Paxton Richards (aka P-Man), frontman for the power trio the Downshifters, held Heatstroke in and around his P’Man’s Classic Cycle Paint in the warehouse district of downtown Bradenton.
There would be kegs.
Lots of coolers.
Maybe a guy selling BBQ.
People stood in the sweltering garage or sat in folding chairs outside.
Kids and dogs ran around.
What made Heatstroke Hotrod Hoedown so special was the feeling of being at the hippest party of the year — rather than, say, a formal radio station fundraiser.
Those days are done. At least for now.
And Heatstroke Hotrod Hoedown won't even be held in Bradenton or anywhere else in Manatee County this year.
Talk about a letdown. After returning to the Bradenton Herald from my last journalism job in Orange County, Calif., I looked forward to attending the Heatstroke I recalled so fondly.
|The Downshifter, from left, Cory Karish, Kevin Kuras, Paxton Richards, and Michael Zouhar performed at P-Man's Classic Cycle Shop in Bradenton. Bradenton Herald file photo from 2003.|
WSLR's Arlene Sweeting sent out this email today:
"Heatstroke Hotrod Hoedown has outgrown P’Man’s Classic Cycle Paint in Bradenton and is moving to Sarasota! Teaming up with local community radio station WSLR-LP 96.5, P-Man is bringing the hip, awesomely rowdy and fiercely fun Heatstroke Hotrod Hoedown to the Sun-n-Fun Resort in Sarasota on Saturday, May 21 from 12pm-9pm."
Things change. The Hoedown outgrew its original home. I get it. But it's still tough seeing Bradenton lose such a fun, annual event.
I hope this year's event in Sarasota has an excellent turnout.
WSLR is a station worth supporting.
But P-Man, how about bring another similar bash back to Bradenton?
In addition to the Downshifters, the lineup for May 21 is The Hamiltones, Ted Lukas and the Misled, Beebs and her Money Makers, The Lambasters, The Ted Stevens Band, The Bottom Feeders and Gigi and the Cretins.
Tickets are available for $10 at Rocketman, Fogt’s Music, Sarasota Emporium, P-Man’s Classic Cycle and Paint and at www.wslr.org. Proceeds from the event will benefit WSLR-LP 96.5, Sarasota’s community radio station. No outside food or beverages will be allowed.