Sam Woolf @ 2015 DeSoto Seafood Festival

Sam Woolf performed for a crowd of hundreds for the De Soto Seafood Festival on Sunday, March 29, 2015.


The 2015 Heintz and Becker De Soto Seafood Festival is widely recognized as one of Florida’s most outstanding events and is attended by thousands each year. The three-day family event features some of the best seafood around along with other tasty offerings from area restaurants and food vendors. A great lineup of continuous entertainment on two stages includes the best the local music scene has to offer as well as nationally known recording artists. Area artisans and craft vendors as well as other activities for the whole family round the offerings at the Seafood Fest. The Seafood Fest for 2015 was held March 27th -29th, 2015.

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The Hernando De Soto Historical Society, Inc., is a not-for-profit, community organization of 225 Conquistadors (volunteer members) who celebrate the historical significance of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto’s landing near the mouth of the Manatee River in May 1539. With his 600 Conquistadors, de Soto claimed possession of La Florida on behalf of the Spanish crown and then began his lengthy exploration of what is now the southeastern United States.

With a membership that includes many civic, governmental and business leaders, the Society serves in a variety of community-oriented roles:

The Organization produces the largest entertainment events in Manatee County on an annual basis including a seafood festival, a homemade boat race, a fishing tournament, a musical and fashion show, a black tie event, a children’s daytime and the largest nighttime parade in Florida.

We supports various local charities including Lighthouse of Manasota, Adopt-A-Family, Toys for Tots, Keep Manatee Beautiful, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. We also provide public education on Florida’s Spanish heritage through Crewe visits to local schools and retirement homes.

Financially we support our sister organization, the Conquistador Historical Foundation, which donates to other community charities, provides educational programs including a student exchange program with Barcarrota, Spain (Bradenton’s Sister City), funds scholarships, and maintains a museum in downtown Bradenton. The Foundation also has a traveling history display frequently seen in the lobbies of local businesses.

The Hernando De Soto Historical Society’s premier series of events, collectively called the De Soto Heritage Festival, receive considerable media attention – as do the various event sponsors. Our dues-paying members spend countless hours preparing for the Festival – with its strong, positive influence on our residents and guests – simply because of their love for the community.

Our modern day Hernando de Soto and his Crewe of Conquistadors are highly popular and regularly draw large crowds whether they are visiting local schools or businesses, where they held draw new patrons.

We are proudly entering our 75th year of producing the De Soto Heritage Festival. We hope you will join us in helping sponsor Manatee County’s premier series of events, the De Soto Heritage Festival at Bradenton.

For Our Community

The Conquistador Historical Foundation was created exclusively for charitable, literary and educational purposes.  Our primary goal at this time is to facilitate and promote an appreciation of Spanish and American historical and cultural alliances.

2013-2014 Grant Application

The Spanish Manor House, established in 1989, serves as headquarters for the Foundation, the Hernando de Soto Historical Society and the De Soto Museum.  On November 19, 2011 this building was rededicated in honor of Leyman Bott in recognition in for all the time, talent and effort he has so freely and unselfishly given for over forty years to our organization and community. The Leyman Bott Building and Museum is located in the courtyard of the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.



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