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Mote Marine changing quickly

by Roger Pettingell

Information update on the local facility

Research funding increases and Mote SEA gets closer to a start

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium - The programs started 64 years ago and the facility on City Island is receiving greater recognition at all levels.

Last year I did an update on Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. But events are happening quickly at the research facility on City Island and much of it has to do with the leadership of Michael P. Crosby, Ph.D. The President and CEO of Mote has been out in the community educating the public on the research while lobbying hard at all levels of government to fund programs to help revitalize the oceans and sustain life in the seas through its research.

The Waves of Support effort is a fundraising initiative to solicit the philanthropists of our world with seven different “Waves”, from Friends donating under $1,000 to those who make a significant donation of $75,000 or more and become members of the William R. Mote Guild. William R. Mote and family made large donations to the research facility that was renamed in his honor in 1967. It was founded in 1955 as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory and a vision of the “Shark Lady”, Dr. Eugenie Clark.

Problems in the seas these past decades is bringing together scientists to research programs, including 30 Ph.D. researchers at Mote studying different programs that require these skills. Florida appropriated $500,000 last year for coral restoration research. The goal was to restore 50,000 corals in the Florida Keys. It was a continuation of state funding for coral restoration. Last November three national organizations partnered to issue $1.5 million to restore 130 acres of coral reefs. The initiative brought attention to the program and multiple grants matched. Coral reefs grow slowly from polyps that attach themselves to subsurface natural structures and provide an environment for other life.

One of the many exhibits at the aquarium open to the public
Educational Exhibits - High quality displays at Mote Marine provide a vast amount of information.

Harmful algal blooms became a big concern in Florida starting with a major outbreak in 2017. Mote has become one of the nation’s leaders in the research because of the effect it was having on our coastal wildlife. Mote became a partial beneficiary of an $8 million federal appropriation and provided research to congress for the legislation to pass. Last year State Executive Order 18-221 directed $100,000 to Mote for its responses to marine mammal, sea turtle and other fishes affected by the outbreak. While Governor Scott was in office last year he directed $2.2 million to Mote Marine Research. Earlier in 2018 the state divided $1.6 million between and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Florida Wildlife Research Institute.

Mote has 22 different programs of research, each receiving its own funding of grants, appropriations and donations. Some of these research programs may seem obscure but are vitally important to the future of the oceans. Consider Benthic Ecology, or the study of organisms on the bottom of sea, led by senior scientist Jim Culter. The Ocean Technology Research program provides a database of local coastal environments and has deployed an optical instrument to detect algal blooms. The Ecotoxicology headed by Dr. Richard Pierce relies on the data to study harmful toxins. The Environmental Laboratory for Forensics in Dr. Dana Wetzel program has studied the effects of petroleum in the water and has received $16 million over 18 years. Dr. Catherine Walsh of the Marine Immunology program is responsible for the health of marine life.

The vast other programs mentioned above combine with different research programs for phytoplankton, dolphins, manatees, fish, rays, sea turtles, sharks: well, just about anything in the oceans. They do this from field stations around the globe.

Upcoming events at Mote support World Oceans Day

An array of events surrounding World Oceans Day starting Saturday will be held at Mote. The day before on Friday the International OCEAN FILM TOUR, volume 6 is a big screen presentation starting at 7 PM, a film for all who have a fascination with the ocean. Saturday events start with the FMSEA/FWC Aquatic Species Collection Workshop, hosted by Mote and held twice a year. It is followed by the World Oceans Day Family Festival 2019 from 10 AM to 1 PM. This is a full day of photo opportunities, vendor booths, presentations and entertainment. Check out all the events at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium website.

Update on the Mote Science Education Aquarium at Nathan Benderson Park

Mote SEA
Mote SEA - Dream gets stronger for education center

Last month more news of the Mote Science Education Aquarium surfaced when a construction management team was announced for the new site of the Aquarium to be built between the Mall at University Town Center and Nathan Benderson Park off Interstate 75 in Sarasota. The project is proceeding with Willis A. Smith Construction which has had previous projects with Mote. A national firm The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company with an office in Tampa will work with Massachusetts based architect CambridgeSeven as the second and third triad in its construction.

The 12 acres of Benderson Park was allocated in January by Sarasota County and has a request to fund $20 million of the estimated $130 million cost. Private donations have totaled $34. Manatee County is studying the legality and feasibility of providing $15 million from funds raised by a 5 percent tourism tax on hotel stays.

When finished the Mote Science Education Aquarium will be an icon for the two counties and the state. It will become an education and marine outreach center with displays that have originated from around the world. Over 1 million gallons of water will host aquatic life and technology used throughout the 110,000-square-foot facility to educate with labs and even on-site scuba diving training center.

The location was selected for its proximity to I-75 and the increased traffic that is brought in through shopping mall visits. Last month the Benderson Development Company announced plans for 1,750 apartments, office space and a 900,000 square foot entertainment center with multi-screen theater. Three hotels, restaurants and shopping stores are also planned in the East District.

Last week I listed a fabulous, coastal contemporary home at 658 Mourning Dove Drive with updates found throughout this Bird Key waterfront estate. It should be one of those on your list worth looking at. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
658 Mourning Dove Drive $1,895,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

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Enjoy your holiday and prepare for the festival

by Roger Pettingell

Annual Music Festival starts Saturday

Sarasota Music Festival attracts artists and fans from around the world

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
Friday Festivals and Saturday Symphonies will be at the Sarasota Opera House on N. Pineapple Ave.

The annual festival that draws thousands of concert fans to Sarasota is ready to roll on Saturday, 21 days of classical music with students learning from the masters, mixing in with the artists and performing in three Rising Star concerts. But fans of the Sarasota Music Festival will also appreciate the chamber and orchestra concerts with a new twist for the 55th annual festival, an opening night performance on Saturday in Holley Hall, downtown Sarasota.

Saturday’s concert will feature Festival Music Director and Conductor Jeffrey Kahane on piano and acclaimed violinist Angelo Xiang Yu performing three of Johannes Brahms sonatas. The three romantic sonatas for violin with piano accompaniment are sonata No. 1 in G major, sonata No. 2 in A major and sonata No. 3 in D major. The program begins at 7:30 in Holley Hall. There is also an after concert reception for $25 with tickets available through the Sarasota Music Festival website.

For the next three weeks the concert schedule is filled Thursday through Sundays with Artist Showcases, Friday Festivals, Saturday Symphonies and Rising Star performances for a total of 50 classical works. Music scholar Robert Levin returns with his popular lecture on symphony and orchestra insights the last day of the festival June 22. For the artists it is seemingly a non-stop schedule of rehearsals and students pairing with master musicians to perfect their craft.

Rising Stars - Scholarships for Sarasota Music Festival
Rising Stars — Scholarships were offered to 60 students among the 500 musicians who auditioned for the 2018 Sarasota Music Festival. They will perform in the Rising Stars series and ensembles of acclaimed professionals throughout the festival.

