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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

 

It's Festival Time in Sarasota

by Roger Pettingell

Upcoming events in the next two weeks

Featuring Film, Whiskey, Chamber Music and Shark’s teeth festivals

Sarasota Opera House
The four concert programs of the 2018 La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, now in its 32nd season, will be held at the Sarasota Opera House.

Sunday closed on a very successful Sarasota Wine Festival Auction to benefit organizations that support children. By the end of this week four more festivals will be in full swing featuring film, whiskey obsession, music and even a celebration of shark’s teeth. There should be something for everyone. There are many single-day celebrations so you can stay busy for the next few weeks. Below is information on the four festivals in the order of their start date, with links and times for the major events of each festival.


La Musica International Chamber Music Festival begins tonight with Program I

There are four full symphony concerts during the days of the La Musica International Chamber Music Festival beginning tonight at 8 PM with Program I, a concert of two string quintets and a piano trio conclusion composed by Schubert in E flat major. In Program II on Thursday a Mendelssohn string quartet is featured, with a Popper composition, Requiem in F# minor concluded with a dramatic piece from Rachmaninoff. Composers Paganini, Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Shostakovich will be featured in a Sunday matinee at 3 PM. The concluding program on April 18 begins with a Bernstein piano trio concerto, a Brahms viola version followed by a Schubert composition string quintet in C major for the conclusion of this year’s festival.

Two rehearsal dates have already been completed for the 32nd season of the festival, this year under the direction of Bruno Giuranna, a Milan Italy born accomplished musician and artistic director. Rehearsals are open to the public, see the schedule below. Also open to the public is a free panel discussion with three musicians and composer Jerry Bilik, tomorrow at 4:35 in the Mildred Sainer Pavilion on the New College of Florida campus. The associate director Derek Han, who has performed piano concerts in prestigious halls of five continents, will be among those attending a musician greeting in the Dolphin Aviation Hanger at the SRQ airport on Wednesday. Go to La Musica Festival for more information and ticket purchases.

Monday, April 9

Start time Event Location
8:00 PM Program I Opera House, Sarasota

Tuesday, April 10

Start time Event Location
9:30 AM Musician rehearsals Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Sarasota
4:35 PM Musician panel discussion Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Sarasota

Wednesday, April 11

Start time Event Location
9:30 AM Musician rehearsals Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Sarasota
5:30 PM Meet the musicians Dolphin Aviation Hanger, Sarasota

Thursday, April 12

Start time Event Location
8:00 PM Program II Opera House, Sarasota

Friday, April 13

9:30 AM Musician rehearsals Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Sarasota

Saturday, April 14

Start time Event Location
10:00 AM Musician rehearsals Mildred Sainer Pavilion, Sarasota
6:00 PM Musical Chefs (sold out) Michael's Wine Cellar, Sarasota

Sunday, April 15

Start time Event Location
3:00 PM Program III Opera House, Sarasota

Monday, April 16

Start time Event Location
9:00 AM Musician rehearsals Felding Hall, Opera House

Tuesday, April 17

Start time Event Location
9:30 AM Musician rehearsals Felding Hall, Opera House

Wednesday, April 18

Start time Event Location
8:00 PM Ballet Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Michael's on East, Sarasota
8:00 PM Program IIII Opera House, Sarasota

Whiskey Obsession Festival, four days of tastings and classes for a local charity

Whiskey Obsession Festival
The kickoff dinner for the Whiskey Obsession Festival will begin the tastings and classes at the Sarasota Yacht Club and ends here with one of the final events on Saturday, the Women of Whiskey Brunch.

Starting Wednesday with a Bartender Academy at the Aloft Hotel, the Whiskey Obsession Festival kicks off four days of social events, classes, whiskey tastings and parties. The timing is perfect for child abuse prevention month, as the proceeds benefit the Child Protection Center. But this is not a festival to chug down glasses of whiskey in a style typically associated to a frat party, this is serious business with 18 events devoted to connoisseurs of fine whiskeys and scotch liquors.

The Master Classes are presented as a means to learn about different blends, the first is a focus lunch of fine dining and class at The Francis in downtown Sarasota on Thursday. An intimate dinner discussion with Raj Sabharwal of 16 guests follows at 5 PM. The discussions continue at The Francis with a distinguished panel of international whiskey experts including distillers, academics and distributors. On Friday the classes change venues for the Pre-Show Premium Master Class at Michael’s Wine Cellar, featuring tastings of single malt scotch. The Master Classes continue at Michael’s on East at 8 PM, for those with a more professional approach, divided into four sessions of seasoned professionals.

There is time to let loose a little and enjoy some social interaction. The first best time for that is the after party at MADE Restaurant in downtown Sarasota that starts at 10:45 PM on Friday. Saturday is a day devoted to the Women of Whiskey Brunch, beer, bourbon and cigars at the Gator Club at 4 PM and concludes with a free block party at Lemon and Main in downtown Sarasota, starting at 6:30 PM. For more information on the festival go to the Whiskey Obsession Festival website.

