- June 2, 2020
Lakewood Ranch's Cassidy David has more power than a speeding powerboat.
Just take your little kids to the eighth annual Bradenton Area River Regatta Feb. 11.
While older kids and adults might be fascinated with powerboats racing more than 100 mph over the Manatee River, or a collection of live bands, smaller children might run out of steam in a fast 30 minutes.
That's why event organizer Mike Fetchko has turned to David, who owns and manages Childlike Productions.
David sends Spider-Man, or Superman, or a pirate, or Ariel to the rescue.
They save the day along with various face-painters, clowns, balloon twisters and temporary tattoo artists, all who will be patrolling the Bradenton Riverwalk, David is the go-to resource when it comes to entertaining children.
Fetchko, who lives in Lakewood Ranch, has put together Manatee County's biggest spectator event with more than 100,000 people expected to attend, and he doesn't want people to stay away because they can't bring their children along.
With all the noise and commotion, It would seem like a tough task for David, but she said it's right up her alley.
"Their main goal is to get as many kids involved as possible," said David, who took over her mom's business 18 months ago. "But, honestly, I have done so many events that I am just excited. This definitely is special, though, because it is free."
David, 24, grew up in a household of child entertainers. Her mom, Tiffany David, ran Childlike Promotions for 18 1/2 years before Cassidy took over.
Did she enjoy that atmosphere when she was a little kid"
"Oh my gosh, yes," she said. "I was the Guinea pig that mom used when she was starting the business."
Her dad, Michael David, played Spider-Man and various superheroes. As he has grown older, he has transitioned into Santa Claus.
As a youngster, David saw herself as running the family business one day, but then she grew into her teenage years.
"Then it was 'Ugg. I don't want to do anything my parents do.'"
She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa and earned degrees in biomedical science and psychology.
Funny thing, though, she had been working events with her parents and rediscovered her love of entertaining children.
"It was like, 'Wow, this is my favorite job ever.'"
While she doesn't close out the possibility of putting her degrees to work one day, she is loving her life of managing an entertainment company.
Fortunately, her mom and dad developed great relationships with contractors over the years.
"Everyone who works for us has been with our company for years," she said.
For the Bradenton Area River Regatta, she has not only reached out to her best acts, she has hired the fastest of those.
With such a huge crowd, those who are painting faces, doing tattoos and twisting balloons need to work extremely fast so lines don't discourage the guests.
David will work primarily as a face-painter at the event, but besides managing the entire operation, she might do some airbrushed tattoos as well.
She said it will be easy to find the Childlike Production entertainers because they will have three large tents and big signs on the River Walk.
Some of the entertainers are likely to be familiar with guests as they have done Tampa Bay Lighting plaza parties, Tampa Bay Bucs private events, local Bradenton corporate events and tons of birthday parties.
"I honestly love to be creative, and I love making kids and adults happy with my art," she said. "We really love what we are doing."