These 60 students on the fellow roster arrive from the United States and international destinations from Eastern Asia countries. They apply online with entry deadlines in February and submit an audition video recording to be accepted. Applications for specific instruments of string, wind and piano require a choice of classical music in each category. They are paired in ensembles where they also perform at churches and community gatherings. A librarian fellow application requires a performance review, essay and basic skills test to be admitted to the music festival. The Rising Stars are in concert at 3 PM in Holley Hall on Sunday afternoons June 9 and 16 and Friday, June 20. The students pay for their meals, registration, housing and transportation.

Three Artist Showcases on successive Thursdays performed by an acclaimed staff of faculty members. In the Artist Showcase 1 on June 6 a combination of program of three works from German composer and pianist Robert Schumann, Paul Schoenfeld of Detroit and French composer Pierre-Octave Ferroud to combine for an evening of Fairy Tales and Fantasy.

Windfall is the theme for the second Thursday with two works written for the oboe and clarinet, a third by Ludwig van Beethoven composed for and performed by a string quartet. The evening begins with a sonata composition for the oboe accompanied with piano written by the French artist Francis Poulenc. A clarinet trio in A Minor, op. 114 composed by Brahms is the third in the showcase June 13.

Pianist and composer Fanny Mendelssohn, forbidden to have a musical career, is featured for a piano trio work in D minor, Op. 11. The program begins with a Beethoven string trio work and Austrian sextet composition by Austrian, Ludwig Wilhelm Andreas Maria Thuille. The Artist Showcases will be held in Holley Hall starting at 4:30 PM each week.

Holley Hall at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
Artist Showcases and the Rising Star student series will be held at Holley Hall each week of the festival.

Friday Festivals in the Sarasota Opera House combine faculty with fellow artists for three evenings of chamber music, beginning with the Triple Crown where good things come in threes, started by Johann Sebastian Bach’s, triple concerto in D major. It is followed by a Antonio Vivaldi composition, concerto in A minor, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s oboe concerto in C major and Fanny Mendelssohn’s esteemed brother Felix composition with a piano trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66.

Return June 14 for Larger Forces, a Friday Festival performance that begins with a Jean René Désiré Françaix work Dixtuor. An octet in E-flat major, Op. 20 features the guest ensemble Pacifica Quartet with fellow artists is the second work for the night. A Brahms piano quartet in F minor, Op 34 completes the evening with Kahane on piano alongside the strings of the Pacifica Quartet.

If you are into Brahms and Beethoven, be sure to be in the opera house audience on June 21 for Friday Festival 3. Bebop to the Meeelaan composition by jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, performed with a bassoon and four string instruments to start the evening. It is followed by Beethoven’s piano trio No. 6 in E-flat major, Op. 70 and Brahms’ serenade No. 1 in D major, Op. 11. All Friday Festivals begin at 7:30 PM at the Opera House.

Full symphonies take the Opera House stage for the Saturday Symphony series of three combining faculty with festival alumni, beginning with Four, Two, One on June 8. The configuration of four, two and one featured artists provide a full sound of symphonic music. Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi’s work, Concerto Grosso in B minor from L'estro Armonico, Op. 3, No. 10, RV. 580, opens the evening with four violins featured. Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major, K. 364, features a violin and viola, followed by the energetic and charismatic Jon Kimura Parker to perform Beethoven’s piano concerto No. 4.

Three Titans of classical music with the works from the father of the symphony, Franz Joseph (Papa) Haydn is the second work of the evening symphony No. 80. An octet in E-flat major, Op 103 work by Beethoven and a clarinet concerto in A major, K. 622 by Mozart begin and finish the second Saturday Symphony, June 15.

The festival ends with the finale of the Saturday Symphonies, Pianos Paired. What could be more fitting than to combine Kahane, Levin and the full symphony to perform Mozart’s piano concerto No. 10. Symphony No. 8 from Vienna born composer Franz Schubert follows. The festival ends with a Franz Schubert, II composition Overture to Die Fledermaus.

I listed three properties last week, all on Longboat Key. The home at 610 Bowsprit Lane in Country Club Shores is a newer south-facing waterfront home with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths and over 4,000 square feet of living space built in 2008. A Queens Harbour home with 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 3,000 square feet of interior space at 3635 Fair Oaks Place overlooks a lake. The Longboat Key Towers residence at 603 Longboat Club Rd, #201N is on the beach with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Enjoy your Memorial Day holiday and please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
610 Bowsprit Lane $1,995,000   Photo Slideshow
603 Longboat Club Rd, #201N $1,195,000   Photo Slideshow
3635 Fair Oaks Place $995,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Sarasota fitness programs for seniors

by Roger Pettingell

Senior citizen health and fitness programs

SilverSneakers program included with many of the Medicare Plans

Anytime Fitness in Sarasota is open to the SilverSneakers program
Anytime Fitness - Broadway Promenade Plaza in downtown Sarasota serving SilverSneakers

In February I wrote about the programs on Longboat Key that help seniors stay healthy in their body and their mind. Centers at Bayfront Park, in the Centre Shops and Temple Beth Israel provide a healthy dose of yoga, Pilates, Zumba and stretching activities. They also introduce Asian techniques such as Tai Chi, Qigong and Nia. Throw in some meditation classes and you have a well-rounded support structure.

Although the median age in Sarasota is nearly 25 years younger, senior citizens still have a wide range of programs for that demographic age group. The SilverSneakers program is designed for those over the age of 65 and included with many of the Medicare Plans. It includes a network of over 16,000 fitness locations in the United States. There are several locations near downtown and off Fruitville Road to choose from.

In the Burns Court area there is the Senior Friendship Center that is listed as a SilverSneakers program facility. By the Publix near 10th Street and Tamiami Trail is Anytime Fitness and down by Bahia Vista Street on Tamiami Trail is Elite Health. There are a couple Sarasota Crunch Fitness, LA Fitness and Youfit centers in the program.

Eleven classes are taught through the SilverSneakers to build the mind, mobility and cardiovascular system. The Classic builds muscle mobility, Circuit concentrates on low-impact upper-body strength and the Cardiofit uses aerobics to maintain a healthy body. Two water programs, Splash and Water in Motion burn calories and are safe for those with no swimming ability. Muscle, Stability, Mind, Flex and Movement complete the series. Guests can choose one or all, contact your center for times and availability. Check the SilverSneakers website for program eligibility, locations and registration.

The two YMCA centers are membership sites that offer a series of programs for senior adults. The Frank G. Berlin, Sr. YMCA on Euclid Avenue and the Evalyn Sadlier Jones YMCA on Potter Park Drive are open seven days a week, including limited times on holidays. Although there are many programs for children, upcoming classes feature Arthur Murray Dance Lessons, dance parties and adult tap. Social interactive programs of Mah Jong card games are also provided. There is Medicare Insurance Counseling sessions by reservations at the Sadlier Jones center.

