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Upcoming Event

De Soto at the Depot

Train, music and BBQ!

Join us Sunday, November 4th, at 5:00 PM for a one-of-a-kind train excursion.

We will meet at the Florida Rail Museum in Parrish, where we’ll board a beautifully restored vintage train (which we are unofficially calling the De Soto Express) and take a leisurely scenic ride to historic Willow Florida. Upon arrival, we will have live music featuring blues musician Steve Arvey and his fabulous band. Award winning Chef Robert will prepare a fantastic BBQ dinner featuring pulled pork, collard greens, baked beans and more!

Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

After dinner we return by train to the Parrish depot.

So make sure you have a ticket to ride and we’ll keep you on the right track!


Friends of DeSoto

Friends of DeSoto National Memorial (FOD) was created in 2008 for the purpose of supporting a very special place – the National Park Service’s DeSoto National Memorial in northwest Bradenton. FOD’s mission is to initiate, promote, and support the educational, historical, interpretive, and scientific activities of the DeSoto National Memorial.

Our Small Park Has A Huge Local Economic Impact

During the National Park Service’s Centennial Year in 2016, Florida’s 11 national parks drew over 12 million visitors. Park visitors added more than 10,570 jobs and $948 million to the Sunshine State’s economy, a National Park Service (NPS) report shows. Click HERE to view the Report home page.

The 2016 detailed report shows that 232,463 people visited De Soto National Memorial in 2016 and that visitors spent over $13.6 Million in communities near the park, supporting 210 local jobs.

Mission statement:

To initiate, promote, and support the educational, historical, interpretive, and scientific activities of the Desoto National Memorial.

The Memorial is located in Manatee County, FL, northwest of the City of Bradenton at the mouth of the Manatee River. Find it on the map HERE. We are a private non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Florida.