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Special Events & Programs

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Public Programs

Manatee Village presents several public programs throughout the year, including lectures, craft workshops, and interactive family-friendly activities. The best way to keep informed about what is happening is to visit our website or Facebook page frequently, or sign up for our Cabbage Head Gazette newsletter on our Home Page.

Current Program Offerings


Tombstone Tours

Start Date:10/11/2019 6:00 PM
End Date:10/19/2019 8:00 PM

Get your tickets here:

Manatee Village Historical Park will host Tombstone Tours, guided walking tours of the 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds, on evenings in October. 

Experience the historic grounds by torchlight, led by a costumed interpreter.  

Docents will describe the history of the Burying Grounds, personal histories of those buried there, and why the tombstones look the way they do. For example, did you know that oak leaves and acorns carved into a headstone symbolized strength, honor and virtue?

The 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds is the oldest public cemetery in Manatee County. It was the first burying ground for the Village of Manatee, which was the first established community between Tampa and Key West, dating to 1842. 

The Burying Grounds were in use from 1850-1892, with a few family burials occurring up until the 1960s. 

The tours will take place on the following dates. Gates open at 6:30pm, with tours beginning at 6:45pm. Tours will conclude by 8pm. 

  • Friday, October 11 
  • Saturday, October 12 
  • Friday, October 18 
  • Saturday, October 19  
  • *Presentation of tour in Church (rather than cemetery) at 5:30pm on Thursday, October 24* 

Please note that this event will take place at dusk by torchlight on uneven ground. It will require walking and standing. 

Visitors will park in the parking lot at Manatee Village Historical Park. The tour will begin in Manatee Village’s picnic pavilion at 6:45pm with participants walking over to the cemetery at 7pm. 

If you would like to learn about the Burying Grounds, but do not wish to walk through the cemetery at dusk, Manatee Village will be presenting the tour material and photographs of the tombstones in the 1887 Church at 5:30pm on Thursday, October 24.

In the event of rain, tour material will be presented in the 1887 Church. Refunds will not be issued for weather-related instances.

Tickets are $20. They may be purchased on Sign-Up Genius or by calling Manatee Village staff at (941) 749-7165. 

Manatee Village has sixteen sets of assisted listening devices available for use during the tour on a first come, first served basis. 

This public program is offered by producers: Manatee County Angelina “Angel” Colonneso, Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, Department of Historical Resources and the Manatee County Historical Commission.


Local Author: Erwin Wunderlich

Start Date:11/14/2019 5:30 PM
End Date:11/14/2019 6:30 PM

Dr. Erwin Wunderlich is a multi-generational Floridian and author of 
Salvos on the Backwater, a Patrick D. Smith Award winning book about a family surviving the Civil War in Florida, and Harmonica FUNdamentals with Civil War Songs: 20 Pre-1865 Songs for the Key of C Harmonica

Meet us in the 1887 Church. Books will be available for purchase after his talk!

This event is FREE and does not require RSVP. 

Erwin hails from Bradenton. For over half his life, award-winning author and fifth-generation Floridian Erwin has been creating stories about people in our beloved state. His second Civil War novel, Drummer Boy On The Run, is due out shortly and is already receiving literary praise.

Manatee Village Historical Park is a part of the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court and Comptroller Historical Resources Department. This program is offered in conjunction with the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. 

Group Tour Information

Group tours are provided for groups of 10 people or more.* The cost is $5.00 per person. Reservations must be made at least 14 days in advance by calling (941) 749-7165. Currently accepting group tour applications for tours taking place after October 1, 2019. 

*Group tours may be provided for groups of 10 or fewer people, but the minimum cost of $50.00 will still apply.

Download our group tour application here: 2019 MVHP Group Tour Reservation Sheet.pdf

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Village Hours:

Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
2nd & 4th Saturdays, 9:00am – 4:00pm

Closures: Wednesday October 9, November 9-11 (Veteran's Day Weekend), November 28-30 (Thanksgiving Weekend)

Upcoming Saturday openings: October 12, October 26, November 23

Phone: (941) 749-7165

E-mail addresses are public records under Florida law and are not exempt from public-records requirements. If you do not want your e-mail address to be subject to being released pursuant to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact by phone at the phone numbers above, or contact us in writing, via the United States Postal Service, at this address- Manatee County Historical Commission 1404 Manatee Ave. E, Bradenton, Fl 34208.

Location Map:



1404 Manatee Avenue East 
(SR 64)
Bradenton, FL. 34208



Village Hours

Monday – Friday and 2nd & 4th Saturdays of each month

9:00am – 4:00pm

Closed holidays and their corresponding weekends.