Most of the 55+, assisted living and nursing homes have programs geared for healthy, active seniors. Well trained staff members assist in group exercises while some also have fitness centers where individuals can direct their own sessions.

Personal trainers are very active for seniors in Sarasota. Knowing the certification training programs designed specifically for seniors is helpful when making your selection. American Senior Fitness Association (SFA/ASFA) has been certifying personal trainers since 1992 through its Senior Personal Trainer (SPT) certification. The American Sports Fitness Association (ASFA) offers a Senior Fitness Instruction Certification (SFIC) program for professional trainers. Continuing education, study support and fitness resources are available to personal trainers certified as an ACE Senior Fitness Specialist (SFS), accredited through the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). If you have a specific ailment you may be able to find a trainer specialized in its recovery.

Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

High quality theater options to consider

by Roger Pettingell

Catch live performances here in Sarasota

Different experiences of performing arts at local not-for-profit centers

Palmer Ranch entertaining center in Sarasota is an option when looking for a theater experience
Glenridge Performing Arts Center - Palmer Ranch entertaining center in Sarasota is one option

You are standing in line for a cocktail in the lobby of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the lights flicker with a signal that the show is about to start. You get your drink and head to your seat. It’s a good experience as it is in many of the live theaters here in Sarasota. And there are other theaters on school campuses and community centers that offer an option to the for-profit live performance halls that are well celebrated.

The Addams Family, a new musical just finished a short run at Glenridge Performing Arts Center (GPAC), concluding its third season of performances by the Rise Above Performing Arts group. A student cast of 43 members led a lively song and dance of this spooky and kooky family in New York.

The 260-seat GPAC theater is in the Glenridge campus of the Palmer Ranch community in southeast Sarasota near Honore Avenue and Palmer Ranch Parkway. It has state-of-the art lighting and sound, large screen and Schimmel grand piano. It is also ADA compliant with wheelchair accessibility and an induction loop for the hearing impaired.

The next season of Rise Above performances at Glenridge picks up again September 12-15 with School of Rock; Glory Days, a new American Musical November 1-3; the classic West Side Story January 3-5 and January 9-11; and the season finale, Bring It On, based on the popular 2000 cheerleading movie, April 23-26. This exceptional group of talented young performers compete nationwide, including its show choir that were the 2018 Grand Champions at OrlandoFest.

When Rise Above is not performing at GPAC, there are concerts and other professional performances. This year Patchouli and Terra Guitarra presented Landscape of Guitar, a music and art production. The Four Freshman has an annual spring concert at GPAC. This group started in 1948 at Butler University in Indiana, and has endured over the years with new talent and a legacy that continues to today. Nate Najar returns December 13 for his annual Jazz Holiday, this year with Daniela Soledade, Chuck Redd and Adrian Cunningham.

Looking for dinner and a pre-show cocktail? Although Palmer Ranch is somewhat in seclusion and known for its privacy with lush landscaping, there are plenty of restaurants on Clark Road to enjoy before or after the show. Rise Above is also looking to build a new performing arts hall. Its new undisclosed location may be closer to restaurants. You can get involved by texting to 44321, donate.

College and community sponsored recitals and concerts are scheduled in the Neel Performing Arts Center on the South College of Florida campus in Bradenton. Built in 1966 and remodeled in 1999, this auditorium has wheelchair accessibility and seating for 830 guests. It is also the home of the Elizabeth M. Eaton Memorial Pipe organ built by master craftsman Charles McManis.

To enjoy a cocktail and dinner before the show there are plenty of franchise restaurants near the campus on 14th Street (US 41) in Bradenton. The Italian cuisine restaurant Primo Ristorante and the popular Anna Maria Oyster Bar are a short drive away.

Neel hosts a variety of tribute concerts including the upcoming tribute to Pink Floyd, Pig Floyd, May 18; John Denver December 8; James Taylor February 9; Linda Ronstadt February 16; and Beach Boys March 22. There are other performances by the Diamonds, a Broadway musical salute on January 12 and Bill and The Belles, a celebration of vintage country music and vaudeville on January 26.

Riverview Performing Arts Center has live concerts, recitals and performances
Riverview Performing Arts Center in Sarasota

On the high school campus, the Riverview Performing Arts Center closer to downtown Sarasota is an elegant theater that seats over 1,000 patrons. The auditorium was built in 2009 when the new Riverview High School campus was constructed. It is equipped with superior lighting and sound technology. There isn’t a bad seat in the house from the individual seating with comfortable arm rests on each. Franchise restaurants are also on US 41 past Phillippi Creek near Proctor Road in Sarasota.

High school and community programs include concert, dance, lecture, plays and meetings year round. This week the high school presents its Choir Spring Concert on Friday, the Annual Recital will be held May 25. On August 2 the Peace & Love Tour is a 50th anniversary tribute to the Woodstock concert. Snatam Kaur will perform live with songs from her new album on October 23 as the winter season begins with a new slate of concerts.

Shows at the Venice Performing Arts Center (VPAC) on the high school campus brings together three different organizations for the arts and a variety of community events with 120 performances each year. The Venice Institute for Performing Arts was chartered as a non-profit on January 1, 2017 to help the community build on its strong arts tradition and to teach student skills that will last a lifetime.

VPAC has 1,090 unobstructed view seats that slope to the 2,000 square-foot stage and orchestra pit that can accommodate 50 musicians. Acoustics are exceptional based on surround-sound boards placed throughout the venue. Handicap seating is available on the main floor and balcony. The center itself is nearly 47,000 square-feet.

Timeless Country with the CJ Simmons Band is up next June 29 for its special monthly summer show season at VPAC. The All American Boys Chorus based in Costa Mesa, California performs July 27, followed by the Sandy Toes Stand-up comedy August 10. The winter season picks up strong with The Nutcracker, December 14, Decades Rewind December 31, Cash, Killer & the King tribute January 18. Broadway Boys January 24, movie music by Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski, and Clairdee, January 30, and Beatles vs. Stones in the Battle of the Brits as the winter season continues February 1. More February, March and April tributes concerts and shows are on the VPAC website. One of the more popular annual events in Venice is the performance of Shen Yun, March 13-16 at VPAC, that celebrates 5,000 years of Chinese heritage.

VPAC is not to be confused with The Venice Theatre, just a few blocks from VPAC downtown near Centennial Park. The Venice Theatre hosts many events too including Honk!, a musical tale of the ugly duckling, May 10-19. There are plenty of good dining experiences available around Centennial Park with French, Italian, seafood and casual cuisine.

All of the performances and more can be found on our Upcoming Events page. This list is updated every Thursday and at current lists events, festivals and shows up to June 7, 2020.

These venues listed above are available to the public for rent. You may be able to find more throughout Sarasota, such as the Visual Performing Arts Center at Booker High School. I have many properties in my inventory, please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

References to other entertainment venues in Sarasota

A good variety among local farmers markets

by Roger Pettingell

A win-win situation with Farmers Markets

Markets provide entertainment and fresh produce throughout the year

Ty Kirkland
Live Music - Local musician Ty Kirkland performs at a recent farmers market on Saturday morning.

