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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


Celebrating Florida Cracker Architecture

Start Date:1/24/2019 5:30 PM
End Date:1/24/2019 7:00 PM

Manatee Village Historical Park is opening a new exhibit in the 1912 Stephens Family Home on January 24. 

These panels will be a permanent installation that provides visitors with information about the settlers’ house. The exhibit will tell the history of the Stephens family, discuss the Florida pioneer lifestyle, explain Florida Cracker architecture, and detail the preservation efforts that took place in the early 1980s to save the house.

To celebrate the opening of this exhibit, Ron Haase will come to speak at Manatee Village Historical Park on Thursday, January 24 at 5:30pm.

Professor Emeritus Ron Haase taught architecture for twenty years at the University of Florida. His academic research focused on the old Cracker farmhouses of Florida. As an architect for the award-winning design firm, Haase Design, his work focused on designing contemporary houses that have a strong identity with the climate and culture of Florida’s small towns and rural lifestyle. 

In his book, CLASSIC CRACKER: Florida’s Wood-Frame Vernacular Architecture, Haase takes us on an intimate tour of the utilitarian wooden structures built by early settlers in North Florida. These houses, raised high off the ground and surrounded by shady porches, respond both to the warm climate and to the very idea of living side by side with nature in such a beautiful environment.

His new book, THE LAST HOUSE, returns to examine more fully the vernacular architecture of Florida, this time as a work of fiction. This novel tells the story of a married couple in Florida who build four houses over their life together, spanning from a Florida Cracker style home in Cross Creek to an art deco masterpiece on Biscayne Bay.

Before Haase’s talk at 5:30pm, The Stephens Family home will be open for self-guided tours of the exhibit from 4:30-5:15pm. After the talk, the exhibit will open again from 6:15-7:00pm, while a reception with light refreshments is offered out front of the house. Haase will be selling and signing his books.

This event is free and open to the public. The talk takes place in the 1887 Church. No reservations are required. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Manatee Village provides 12 sets of assisted listening devices, also on a first come, first served basis.


“Ybor City: 1885-1930”

Start Date:2/23/2019 2:00 PM
End Date:2/23/2019 4:00 PM

Imagine the bustling streets of Ybor City over a century ago: men and women speaking Spanish and Italian; the buzz of the factories; the smell of cigar smoke; the music and dancing.

Catherine Cueto, a Master’s candidate in History at the University of South Florida, will explore Ybor City’s fascinating history and culture during a talk at Manatee Village Historical Park on Saturday, February 23 at 2:00 pm. 

“Ybor City: A Latin Enclave in the American South, 1885-1930” will delve into what makes Ybor unique by placing it in the context of American history, particularly that of the South, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Cuban businessman Vincente Martinez Ybor founded Ybor City in 1885 to expand his cigar business into the United States. Within about a year, Ybor had created a grid for the city and built housing for the cigar workers he brought from Cuba, Spain, and Sicily.

The working conditions in Ybor City’s factories were somewhat unique for the American South in the 1800s. Men and women of diverse ethnic backgrounds worked alongside each other for comparable wages. Ybor City was not isolated from Tampa (it was annexed in 1887) nor from the rest of the nation. It was a Southern American town. However, in place of a Southern drawl, visitors heard different languages entirely.

Cuban, Spanish, Italian, and even German and Romanian immigrants created social clubs and mutual aid societies to provide a social outlet, a sense of community, and a support system. Membership to a club provided access not only to entertainment, but also to hospitals, pharmacies, banks, and even cemeteries.

In her upcoming talk, Cueto seeks to help audiences better understand Ybor City’s place within the nation and the world. She will examine labor and industry, mutual aid societies, the Cuba Libre movement, ethnicity, gender, class and culture.

Cueto is a Master’s student in History at the University of South Florida. Her research is focused on Florida and Ybor City, specifically histories that engage with immigrant communities and identities, gender, ethnicity, and labor post-Civil War. Prior to her Master’s studies, Cueto worked at the Ybor City Museum Society collecting and transcribing oral histories of Cuban Americans in Tampa. As a third generation Tampeño of Latin heritage, Cueto enjoys bringing scholarship back to her community and capturing and disseminating stories that aren’t commonly told, like those of women, laborers, minorities, immigrants, and everyday people.

Catherine Cueto will present “Ybor City: 1885-1930” in the 1887 Church. The talk will last approximately 45 minutes and a light reception will follow.

Because it is the fourth Saturday of the month, Manatee Village will be open to the public from 9am-4pm.

This event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Manatee Village has 12 sets of assisted listening devices available for use during the talk, also on a first come, first served basis.

Docent-led Walking Tours

Start Date:3/9/2019 11:00 AM
End Date:3/23/2019 3:00 PM
March is Manatee County's Heritage Month. During March, a variety of historical sites and organizations offer events celebrating Manatee County's history and culture.

To celebrate, Manatee Village Historical Park will offer two different types of docent-led walking tours: tours of the museum campus and a tour of the 1850 Manatee Burying Ground.

There will be two identical tours of Manatee Village Historical Park's campus on March 9 at 11am and 2pm. The tours will focus on the history of the buildings, their uses, their unique architectural features, and the people associated with them. Tour will last approximately 45 minutes and will involve standing and walking. 

On March 23, Manatee Village will offer one tour of the 1850 Manatee Burying Ground at 2:30pm. This tour will highlight the history of Manatee County and those interred at the cemetery. The tour will start at the Gazebo in Manatee Village’s courtyard and continue across the street to the cemetery. The tour will last about 45 minutes and will involve a significant amount of walking and standing.

These tours are free, but space is limited. Registration is required.

Register for the tour of Manatee Village Historical Park:

Register for the tour of the 1850 Manatee Burying Ground:

Group Tour Information

Group tours are provided for groups of 10 people or more.* The cost is $3.00 per person. Reservations must be made at least 14 days in advance by calling (941) 749-7165. 

*Group tours may be provided for groups of 10 or fewer people, but the minimum cost of $30.00 will still apply.

Download our group tour application here: MVHP Group Tour Reservation Request rev. 1-30-12.pdf

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Village Hours:

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

Saturday openings in January and February are: January 12 and 26, and February 9 and 23.

We will be closed Monday, January 21 and Monday, February 18 in observance of Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day.

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.