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News Section: Community

Manatee Library Helps Kick Off VIVA Florida 500

Published Saturday, January 26, 2013

MANATEE COUNTY – Manatee County Public Library System helps kick off a statewide VIVA Florida 500 celebration later this month as part of a year’s worth of local events to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de León's arrival on Florida's east coast and our local history. Central Library will host Manatee’s VIVA Florida Kickoff Events on Wednesday.


The afternoon of events begins at 3 p.m. when Historical Records Librarians will lead tours of downtown Bradenton pointing out historical artifacts and landmarks. At 4 p.m., Central Library staff will help youth make their own personal time capsules. Similar time capsule crafting times will be offered at each local library later this year.

“We’ll give kids fun ideas of how to design their time capsules and what they might put in them,” said Ericka Dow, a Manatee County Librarian. “We’ll also give them a card to fill out with details about themselves so they’ll have at least one item to place in their personal time capsules to start off with.” 

The day’s events culminate with a VIVA Florida reception hour at 5 p.m., followed by a 6 p.m. discussion and book signing by local author H. Terrell Griffin. Local librarians will explain the year’s worth of events during the reception hour.

Ponce de León's convoy of explorers was the first group of Europeans to document such a landing and give a name to Florida – La Florida.

Other highlights of the local celebration include a photography contest and a letter writing contest. Contest details and the year’s worth of events can be found on the Library System’s online area here. Librarians will also be explaining the Manatee County Time Capsule which will be sealed in November, not to be opened until 2055, the 200th anniversary of Manatee County.

“Over the next few months we’ll be collecting photos and everyday items to include in the county time capsule so we can send a snapshot of what life is like in Manatee County in 2013,” Dow said. “The time capsule is a great way to get the community engaged in the VIVA celebration.”

Manatee County’s VIVA Florida events are sponsored by the Conquistador Historical Foundation. Keep up with the year’s worth of VIVA events on the Library System’s two Facebook pages, and

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