Farmers Markets are popular in the Sarasota area. You can find them in most municipalities, concentrating on Saturday mornings. The benefits are wonderful to the local farmers of these nutritious plants and to the buyers who are looking for fresh food at good prices. There is even entertainment and a place to mingle with neighbors. Some are seasonal and others are there every Saturday morning.

When 75% of the farmers in these markets claim they use organic methods of crop production, you can be assured the fruits and vegetables you buy are fresh and nutritious. These markets serve the communities in other ways. They stimulate the local economies and maintain a good cultural atmosphere for farm promotions in rural settings.

Most even have an online presence to promote their events that coincide with the markets. The Sarasota Farmers Market is open year round on Saturdays from 7 AM to 1 PM. The foot traffic generated around Lemon Avenue is a boon for the businesses in the area. Sarasota has grown its market to become one of the largest since it first opened in 1979.

The Sarasota market formed as a non-profit organization in 2009 to focus on local food growers. The non-profit status also allowed this organization to assist other local non-profits and establish educational programs. With this motivation the Earth Day Celebration on April 20 will highlight some of the non-profits. Events for children are also planned with a harp performance and the smooth sounds of the Sarasota Jazz Project.

You can bring sociable pooches to the market in Sarasota as long as the owners abide by basic rules of pet control. Non-expandable short leashes are required and they don’t like it when dogs get their meals from the vendors. Please carry a bag to dispose of dog waste. Service dogs are always welcome.

A second Sarasota market at 4454 S. Beneva Road is open from 8 AM to 1 PM on Saturdays. There are three Detwiler’s Farm Markets including the one at 6100 N. Lockwood Ridge Road. It is a commercial venture open seven days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM, but closed this Sunday for Easter. Bread, fruits and vegetables baked and grown locally are available at the Phillippi Farmhouse Market, open Wednesdays from 9 AM to 2 PM.

Farmers Market in Bradenton
The Bradenton Farmers Market is open every Saturday in season from 9 AM to 2 PM on Old Main Street.

Musicians perform at each end of Old Main Street in Bradenton to welcome guests who visit the Farmers Market there each Saturday from 9 AM to 2 PM. It is season from the first Saturday in October to the last in May. Every third Saturday of each month local artists display their work for sale on Fourth Avenue West, perpendicular to the farmers market. There are other special events throughout the market season to celebrate Halloween, FFA and 4H clubs, artists and young readers. They advertise 35 vendors offering fresh grown food and prepared meals. Dogs are welcome here too, kept on a leash and with other sensible restrictions.

Open for two years, a short life span for farmers markets, the market at Lakewood Ranch has grown to 40 vendors and a wider variety of prepared foods, seafood, fresh grown foods and cooking demonstrations. Since it is close to dusk from 3 PM to 7 PM each Wednesday, the live music is geared toward a later crowd and the sunset yoga is a popular event. There are specialty days with DIY workshops and Bingo. The Lakewood Ranch market is also seasonal from December to April at the polo grounds, 8201 Polo Club Lane.

Another popular farmers market is located at the city hall in Venice year round each Saturday, with winter hours January through April of 8 AM to 1 PM. The Venice Farmers Market closes at noon on other months. The variety is here with cooking demonstrations, fresh food, pastries, baked goods, art and clothing.

The Beach Market at Coquina Beach has a different schedule depending on the season. Excluding holidays the market is open 10 AM to 2 PM each Sunday from November to July and doubles up each week on Wednesdays from the third week of December to the fourth week of May. The South Bradenton Beach is closed August to October. The market atmosphere here is focused on art sales but you can find some fresh food while relaxing on the white Gulf of Mexico sandy beach. Food and drinks are served at the Coquina Café and the AMI String Band plays live music from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM. It is wheelchair accessible but sorry, only service dogs are welcome.

I listed two waterfront homes last week. The first is a boater’s dream home that overlooks a deep-water canal and mangroves at 705 Jungle Queen Way. The second is a lakefront home in Kentwood Estates at 1555 Eastbrook Drive. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
705 Jungle Queen Way $1,695,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1555 Eastbrook Drive $799,000   Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Comedy clubs and hilarious stage plays

by Roger Pettingell

Laughter, good medicine at any time

The best locations to find comedy performances in Sarasota

Florida Studio Theatre
Improv comedy - The Florida Studio Theatre improv troupe performs Friday and Saturday nights.

“Laughter is good medicine,” are upcoming seminars at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in April. And indeed, humor can turn a stressful day into a day that has a feel-good ending. How about any day of the week? There are a few places in Sarasota to get a regular fill of laughter and chase those blues away. Some of these venues you may be quite familiar with and others only passively recognized for its comedy.

The first venue that comes to mind is McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, which last year celebrated its 30 year anniversary in Sarasota. Pam and Les McCurdy have been operating the theatre since 1988 from local venues in Bradenton and Sarasota. After 2014 the club moved from a small strip mall in the Trail Plaza, across from the Walmart Marketplace on North Tamiami Trail.

Today it continues as one of the most prestigious comedy clubs on the Gulf coast at their current location, 1923 Ringling Blvd in downtown Sarasota. There you can find well known comedians nightly such as Pauly Shore, Jamie Kennedy who has appeared in over 40 films, Josh Blue and his comedic look at his cerebral palsy that has been highlighted on network TV, late night talk-show guest Chris Cope, Helen Keaney with numerous TV credits, or Al Romas who has appeared on MTV and Comedy Central. Dale Jones, with several comedy shows on his resume, is up next from Wednesday to Sunday.

As their tagline also indicates it is a Humor Institute, a boot camp to build confidence on stage for those willing to share their jokes or humorous anecdotes. Les and Ken Sons guide the tutelage for structuring an on-stage performance. Sounds serious, but laughter is soon to break out in these sessions. These eight-day classes result in a 95% success claim, they say the other 5% just don’t listen. The next on-stage performance from the Humor Institute is on May 1. Visit the Green Room before and after where everyone is a comedian.

Alumni and other self-proclaimed comedians compete on stage in Open Mic Nights on Wednesdays starting April 24 and on some Tuesdays starting May 7. The competition concludes in an Open Mic session on June 18 with the winner receiving five minutes on the main stage and a cash prize. The annual World Series of Comedy, July 17-20, will present 40 North American comedians who travel the United States to compete in cities as the best comedian in the country. You can register as a comedian on TheWorldSeriesofComedy.com website.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Big and Purple - Yes, there are comedy acts at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota

Mostly known for attracting high-profile concerts, musicals and stage performances, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall brings in some of the most highly visible comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno to its stage. Next Tuesday The Second City troupe is in the city with their show, “It’s Not you, It’s Me” which brings laughter to the study of human relationships. The hilarious musical, “Menopause” follows on Wednesday. Multiple award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg performs stand-up on April 27. And if you haven’t seen, “The Book of Mormon” get your tickets now as they go quickly for the four shows January 7-10, 2020.

