabitants and their way of life during a walk through the site of an early settlement. March 13th from 2-4pm! Emerson Point Preserve; free; call 941-742-5923 x 6035 or email to register.

Rye Pioneer History Walking Tour: Get a taste of the wilderness just outside the city on this naturalist-guided walking tour of Rye Preserve. Learn about the history of the Town of Rye, a booming settlement turned ghost town along the banks of the Manatee River. Closed-toe shoes are required. March 24th from 10-11am! Rye Preserve (meet at the pavilion); email for reservations.

“Taking Flight: A History of Aviation in Manatee County” Exhibit Opening: This historical exhibit charts the evolution of Manatee County aviation, from early landing fields in the 1910s to the establishment of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The virtual exhibit will be online at, with a series of panels related to the exhibit to be displayed on the second floor of Manatee Downtown Central Library through 2021. March 25; Manatee Downtown Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd., Bradenton; email to register for free virtual event.

Archaeo Paddle: Journey through the mangrove forests of Robinson Preserve with archaeologist Jeff Moates and discover the historical uses of the land, ecological restoration and how to spot the evidence or remains of indigenous people’s past. The program is suitable for ages 16 and older. Participants must have their own canoe or kayak and safety gear, wear a life jacket and bring a whistle. March 26th from 9am-12pm! Robinson Preserve, 1704 99th St. NW, Bradenton (meet at kayak launch); free, reservations required;

View the original article, and read about more events happening this month!