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.


The Hernando de Soto Historical Society produces Manatee County's largest entertainment events each year, attended by upwards of 280,000 guests. Collectively the Society’s De Soto Heritage Festival and other fundraising events throughout the year attract considerable media attention and draw visitors from around the world.  Our Outreach efforts span the local community as we strive to develop successful partnerships with other local organizations. 



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Jim Baar Miracle League of Manasota

"It was great to see the Crewe at our Miracle League of Manasota baseball game on Saturday. My son enjoyed going on the ship and getting his picture taken with the Royalty. As a long-time Bradenton dude, it’s great to have the Crewe of De Soto active in our special needs community (Buddy Walk and the Miracle League). It is appreciated."

Terry Wilson President 2015-16

"Joining the Hernando de Soto Historical Society was one of the best decisions I ever made. I’ve strengthened community connections, developed new business relationships, and more importantly – my wife and I have made friendships that will last a lifetime."