Event of the Week: Hernando DeSoto Festival Grand Parade

BRADENTON, Fla. -- With so many tourists and seasonal visitors leaving after Easter, you'd expect things to be a little dull around here. Not so. In fact, one of the biggest crowds of the year is gathering in Bradenton this weekend.

Our Event of the Week is the 75th Annual Hernando DeSoto Parade. It’s a time to celebrate Manatee County's history, come together as a community, and step back into the days of 1539.

DeSoto’s landing in Manatee County will once again be cause for celebration, as some 150,000 people are expected to turn out for the 75th annual parade.

The parade starts at Manatee High School, then cuts over and runs 2 and a half miles down Manatee Avenue.

There'll be some 150 different units. And as a special 75th anniversary treat, the Special Operations para-commandos from McDill will parachute in, landing right on Manatee Avenue.

The parade will last until 11 or 12 pm, a long and exciting evening that the Hernando DeSoto Society works hard on all year.