Bradenton's beloved DeSoto Seafood Fest continues to expand its appeal with Grammy-winning country star Travis Tritt headlining opening night, organizers confirmed today. On the next day, 1990s chart-topping rapper Vanilla Ice will perform on the same stage. Last year, the Seafood Fest booked Uncle Kracker, marking the first major star to play at the annual event in its long history.
Perhaps the biggest news, though, is the location. The Hernando DeSoto Historical Society will be moving its Seafood Fest from near the organization's downtown Bradenton headquarters across the Manatee River to Sutton Park in Palmetto. All previous Seafood Fests were in downtown Bradenton. The event is April 4-6 and admission is $3.
The Southern rock-inspired Tritt shot to country stardom in the early 1990s with hits singles like "Put Some Drive in Your Country," "Help Me Hold On," "Anymore" and "The Whiskey Ain't Workin.'" He could continue to gain heavy country airplay throughout the decade with a fairly eclectic mix of songs including Steve Earle's "Sometimes She Forgets" before scoring his last big radio hit in 2002 with "Modern Day Bonnie And Clyde." Tritt's acting credits include the 1994 film "The Cowboy Way," starring Woody Harrelson and Kiefer Sutherland."
Robert "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle will forever be best known for his pop-rap smash "Ice Ice Baby" from the 1990 album "To the Extreme," which also included the hit "Play That Funky Music." Ridiculed for nearly two decades following his initial success, it appears Vanilla Ice is making comeback thanks, in large part, to 1990s nostalgia. Last year,Vanilla Ice joined the New Kids on the Block tour alongside Boyz II Men, playing to his biggest crowds since the early 1990s. His reality television series, "The Vanilla Ice Project," on DIY Network, has also helped the rapper's profile.
More information from the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society about the DeSoto Seafood Fest is expected later this week.