The Florida Studio Theatre has its improv team perform every Saturday at 8:30 PM. The current run is “Comedy Freestyle” where all the rules of improv are removed. Just about anything Sarasota, “Life’s a Beach” is an improv performance each Friday at 7:30 PM. The “Tournament of Fools” this Saturday lets the audience decide who goes on to be the “Champion of the Fools”. For longer running plays, “Buyer and Cellar,” takes a comedic route in the play about a struggling actor who finds out life in the big city when he moves to Los Angeles. The show is currently running through Sunday in the FST Bowne’s Lab Theatre at 1241 North Palm Avenue.

“In a Word” at the Urbanite Theatre is extended to April 21 and combines grief with comedy for a look back at one fateful night. The theater on Second Avenue presents many dramatic plays but slips in a good hilarious performance such as the satirical “The Thanksgiving Play” with a long run starting November 8.

Now back to Sarasota Memorial Hospital where lectures on Parkinson’s support, baby health and trauma treatments are scheduled daily, they include a lesson improving your health through laughter at HealthConnection on the first floor of the hospital this Friday and again on April 26. Improv actors from FST will lead the hour-long training of laughter exercises.

References to other entertainment venues in Sarasota

Keep up the laughter for a healthy lifestyle, these venues and more have their performances listed on our upcoming events page. Get your Vitamin D in Sarasota with outside activities while visiting. And when you are ready to commit permanently or during the winter months check out my new listing last week in the Beaches community at 775 Longboat Club Rd, #706. This beautifully updated seventh-floor 2BR/2BA residence has direct Gulf of Mexico views on the beach of Longboat Key. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
775 Longboat Club Rd, #706 $795,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Sarasota Spring festivals Series III

by Roger Pettingell

Sarasota's popular festivals this week

A frenzy of wine auctions, chalk art, movies and chamber music

Our festival schedule has been heavy this year, nearly one good-sized festival each weekend. This week is different, a frenzy start to some of the most attended festivals to choose from in art, music, wine and film. While two of these festivals continue into next week, a fifth festival begins for whiskey aficionados.

Wine Auction to benefit children's programs in Sarasota

Florida Winefest Auction Sarasota
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall - Florida Winefest Auction kicks off the series of festivals

Four days of events for wine connoisseurs and philanthropists begins Thursday with proceeds to benefit 18 Sarasota children programs, the Florida Winefest Auction kicks off on the South lawn of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The Pique Nique Sur la Baie, Winefest Style “Where the Guests are the Show” is at 11 AM, followed by an opening reception at noon. The “Apre La Fete” luncheon starting at 1:30 PM with half of your reservation fee is tax deductible toward the charities.

Wine dinners follow at Mattison’s Forty One, Sage SRQ and San Remo private residence. On Friday a lunch tasting will be held at the bayfront of the Van Wezel with a grand banquet on the block of Lemon Avenue starting at 6:30 PM. Educational seminars and classes are Friday and Saturday with the Grand Tasting, Brunch and Charity Auction at 11 AM Saturday at the Van Wezel Bayfront. Enjoy Wine on the Water Sunday at 1 PM on the Bayfront. A complimentary Business Trade Tasting Friday open to licensed members is by invitation only.

Chalk Festival returns to downtown Sarasota for the first time since 2013

Sarasota Chalk Festival
The Sarasota Chalk Festival returns to downtown

One of the top festivals in Sarasota was moved to the Venice Airport grounds to attract 200,000 visitors from around the world. The Sarasota Chalk Festival last year in November was postponed and rescheduled to start April 5 at its original location in downtown Sarasota. The regular schedule will pick back up November 15 in Venice. The streets of Burns Square will come alive with street chalk artwork from the masters of their craft that travel here from around the globe.

Under the theme of “Museum in Motion” the streets of Burns Square will become the canvas for these artists to transform downtown into a festival of beauty for the first time in six years. A world debut of 3-dimensional illusion art by 3D pavement illusion designer Kurt Wenner will be on display. Stroll through the artwork at night on Saturday evening when the streets become illuminated with lanterns. Live music, late shopping and the artists will be discussing their artwork starting at 6 PM. Amateur adult artists and students over the age of 12 can also participate in the three-day festival for free by requesting a spot on the website.

Sarasota Film Festival for 2019 starts with a look at the career of Mike Wallace

Friday begins the Sarasota Film Festival with a look at the career of one of the most iconic broadcast journalists in “Mike Wallace is Here” by award winning director Avi Belkin. The movie at 6 PM in the Municipal Auditorium will be followed by a panel discussion led by Belkin on the legacy Wallace left behind. An opening night party follows at The Modern in downtown Sarasota. The Regal Hollywood Stadium 11 will host many of the 200 feature and short film screenings during the nine days of the festival.

The festival continues award ceremonies and parties at multiple locations in Sarasota. Have an upfront conversation with Greg Kinnear, Oscar nominee for “As Good as It Gets,” 1 PM at Sage SRQ on April 13, the last night of the festival when his directorial debut of “Phil” premieres. The closing night party at Sage SRQ is destined to be one of the most elegant and enthusiastic parties of the year. But save your energy for the last day on Sunday as multiple award winning actress Blythe Danner takes the Sage SRQ stage for a personal discussion of films and Broadway. Anne Heche, actress, director and screenwriter follows at 1 PM.

Chamber music is highlighted at the Opera House in the La Musica Festival

Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236
La Musica events will be hosted at the Opera House

Artistic director Bruno Giuranna has put together four concert performances in the Opera House downtown to begin next Monday and continue every three days during the 2019 La Musica International Chamber Music Festival. Giuranna is a world renown violinist and conductor, providing direction for the festival with associate artistic director, American born and famed pianist Derek Han.

On concert off days you may want to take in a rehearsal of the masters in the Mildred Sainer Pavilion at New College of Florida, the first of which is Saturday. A free panel discussion on the continuing legacy of chamber music, "Truthful and Timeless", will follow the rehearsal April 9 at New College. Bradenton resident Harold J. Bott Jr. will lead a discussion of panelists Giuranna, Han and others.

Meet the musicians and enjoy a mini concert, “An Irish Melody and Mozart’s Flute Quartet”, April 12 in the Dolphin Aviation Hangar at SRQ Airport starting at 5:30 PM. Although sold out, the Musical Chefs Interactive Dinner in Michael’s Wine Cellar is an annual treat. You can put this on your plans next year when La Musica returns for its 34th year.

“It Must be the Whiskey” and everything about it during its obsession 2019

Look out Sarasota, the seventh annual Whiskey Obsession, the largest whiskey festival in the United States hits Sarasota for four days starting April 10. An elegant four course kickoff dinner with executive chef Anthony Puccio at the Sarasota Yacht Club gets the festival rolling.