Wednesday, April 11

Start time Event Location
1:00 PM Bartender Academy Aloft Hotel, Sarasota
6:30 PM Kickoff dinner Sarasota Yacht Club

Thursday, April 12

Start time Event Location
12:00 PM Master Class - Breckenridge Bourbon The Francis, Sarasota
5:00 PM Panelist Dinner with Raj Sabharwal The Francis, Sarasota
7:00 PM The Panel of Whiskey Experts The Francis, Sarasota
10:00 PM Brand Showcase The Gator Club, Sarasota

Friday, April 13

Start time Event Location
5:00 PM Pre-show Premium Master Class Michael's Wine Cellar, Sarasota
7:30 PM Grand Tasting and Master Class Michael's On East, Sarasota
10:30 PM After Party MADE Restaurant, Sarasota

Friday, April 13

Start time Event Location
5:00 PM Pre-show Premium Master Class Michael's Wine Cellar, Sarasota
6:30 PM Grand Tasting and Master Class Michael's On East, Sarasota
8:00 PM Master Classes Michael's On East, Sarasota
10:30 PM After Party MADE Restaurant, Sarasota

Saturday, April 14

Start time Event Location
11:30 AM Women of Whiskey Brunch Sarasota Yacht Club
4:00 PM Beer, Bourbon & Cigars The Gator Club, Sarasota
6:30 PM Street Party Lemon Avenue and Main Street, Sarasota

Sarasota Film Festival celebrates 20 years

50 Words film
Look for films with a Sarasota theme including 50 Words created and starred in by local actress Kathryn Parks.

Don’t let Friday the 13th scare you for the start of the Sarasota Film Festival. This is ten days for devoted fans of the art and this year celebrates the 20th year of the festival. The opening night film of Class Rank sets the tone for this year, a film by director Eric Stoltz. You can catch a glimpse of the director on the red carpet of the Sarasota Opera House starting at 6:30 PM. There are two parties opening night, a kickoff party at Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton and the block party at Selby Five Points Park in Sarasota starting at 9 PM. Stoltz will be available on Saturday for a noon discussion at the Florida Studio Theatre. There are more discussions at the Florida Studio Theatre on Saturday with film stars beginning with Steve Guttenberg at 11 AM, Virginia Madsen at 1 PM and Rory Kennedy at 3 PM.

This year we celebrate locals who have created films or there are films about Sarasota. Sarasota resident, Kathryn Parks, created, wrote and stars in the film, 50 Words, as Lilly Green, who is presented with many admirers after writing a personal ad and finds the one she has been pining for. It is one of eight films in the Shorts II: Florida Showcase. A short film of 12 minutes follows the professional orchestra in preparation of out-of-town concerts in Sarasota Orchestra: A Week in the Life. There are two showings of both films, 3 PM on Sunday and 11 AM on April 21 in the Art Ovation Hotel. A Frenchman in Florida on April 19 at 8:45 PM in the Art Ovation Hotel is a mystery film about a suspicious man in a Sarasota hotel that may be linked to the disappearance of two young girls.

Be prepared to sit for long periods of time to enjoy all the films and screenings, mostly at the Regal Hollywood II Cinemas. The red carpet rolls out the final day for coach Nick Bollettieri and director Jason Kohn at 1:30 PM for the movie, Love Means Zero, a documentary about local famed tennis coach, Bollettieri, a founder of IMG Academy in Bradenton. The main feature on closing night is the movie, Above and Beyond, NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow. Director Rory Kennedy and Producer Mark Bailey will be on the red carpet starting at 5 PM for the 6 PM showing.

Party Out of This World from 8 PM to midnight in the ballroom of the Art Ovation Hotel on April 20, it is the anniversary party for the film festival. Chill Under the Stars on Saturday night at Selby Five Points Park starting at 6 PM. Planned is a Brazilian Samba Parade, fashion show and live bands. For ticket information and movie schedules go to the Sarasota Film Festival website.

Friday, April 13

Start time Event Location
6:00 PM Bradenton Kickoff Party Motorworks Brewing, Bradenton
6:30 PM Opening Night Film, Class Rank Opera House, Sarasota
9:00 PM Opening Night Block Party Selby Five Points Park, Sarasota

Saturday, April 14

Start time Event Location
12:00 PM Media Brunch Panel Fogartyville Community Center, Sarasota
12:00 PM In Conversation With, Eric Stoltz Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota
6:00 PM Through the Tunnel, screening Art Ovation Hotel Ballroom, Sarasota
10:00 AM Through Womens Eyes Regal Hollywood II Cinema, Sarasota

Sunday, April 15

Start time Event Location
5:45 PM Hollywood Nights Regal Hollywood II Cinemas, Sarasota
6:00 PM FACEing Mental Illness premiere Art Ovation Hotel Ballroom, Sarasota
7:00 PM Hollywood Nights Regal Hollywood II Cinemas, Sarasota
Films Through Womens Eyes Regal Hollywood II Cinema, Sarasota

