Experience an old-fashioned Florida holiday celebration with family-friendly entertainment including musical performances, make-and-take seasonal crafts, heritage artisans, food vendors, and vintage silent holiday films - something to delight every age!
In the past, beautiful holiday-themed musical performances have been given by barbershop quartets, the Gulf Coast Flute Choir, and local elementary, middle, and high schools.
Scattered throughout Manatee Village will be (free!) craft stations where you can make old-fashioned seasonal decorations, like orange pomanders, paper chains, and Popsicle stick reindeer.
Every year, Manatee Village seeks out local artists, authors, craft vendors, and non-profits. In past years, vendors have offered face-painting and sold handmade wreaths, soaps, bonnets, aprons, jewelry, quilts, clothing and more. An Old Florida Christmas is the perfect opportunity to shop local and support the community’s artists.
Take a lunch break in the courtyard, shaded by old oak trees. In the past, food vendors have included North River Manatee Kiwanis selling hamburgers and hotdogs and Kona Ice selling snow cones.
Enjoy vintage silent films in the 1860 Courthouse like the 1905 version of “The Night Before Christmas” and a 1910 version of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”, both produced at Thomas Edison’s film manufacturing studios.
Every corner of Manatee Village will be decorated in splendid Victorian and Florida pioneer-inspired Christmas décor. Explore the museum’s landmarks like the Old Cabbage Head train and the Junior Junction playground. Learn something new about holiday traditions in the Christmas exhibit displayed in the Stephens Family Home. Unique gifts will be for sale in the museum’s Whistle Stop Gift Shop, like Christmas Preservation Angels, the proceeds from which are used to restore Manatee Village’s historical buildings.
Special Event admission: Adults $5; Youth 12 years and under FREE. No reservations necessary—tickets are for sale at the event.
Parking is free and is available at Manatee Village Historical Park, the East Manatee Health and Wellness Center (1312 Manatee Ave E), Manatee Baptist Church (1501 7th Ave E), or Manatee Elementary (1609 6th Ave E).
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.