On Thursday, two intimate small group dinners at the Hyatt Regency are paired with panel discussions of relevant topics. Four award winning whiskies are celebrated at the World Whiskey Dinner, while four Scotch whiskies are paired with dinner during the Single Malt Scotch Dinner. A panel of unique distillers and Whiskey experts share brands at an interactive tasting after the dinners. Samples of Whistle Pig Rye conclude the evening on Thursday, a lively late night gathering with live music.

A master class of single malt scotch begins the activities on noon Friday at The Bijou restaurant. One of the highlights of the festival is the Grand tastings and Masterclasses Friday evening at the Hyatt Regency. There are three ticket levels for these events. Two events on Saturday conclude the festival, the Women of Whiskey brunch at the Sarasota Yacht Club and Beer, Bourbon and Cigars at Smokin’ Joes on Main Street.

You can find these festivals and hundreds of other events through May 3, 2020 on our Upcoming Events page. This page is updated every week on Thursday to help you plan for the weekend and beyond.

Last week I listed a sunny and open three-bedroom townhome at 1555 Napoli Drive West in Sarasota. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy. Enjoy the remainder of your April Fool’s Day, this list of events was no joke.

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1555 Napoli Drive West $249,000   Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Options without a boat ownership

by Roger Pettingell

In Sarasota without a boat, no worries

Variety of boat charter, membership or rental options discussed

Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota
Marina Jack - The harbor pier companies offer plenty of charter, membership or rental opportunities.

When you live near the water as we do in Sarasota you may love boating and fishing, or fishing and boating. Either way it’s recreational boating at its best on the bay, intracoastal and Gulf of Mexico. You may own your own boat or you may decide to captain a boat through other means. Renting, timeshare or charter services are plentiful in the area but are typically restricted from dusk-to-dawn boating. You have many options.

An average boat rental may start with a 17-foot center console for a few hours to a full-day or multi-day program on a 24-foot deck boat. The maximum number of guests range with the size too, from four to 12. Cannons Marina on Longboat Key has a good selection of pleasure or fishing boats. Near Siesta Key, check out Siesta Key Marina at 1265 Old Stickney Point Rd. Nearby is CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. Bradenton Boat Rental near Whitfield Estates has a selection of boats for rental by the day.

Looking for a pontoon boat to accommodate more guests? You have a number of choices such as Sarasota Boat Rentals has two locations for pontoon rentals in the Marina Jack harbor and another at south Siesta Key, 8865 Midnight Pass Road. Pontoons are also available for rent at H2O Watersports just south of the Seafood Shack in Cortez.

Personal Watercraft (PWC) are available at some of the same locations as above, including H2O Watersports and Siesta Key Jet Ski at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters. Cortez Watersports, also near the Seafood Shack also has a good number of jet skis for rent. Island Jet Ski in Englewood and Osprey rent jet skis and pontoon boats.

The boat rental companies want experienced boaters and each has their own set of rules. Compliance with Florida law is a requirement of all rental companies, the first of which states that persons born on or after January 1, 1988 (21 this year), are required to complete a NASBLA-approved boater education course prior to operating a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or more. The regulations and a list of exemptions can be found on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website. Online courses qualify for licensing. Most of the local rental companies will ensure the boat is properly equipped with the correct number of life jackets and safety equipment.

Personal Watercraft are restricted to those over 14 years of age and no one under the age of 21 may rent a PWC. In most cases the rentals of boats are restricted to those over the age 21. You may also need to demonstrate that you have the skills in boat operation and safety if you are over the age of 21.

Captains are available upon advanced request, typically at $25 per hour plus tips and a four-hour minimum. Tax and fuel usage are additional charges. There are varying degrees of cancellation fees, be sure to ask. They may also cancel your trip if there is a small craft advisory associated with stormy weather or high winds.

Enjoy your day on the water with a charter

The Flying Fish Fleet in Sarasota
The Flying Fish Fleet in Sarasota by Marina Jack is one of a few companies that has a variety of charters.

Another option to enjoyable boating is to charter a boat with a number of options in Sarasota. Fishing charters are a wonderful way to get where the fish are. Knowledgeable captains give great advise on proper techniques and will know the legal restrictions for fishing Florida waters. They can get you set up with the right licenses whether you are fishing shoreline, in freshwater or saltwater. Florida residents can get a free shoreline fishing license. Discounted freshwater or saltwater licenses are available to Florida residents. Free licenses are also distributed to seniors over 65 years of age.

Charters are a great way to get on the water with sailboats as well since they require a little more knowledge and skills than power boats. There are a number of sailing companies that offer a day on the water with the breeze as your power. Sarasota Sail & Power Boat, Flying Fish Fleet, Key Sailing, Latitude Sailing and Captain Jacks offer a sailing experience. Kathleen D. Sailing in the Marina Jack harbor and Connelly Yacht Charters in Whitfield Estates have a number of large catamarans.

A dinner cruise is a form of charter, it just may not be exclusive to your small group. But large groups such as weddings are exclusive to you aboard the Marina Jack II. Their captains are certified notaries so a wedding on the water is official. The 96-foot cruise boat is a great way for a sunset dinner on the water. LeBarge Tropical Cruises in the Marina Jack Plaza are more casual with sightseeing tours and tropical sunset cruises. It has a full bar, light food menu and is an ideal location to watch the 4th of July Fireworks or Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade. LeBarge is also available for private charters. As with all charters, a personal recommendation may a go a long way and Yelp.com is useful for suggestions. Then just sit back and enjoy yourself.

Maintenance-free boat memberships, like timeshares on the water

Freedom Boat Club
Freedom Boat Club - Membership in one the local clubs is a maintenance-free way to be on the water.

There are two organizations that have good locations in the Sarasota area, that once registered with the club you only pay a low monthly fee and fuel that you use. The Freedom Boat Club has franchise throughout the United States and the Waves Boat and Social Club has five locations from Englewood to Cortez.

The number of locations for the Freedom Boat Club is unique, most of the good waterfront cities in over 175 cities of the United States and Canada will have a franchise open to its members. Beyond that, they have locations in places you may not expect such as Navajo Lake State Park in New Mexico or Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.

There are different levels of memberships at Freedom to fit your needs. Seasonal memberships in the southern states, family and single memberships are offered. Pay attention, they often run specials so that you can save on memberships. Once enrolled, your monthly fee covers maintenance of the boats, insurance and staff. All you pay for is fuel that you use. There may be restrictions if you join in Michigan but want all of the extended offerings in Florida.

Reservations are recommended and made online, so you may not have access to a favorite deck boat on a busy day without a reservation. The same system is used whether booking in Sarasota or at a location in Ohio on Lake Erie. The club is also increasing its fleet of sailboats at each location. Once you sit through a three-hour indoctrination on boating safety after joining, sailboat captains also attend a skills demonstration on the water.