Wednesday, April 18

Start time Event Location
7:00 PM Riverview Awards Show Art Ovation Hotel Ballroom, Sarasota

Friday, April 20

Start time Event Location
8:00 PM Out of This World, party Art Ovation Hotel Ballroom, Sarasota

Saturday, April 21

Start time Event Location
11:00 AM In Conversation With, Steve Guttenberg Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota
1:00 PM In Conversation With, Virginia Madsen Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota
3:00 PM In Conversation With, Rory Kennedy Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota
5:00 PM Closing Films, Red Carpet Opera House, Sarasota
6:00 PM Closing Films, Above and Beyond Opera House, Sarasota
6:00 PM Chill Under the Stars, closing party Selby Five Points Park, Sarasota

Sunday, April 22

Start time Event Location
11:00 AM Sensory-Friendly, LU Over the Wall Regal Hollywood II Cinema, Sarasota

A celebration festival of shark's teeth on the airport fairgrounds in Venice

Shark teeth
With a Florida Snow Shovel (straining basket on the end of a pole) and a keen eye you can pull small fossilized shark teeth out of the sand at the Venice shoreline. Keep a watchful eye out for a megalodon tooth. Divers like the depths between 18 and 35 feet for their search.

Maybe this festival starting on Friday the 13th may frighten you. Venice has been known by locals, travelers and scuba divers as the Shark Tooth Capital of the World. There are several theories as to why you can gather many teeth on the shoreline or in the depths off the coast of Venice. Some predict there were ocean waters that converted to land masses, then flooded in a process of the ice age over millions of years. Estimates are that sharks lose and replace nearly 10,000 teeth in a lifetime, adding to vast numbers of this deposit. The sharks died in the shallow waters, their teeth preserved and fossilized by the land that filled in the seas. As the seas once again encroached what is now Florida, a gradual slope to deep waters around Venice held these fossils in place.

Most teeth you find will be dark colored, the fossilization process converts white teeth to black. The early earth masses that extended out to the Gulf may explain why you can find an occasional fossilized bone of some land animal. Don't dismiss any dark object that resembles a bone, it could be that of a fossilized ground sloth or whale. There are other theories too, depending on which local you speak with. Now, find a megalodon tooth and you have a true treasure.

In order to celebrate its namesake, for the past 25 years Venice has thrown a festival in honor of the teeth that lie in the Gulf of Mexico surf. The Shark's Tooth Festival starts Friday at 4 PM on the airport festival grounds in Venice. The Gator Creek Band performs at 6 PM on the main stage Friday night. Look for booths that display their shark teeth for sale. A large 6-inch megalodon tooth might be on sale for hundreds of dollars. Among the food vendors and activities, there are also a Special Olympics Fishing Presentation at 2 PM and Special Olympics Weight Lifting Demonstration on Saturday. The Curry Creek Cloggers perform from 10 to 10:45 AM on Saturday. Also on Saturday The Rockin Rogues start at 11 AM, the Beatles tribute band the Glass Onion takes the stage at 12:45 PM, followed by Maiden Cane from 6:30 to 8:45 PM. Paisley Craze starts the festivities on Sunday morning at 11:15 AM. The Boogiemen are set to perform for three hours starting at 2 PM to close the show. Go to the Shark's Tooth Festival website for more information.


More upcoming events and three new listings last week

FSU Center for the Performing Arts
FSU Center for the Performing Arts - The final Inside the Studio series of the Sarasota Ballet this year will be here April 18, Bugaku, Blending Subtlety and Strength.

The Sarasota Ballet Principal Film Series and Inside the Studio series started late last year concludes with its final presentation April 18, Bugaku, Blending Subtlety and Strength. Inside the Studio at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts gives patrons a look at the rehearsal and interpretation process of upcoming performances. The final Program 7 of the 2017-2018 ballet season is set for April 27-28 at the Opera House, Great Masters of Dance: Tudor, Balanchine & Ashton.

Updated on most Thursdays in time for the weekend, our upcoming events page features over 400 festivals, expos, plays, concerts, cultural arts and musicals from the Manatee Performing Arts Center in the north, Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch venues, and the Venice Performing Arts Center in the south. Nearly every show at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is on the schedule with tickets available through their online box office. The highly acclaimed musical, Jersey Boys, is currently running there through Thursday. Plan your days with this upcoming events schedule, now with listings through April 10, 2019.

Check out my three new listings last week at Beachplace, a buildable lot near Mar Vista Restaurant on Longboat Key and a townhome on Evergreen Way on 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
1055 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #106 $1,599,000   Photo Slideshow
6941 Bayside Drive $995,000   Photo Slideshow
810 Evergreen Way $379,000   Photo Slideshow

 

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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.