Living here in Manatee County is a loyal passion for more residents than any other area surveyed by the Knight Foundation in its three-year "Soul of the Community" project. The researchers summed up their badge of honor. In 2009, Bradenton saw a significant increase in residents' passion and loyalty for their community. This improvement resulted in Bradenton having the highest emotional attachment of all communities studied in 2009. The three key factors that tie residents to where they live are social offerings, aesthetics and openness.
Here are some of the contributing attributes to our community:
Spectacular Weather: Almost year round with more than 300 days of sunshine.
Small-Enough Community With a Huge Heart: As our economy begins to rebound more and more locals have volunteered and contributed their time and efforts to make Manatee County a more pleasurable place to live.
Green Spaces: Manatee County has preserved much of its natural beauties for generations to come with 43 parks and preservations.
The Islands: The beaches on Manatee County's two barrier islands, Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key are among the best in the world. These two Islands still maintain the Old Florida style with first class amenities of the local economy.
Old Main Street: Downtown Bradenton might not come to as a destination, but on every Saturday morning downtown host a Farmer's market with plenty of homegrown food stands and crafts are available. As for the night life downtown offers several newly renovated upscale pubs and a cigar bar. There is a place for all different adult age groups. Also every third Thursday of the month from October to May, Old Main Street has A GET DOWN-DOWN TOWN event. It offers live music, food vendors, and adult beverages for a great time to meet new faces and net-working opportunities.
Village of the Arts: Florida's largest art community, with dozens of artist living and working together. The ArtWalks, held on the first Friday and Saturday of every month.
The MLK Parade in Palmetto: Each year, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision shines brightly here as hundreds of children parade through the streets of Palmetto, with Festive Floats, memorable speeches, high school marching bands and barbeque galore.
McKechnie Field: The sounds of spring training in the heart of Bradenton make sweet music in March with the crack of the bat and the cheer from the fans. During all summer long, the field will host the new Single A minor league baseball team the Bradenton Marauders.
A Master Plan That Works: For thousands of Manatee residents, Lakewood Ranch provides a community all its own: shops, business parks, nature preserves, its own hospital, polo grounds and, of course, premiere golf courses. This 8,500-acre mecca has been our county's growth for the last ten years. It is also the largest green-certified community in the United States.
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