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News Section: Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Adventures in Bradenton: January 25-27, 2013

Published Thursday, January 24, 2013
Manatee's Angelo DeDona

BRADENTON – It's a big weekend in Bradenton with plenty of entertainment options. The fair is still in town, Manatee High hosts the state championships for youth wrestling, you can take in the Asolo Theatre Play Readers at the Braden River Library or head over to SRQ and get wild with Big Cat Habitat and their Animal Extravaganza! Grab your singlet or throw on your leopard-print leotards. It's time for a Weekend Adventure in Bradenton! 

Manatee High School hosts the AAU state state wrestling championships (8th grade and below) in the final round of the "I Own Florida" series this Saturday. See the best 14 and under wrestlers in the Sunshine State as they compete in tot, bantam, midget, novice and school boy classes, including wrestlers from our own Manatee Hurricanes Wrestling Club.

The five-mat, double elimination tournament kicks off at 9 a.m. and runs throughout the day. Admission is free and concessions are available. Manatee High School is located at 902 33rd Street Court West in Bradenton.

Wrestling fans can get their weekend started early with the Manatee County High School Championships tonight at Palmetto High. Wrestling starts at 3 p.m. and will continue into the evening with the highly anticipated Manatee-Palmetto duel set for third and projected to begin some time around 5 p.m. 




The Friends of the Braden River Branch Library are pleased to welcome the Asolo Theatre Play Readers, who will entertain the audience with live play reading on Saturday, starting at 10:30 a.m.

The ever-popular and very talented group will present an entertaining selection of humorous scenes from various plays. Light refreshments will be served starting at 10:00 a.m. Seating for this free program will be available on a first come, first serve basis. No registration is necessary.

Special programs such as this are made possible by funds provided by the Friends of the Braden River Library. The Friends are a support organization for Manatee County’s Braden River Branch Library. Monies raised by the Friends go toward programs and services that tax dollars alone cannot provide.

The Braden River Branch Library is located at 4915 53rd Avenue East, Bradenton, Florida. For more information, please call the library at 941.727.6079.


Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, a nonprofit safe haven for big cats, bears and other animals in need, will hold its annual Animal Extravaganza fundraiser weekends through Sunday, Feb. 24. The Habitat will also be open regular hours Wednesdays through Fridays during the Extravaganza.

Two entertaining and educational animal demonstrations featuring talented animal performers from around the state will be held on weekends throughout the Extravaganza, said Kay Rosaire, Big Cat Habitat’s founder and executive director.  Gates will open at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. respectively with two-hour animal demonstrations beginning at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The Habitat is at 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at Donations for the Extravaganza are $18 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under.

Included in the demonstrations are the habitat’s own lions and tigers, which are trained by Clayton Rosaire with a combination of gentle handling, praise and treats. Other performers include David Rosaire and his Perky Pekes, Elian Rosaire with camels and a beautiful Andalusian stallion, and a variety of other animal performers that will vary each weekend.

Visitors who come prior to the demonstrations may order food, visit close-up with all of the habitat’s animals including lions, tigers, bears, primates and a children’s petting zoo. Camel, elephant and pony rides also are available.        

The Animal Extravaganza is the habitat’s largest fundraiser.  Monies raised provide for the care of Big Cat Habitat’s exotic and other animals that traditional animal shelters will not take, Rosaire said. Also during the Extravaganza, the Habitat will be open Wednesday through Friday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. with an educational animal demonstration daily at 1:30 p.m.

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