The Waves Boat and Social Club has been around for over 22 years with its five locations in the Sarasota area. Deck, pontoon, fishing and even kayaks are in their fleet of boats at each location. Very similar to the Freedom Boat Club with its membership fee, followed by seasonal and full-time monthly fees of $189 to $289, this club may be right for you if you limit yourself to the western intracoastal, west shores of the Gulf and Sarasota Bay.

Throughout the week different days are staggered at each location as a day off for employees. For instance, the Boatyard Villages location on Stickney Point Road are closed on Tuesdays. On Mondays the location by the Seafood Shack in Cortez is closed but you can call the office and arrange for a boat. The Fisherman’s Wharf is closed on Thursdays, Phillippi Harbor Club is closed on Wednesdays and Stump Pass Marina in Englewood is closed on Thursdays. During the peak season months all locations may be open seven days a week, dusk to dawn.

Waves has its social club aspect as well. Members are invited to the beach parties, tours and sunset cruises. The concierge may also point out the best restaurants to enjoy special occasions along the waterways. And if you like the area well enough to join the club, think of home ownership as well. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

Role of Longboat Key in WWII

by Roger Pettingell

Area played a vital role in training pilots

Munitions from military training exercises continue to be found on island

Plaque to commemorate World War II training exercises
WWI Training Commemorative Plaque - The plaque at 4250 Gulf of Mexico Drive recognizes Longboat Key for its pilot training services in World War II.

Longboat Key played a vital role in training fighter pilots during World War II, a fact many longtime residents of the island have known for years. In the 1940s Longboat Key was more desolate and Florida had ideal weather for training. Along the Sarasota and Manatee county line, the attraction wasn’t tourism, it was warfare preparation. What started as construction of a civilian airport under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the current Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) was transformed as one of three landing strips in the area used to launch the U.S. Army P-40s and P-51s fighter planes.

From different bases including the Sarasota Army Air Base, they would practice their bombing runs over Longboat Key with powder-filled bombs that a made more visual impact than explosion. Spotters could gage the accuracy of the pilots with the flurry of smoke the bombs made on impact.

The Venice Army Air Base, now the Venice Municipal Airport (VNC), was the second training ground for fighter pilots of four different planes who also practiced bombing runs over Fruitville Road area and Osprey locations. The third was MacDill Air Force Base (MCF) located in Tampa, still in use today as a military base of operations. The training was treacherous and pilots lost their lives with skip bombing practice runs. Skip bombing was used to attack ships by dropping the bombs at low altitude and have it skip across the water into the hull. The town and the Longboat Key Historical Society have commemorated its role in the war with one of seven historical markers at the Town Water Plant located at 4250 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

World War II artifacts are continually unearthed to this day. Occasionally 50-caliber shell casings have been found on the beaches. A P-40 canopy washed up on the shore in 1985. Contractors that sift through the sand during dredging and renourishment projects regularly find shell casings and rounds. Even live rounds have been reported. The Department of Defense has scheduled a munitions cleansing project for Longboat Key in 2047 after labeling the area a low-risk for hazardous rounds of ammo. Two years ago the U.S. Coast Guard was dispatched to waters off the northern tip of Anna Maria Island on reports of an unexploded ordnance.

The famed Lido Key Casino was also built starting in 1938 as a WPA project and opened in May of 1940. During WWII the casino was host to many military personnel relaxing from the rigors of training at nearby military bases. The casino was used as a lookout post for German U-Boat submarines during the war and reports of U-boats in Charlotte Harbor have been recorded. The casino lasted a scant 29 years before its demolition in 1969.

Last week I listed an exclusive direct bayfront residence within walking distance to Sarasota’s downtown. This 3BR/31/2BA contemporary residence in the sought-after Golden Gate Point neighborhood is a move-in ready dream at 188 Golden Gate Pt, #201. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

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188 Golden Gate Pt, #201 $2,995,000   Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

Heritage Days in Festival Series

by Roger Pettingell

Manatee County Heritage Days in March

A special event for each day of the month is planned for the county

Florida Maritime Museum 1912 Schoolhouse on the Cortez Nature Preserve
Florida Maritime Museum - One of the historical parks in Manatee County with many events planned.

As we approach March we begin the start of multiple-week festivals, the first of which starts Friday for the entire month, the 40th Annual Manatee Heritage Days. Nearly every day there is a program at one of 13 participating organizations to display the wealth of history in the county. Some of the historical sites that require admissions have waived their fees on special days during the month to highlight their programs.

The special events are also meant to draw attention to the historical parks in the county. These are the Manatee Village Historical Park in Bradenton, The Florida Maritime Museum in Cortez, the Manatee County Historical Records Library in Bradenton, the Palmetto Historical Park and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum in Palmetto. Each has its own unique records for preserving the heritage of the county.

When Manatee County had reached its legal population in 1855, it was formed as the size of seven current counties. Hardee, Desoto, Highlands, Charlotte and Glade counties were separated out on May 9, 1887. Sarasota County was split off on May 14, 1921. The Historical Records Library has files from all seven counties dating back to 1856.

Heritage Days events slated for the historical parks in Manatee County

The Manatee Village Historical Park at 1404 Manatee Avenue East preserves the early history of this large land mass, comparable to the size of Connecticut when all the counties were combined as one. Some buildings of the period from 1840 to 1918 have been restored and are open to the public.

In the village are an original general store, church, courthouse, school and blacksmith shop. The pioneer Stephens family of 12 has their 1912 home preserved in the village. The history of Manatee County wouldn’t be complete without mention of John Fogarty and the family shipbuilding business. One of his original boat works buildings is in the park. The Fogartys settled along the Manatee River because there was a prevalence of wood for shipbuilding and fishing was a way of life for them.

On March 6 there is a free two-hour walking tour of Fogartyville starting at 10 AM as part of Heritage Days. The Historical Park is open 9 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday, and the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. Free guided walking tours are available through reservations on their website. These 45-minute separate tours explore the village and 1850 burial grounds.

The Florida Maritime Museum in the historical fishing village of Cortez is home to cultural maritime artifacts packed into a restored 1912 school house on four acres of land on 119th Street. For Heritage Days there is a special coffee with the staff on March 23 from 9 to 11 AM. The museum is free and open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM. With the permanent exhibits, temporary displays continue the mission of providing education of the fishing culture. The current exhibit is Always Ready, featuring the U.S. Coast Guard in Florida.

A special fundraising dinner with Pulitzer-prize winning author Jack E. Davis at the Seafood Shack in Cortez is set for 6 PM on March 14. He will discuss topics from his book The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea. Profits from the dinner will add to the museum donation campaign to raise $34,290, which will be matched by the Manatee County Tourist Development Council when the goal is reached.

The Folk School at the Florida Maritime Museum is a converted early American store and post office that served the fishing village. The Burton Store was the first commercial building in the village, constructed in 1890 on the Cortez waterfront. It was later expanded into the Albion Inn on the current site of the U.S. Coast Guard Station. In 1991 the inn was demolished and the original building was moved to its current location on the grounds of the museum. The beautifully restored building opened in February of last year. The classes are taught by professionals that preserve the traditional skills of the Florida fishing culture. Registration is required and a list of classes is on their website. The Pillsbury Boatshop and a Chickee Hut are also on the museum grounds.

