The Bradenton Area River Regatta Returns February 12th!

Manatee County’s largest spectator event will be back on the Bradenton Riverwalk on Saturday, February 12th. Here's what you need to know!

The one-day event features Formula-2 Powerboat Superleague racing. These boats reach speeds of over 120 MPH – giving you a fast, furious, edge-of-your-seat experience.

This year, the regatta will also feature SST-45 “Formula Lights” – a group of smaller, more agile boats that reach top speeds of 70 MPH. You can catch both races – plus live music, food, and tons of other entertainment for FREE all day long! There will be entertainment and events on both the Bradenton and Palmetto sides of the river, and the Green Bridge will be closed to traffic so spectators can get a great view of the race, water shows, and fireworks. Here’s what you need to know.

There’s SO MUCH to do during this 7th-annual event. Here’s a look at some of the things you won’t want to miss.

Little Anglers’ Fishing Tournament

Families can start the day off with the Hernando De Soto Historical Society’s “Lil Anglers” Fishing Tournament. This FREE event begins at 8:30 am on the Palmetto Fishing Pier. There will be 70 rods set up and ready to go, so all you need to do is show up! There will be prizes and trophies as well.

Advanced registration is required. Sign up now.

Jetpack Shows

Once again this year, the Bradenton Area River Regatta will feature stunning jet pack demonstrations by Pro Ladies Flyboard World Champion Kristen “The Destroyer” Smoyer and  #1 Water Jetpack Champion Mike “Thrasher” Taster. These stunning shows can be seen from the Bradenton side of the Manatee River.

Live Music

There will also be live music both in Bradenton and Palmetto all day long. The music starts at noon and will feature artists including Sam Woolf, Almost ABBA, Andy Pursell Band, American Made Band, Randy McNeeley Band, Blooze Brothers, and more. Check out the full live music schedule so you can include a few performances in your plans.

Team Zoom & Dare Devil Stunt Dogs

On the Great Lawn of the Manatee Riverwalk, you’ll be able to enjoy captivating performances and jaw-dropping tricks performed by the Dare Devil Stunt Dogs. From agility vaults and flying through obstacle courses to hula-hooping, jumping rope, and dancing go music, these expertly-trained border collies are sure to blow your mind.

Family Fun Zones

On both the Bradenton and Palmetto sides of the river, families can enjoy tons of kid-friendly fun. In addition to games and inflatables, there will also be tons of interactive experiences that are great for everyone from tots to teens.

The Bradenton Marauders and Pittsburgh Pirates will be on the Bradenton side while the Tampa Bay Lightning Street Team will be on the Palmetto side. You’ll also want to visit the expo area with the U.S. Army and the National Guard in Palmetto.

Powerboat Village

In Palmetto, at the Riverside Boat Ramp, you can take a stroll through the “Powerboat Village” where you’ll get an up-close view of authentic Raveau Powerboats.

Food and Drinks

You can expect to find great cuisine from top local restaurants throughout the event. There will also be concession areas on both sides of the Green Bridge so you can grab a quick bite without having to take a chance on missing any of the action.

There will also be an approved “beer garden” at the event, and all alcoholic beverages purchased must be consumed inside the beer garden.

Helicopter Tours

Want a truly memorable experience? Get a birds-eye view of the beauty of Bradenton and the surrounding area by taking a helicopter tour with Heli Aviation. The tours depart from Rossi Waterfront Park and heads through downtown and down U.S. 41 before turning around and returning.

Rides are limited, so you’ll want to sign up right away!

Zambelli Fireworks Spectacular

The events of the day will end with a spectacular fireworks display that features spell-binding illumination effects choreographed to music. The best view of the fireworks will be from the top of the Green Bridge.

Things You Need to Know

There is no admission cost to attend the Bradenton Area River Regatta. The Green Bridge will close starting at 4 a.m. on Saturday, February 12th and will remain closed until 11 pm. During the event, spectators are welcome to watch from this viewing point.

Those wishing to view the event by boat will need to follow all U.S. Coast Guard mandates and stay in the designated “Spectator Anchoring Area.”

Pets are welcome but must be leashed. You’re welcome to bring a cooler. However, you may not bring alcoholic beverages with you and coolers are subject to check at the discretion of law enforcement. There are no seating areas, but you’re welcome (and encouraged) to bring your own lawn chairs or blankets to the event.

Take a look at the official schedule to learn more and be sure to follow the Bradenton Area River Regatta on Facebook so you can keep up with any updates.

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