ANNA MARIA, Fla. — Memorial Day services on Anna Maria Island marked the city's centennial celebration. Those who call the city home and the tourist who love to visit came together for the special celebration.
Anna Maria Island's white sandy beaches have been around for years but the city of Anna Maria itself has been around for 100 years after it was incorporated in 1923. Year-round, the city is mostly occupied by tourists but not everyone is a tourist as many people call the small city home.
"My family arrived here at Anna Maria city in 1965 to visit friends and moved here immediately," Marsha Lindsey of Anna Maria said.
Lindsey has been a resident of the city for 59 years.
The small quaint city is one of three on the 7-mile island of the same name and is home to just under 1,000 people.
"Having children here, having siblings here, being raised here and seeing this community grow from within this home, it's home for me," Lindsey said.
Hometown folks joined community leaders and tourists for a tribute filled with music and festivities to mark the milestone. The event was a combined ceremony also to honor fallen heroes who were in service to the country's various military arms.
"We're the oldest city on the island of Anna Maria and we're very proud of that fact," Mayor Dan Murphy said.
For the past 100 years since the incorporation of the city, the historic pier has been a main attraction and is the most visited location in Manatee County.
"The first thing I hope for is that that pier over there is still standing a hundred years from now," Murphy said. "We built it strong and it lasted for over 100 years until Hurricane Irma. I am hoping that the future generations can preserve that and keep it here for people to enjoy just like they're enjoying it today."
The other two cities on Anna Maria Island — Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach — were incorporated in the early 1950s.