The first county archival library in Florida is located within the Carnegie Library at 1405 4th Avenue, West in Bradenton. Built in 1918 the Carnegie Library has been on the U.S Department of the Interior’s Registry of Historic Sites since 1987. A treasure of collections exist within the Manatee County Historic Records Library.

The records that date back to the beginning of Manatee County include maps, public family records, county commission minutes, real estate records and court filings. The library is free to use but there are charges for copies, photos can be taken by your personal camera without a fee. The library is open during the week from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. As part of Heritage Days a two-hour walking tour of the historic buildings in downtown Bradenton is scheduled for March 13, beginning at 10 AM.

The Manatee County Agricultural Museum provides a hands-on learning experience for school children through group tours and specially designed educational programs. School field trips designed around local agriculture are also arranged through the museum located at 1015 6th Street in Palmetto. The Hall of Fame is a permanent exhibit at the museum, drawing attention to prominent citizens of Manatee County, two each year from 1967 to present.

The Palmetto Heritage Festival will be held at the museum and the Palmetto Historical Park from 10 AM to 2 PM on March 9. The local post office will be conducting a special one-day stamp cancellation in honor of the Heritage Days festivities. Live music, food, demonstrations and building tours are planned for this special day. A Chicken & Yellow Rice luncheon will be served at the Woman’s Club of Palmetto starting at 11 AM.

On March 27, a special Heritage Days, Ag at Night program is scheduled to begin at 7 PM at the museum. Based on the theme Eat Your Fruits and Veggies, the presentation will focus on growing these edible plants in the sunshine of Florida. For adults only, pre-registration is required by email or through their special event website. The Ag at Night program is a series with continuing dates of Homesteading in Florida on May 29 with Plants and Pollinators scheduled for July 31.

Other Manatee County programs and festivals centered around Heritage Days

DeSoto National Memorial - National Park Service
Camp Uzita - Daily programs and a special event on March 23 is in the plans at DeSoto National Memorial.

Travel back in time to 1539 when the Hernando DeSoto expedition began its reign of conquests in the area. Demonstrations at Camp Uzita in the DeSoto National Memorial of Bradenton will highlight the clothing and armor worn by the explorers. Spanish and Native American life of the times will be discussed in these programs four times a day, starting with the first at 10 AM Thursday through Sunday. While DeSoto was searching north for gold, 100 of his men protected his supplies at Camp Uzita. On March 23 a special presentation, Five Centuries of Florida History, will feature over 30 actors who will reenact different periods from DeSoto to present day in the memorial park.

A history of tourism in Manatee County will be on display in a month-long exhibit, Marvelous Manatee, in the Eaton Historical room of the county central library located at 1301 Barcarrota Boulevard in Bradenton. This exhibit celebrates the changes in tourism from the 1900s to present. The exhibit is open at different times of day, Monday through Saturday.

Each Friday of March a free Music in the Park concert will be held at the Riverwalk Mosaic Amphitheater in downtown Bradenton. Food and beverage sales benefit Realize Bradenton, your chairs or blankets are welcome while enjoying local band music that starts at 6 PM. The group BABYL will take the stage March 15, followed by Kettle of Fish, March 22 and Passerine, March 29.

Enjoy free open houses of the 19th century house that serves as the visitor center for Robinson Preserve and the Jiggs Landing Fish Camp cabin each Saturday during Heritage Days. Explore the historic house with its flora at Robinson Preserve, the history of Palma Sola and review photos of the home that was transported from Palmetto through the Manatee River to its current location. The replicated Jiggs Landing cabin will serve as the venue for a presentations on the history of Jiggs Landing, Braden River and Evers Reservoir. It will be open from 9 AM to 1 PM each Saturday.

Mainly Art featuring local artisans will expand the Farmer’s Market during Heritage Days in historic downtown Bradenton from 9 AM to 2 PM each Saturday in March. Family activities are also planned for these pet-friendly events, free to the public with free parking on Saturdays.

There are vents planned for nearly every day through the month, associated with Heritage Days. Some of the most notable not mentioned above include the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Annual Heritage Day festival this Saturday starting at 9 AM in the Historical Park on Pine Avenue. The Parrish Heritage Days Parade and Festival starts at Parrish United Methodist Church and ends at the festival grounds of the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish. A Chili cookoff, local bands perform and family-oriented experiences are also planned.

On Sunday the Gamble Plantation tour will be free for the historic state park’s annual open house. Open from 10 AM to 3 PM, volunteers will dress in clothing of the era from the 1840s to 1870s. The 4th Florida Volunteer Infantry will re-enact a Confederate encampment on the grounds of the plantation in Ellenton.

The Winter Seminar of the Manatee Genealogical Society will be hosted at the Manatee Technical College on March 16 from 8 AM to 4 PM. The editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly journal, Dr. Thomas W. Jones, will be the featured speaker. Visit their website for more information and to register for this Heritage Days event. Also on that Saturday, meet historical fiction author Peggy Donoho, and follow the discussion of her great-grandparents Miguel and Frederica Guerrero starting at 10 AM in the Palmetto Historical Park.

There will be a reception for members and volunteers of the Reflections of Manatee at the Theodosia Curry Museum House in East Bradenton from 5 to 7 PM on March 23. An exhibit funded by the Florida Humanities Council will highlight the Angola’s Freedom Seekers and the Florida Underground Railroad. The display with special guests will be open to the public on March 30 starting at 10 AM, closing at noon.

A guided tour of the historic 1899 Alkire home on Riverside Drive in Palmetto will be open to the first 30 people who register for the event at their Eventbrite special webpage. This historic home has been beautifully restored by its current owners. The tour is sponsored by the Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee County Agricultural Museum. All the events for Heritage Days are listed on the upcoming events page.

I listed two residences for sale last week in Longboat Key and Sarasota. The top-floor residence at 2450 Harbourside Dr, #253 offers striking panoramic views of downtown Sarasota, tranquil bay waters and the Gulf. Chic upgrades adorn every room of this direct bayfront residence in the sought-after community of Lawrence Pointe at 99 Sunset Dr, #102. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy.

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2450 Harbourside Dr, #253 $1,095,000 Video Photo Slideshow
99 Sunset Dr, #102 $999,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

Call us at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing

 

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Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is your Longboat Key, Florida Luxury Real Estate Specialist. Roger provides his real estate expertise to sellers, investors, developers, and buyers in the Sarasota area including Anna Maria, Bird Key, Bradenton Beach, Casey Key, Cortez, Grand Bay, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Marina Bay, Osprey and Siesta Key. Search for homes, luxury homes, condominiums, investment property, development property, and vacant land and lots on the Longboat Key, Florida and the surrounding area.