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Festival season: Something for everyone

by Roger Pettingell

October heats up the weekend schedules

Film, music, oddity and seafood festivals progress throughout the year

Upcoming events in Sarasota
Sarasota Oktoberfest - You may have missed the Oktoberfest in J.D.Hamel Park this weekend but there are plenty of festivals for your fall and winter plans

You may have missed some of the Oktoberfests the past few weeks, but not to worry as more are on the schedule in Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton this weekend. The local versions of the traditional German festivals set in motion a series of festivals in the upcoming months that are all well attended. These annual festivals include art, music and film celebrations with some created for seafood lovers. This is part two of the four-part series on local peak season events.

There are a couple Oktoberfests remaining, sponsored at local breweries. The Lucky Frog Restaurant on Cortez Road in Bradenton will present Bavarian music and feature a beer stein contest from 11 AM to 9 PM on Saturday. Music, beer and schnitzel will be served at the Naughty Monk Restaurant in Lakewood Ranch from 2 to 7 PM on Sunday.

With Halloween rapidly approaching the pumpkins are on the minds of those celebrating this holiday. So it follow that festivals cater to those setting up for Halloween and Thanksgiving. The 31st annual Pumpkin Festival at Fruitville Grove continues with the Pumpkin Fest Rally the next two Saturdays and the Around the World Festival the next two Sundays. Top-quality bands, along with magic shows, monster truck show, circus performances, motorcycle daredevils, jugglers, dog tricks and bicycle stunts are on the schedule for the final weekend of the 2019 Pumpkin Festival at Hunsader Farms in Bradenton.

The annual One-Act Play Festival runs five consecutive days at the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, October 31 through November 3. Four plays were selected for this event that is a series of events, the Ten-minute Play Festival in May and the Student Ten-minute Play Festival, January 25 and 26, both in the Cook Theatre at FSU/Asolo Center for the Performing Arts on the Ringling grounds in Sarasota.

The Chalk Festival has a long history in Sarasota, with the past few years at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds. This year’s theme, Garden of Wonders, runs November 15-18. These amazing pavement artists gather in Sarasota from around the globe each year to participate in this juried competition. Spectacular 3D images on the their medium is incredible to watch and return for the final presentation. Local popular bands also perform in concert.

Upcoming events in Sarasota
St. Armands Art Festivals - Artists display their works for sale at multiple times throughout the year

Art festivals are plentiful in the fall and winter months. On the St. Armands Circle November 9 and 10, over 175 artists will display their wares on the circle. It coincides with the fall sidewalk sale, merchants selling their inventory with deep discounts in time for holiday gift shopping. The 17th Annual St. Armands Circle Art Festival returns January 25. The Sarasota Fall Art Festival, November 16 and 17, Winter Art Festival, January 11 and 12, and Spring Fine Art Festival, May 7 and 8, attract artists and shoppers to J.D. Hamel Park on the Bayfront Street. The Fine Art Fair with Craft Marketplace is in the parking lot for one day this Saturday at the University Town Center Mall. Lido Beach has local and North American artists displaying their works February 8 and 9 at the Lido Beach Fine Art Festival.

For the seafood lover in you, the fishing village of Cortez opens up the series with its Neptune’s Seaside Bash this Saturday at the Seafood Shack Marina and the 8th Annual Cortez Stone Crab and Music Festival at the Swordfish Grill, November 9. The history of Cortez as a fishing and seafood village continues its heritage with one of the most celebrated seafood festivals locally. February 15 and 16 is the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival which celebrates the heritage of Cortez, visited by thousands.

Away from Cortez, Lakewood Ranch continues the series with their Seafood Festival November 22 on Main Street. In December, the Siesta Beach Seafood and Music Festival is December 6 through 8, while the Coquina Beach Seafood and Music Festival stretches for three days the following weekend, December 13 to 15. Next year the St. Armands Seafood and Music Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 22 to 24, features top local bands on the circle and food entrees created by local restaurants.

This area has one of the most unusual festivals, the Shark’s Tooth Festival is a three-day celebration in Venice, a main location in the country for finding shark teeth on the beaches or in the depths off shore. This annual event will be held April 3 through 5 next year on the airport festival grounds in the proclaimed shark’s tooth capital of the world. As with other festivals expect plenty of good entertainment and your opportunity to see some massive historic megalodon teeth collected off the shores of Venice. There is a Shark’s Tooth 10K run on Saturday and a 5K Shark Fin run on Sunday.

The smooth sound of jazz returns and celebrates 40 years as a festival, March 8 through 14, with The Manhattan Transfer featured, a group that began in the 70s with multiple hits and had its own CBS variety show that premiered in 1975. The multiple Grammy Award winning group will be in town for the Sarasota Jazz Festival, featuring Ken Peplowski as music director. There will be four themed afternoon jazz stages, trolley pub crawl, Jazz in the Park and main stage concerts at the Municipal Auditorium.

Sarasota Oktoberfest
The Verge - Attendees danced to 70s tunes this past weekend at the Sarasota Oktoberfest

For two weeks at the end of March, Sarasota is transformed into a motion picture mecca highlighting some of the most celebrated international films. Compared with Cannes and Sundance, the Sarasota Film Festival opens with a red-carpet event at the Opera House, has a schedule of films highlighted at local downtown theaters, well-planned theme parties and closing night awards ceremony. Expect to see some celebrity actors and directors in some of the finest restaurants of Sarasota. The 22nd annual film festival begins March 27 and runs through April 5 of 2020.

Each May the Harvey Milk Festival honors the legacy of the gay rights activist with a series of parties and concerts around J.D. Hamel Park in downtown Sarasota. Its events are also coordinated with the Fabulous Independent Film Festival, five days of films in the Burns Court Cinema with a special movie screening the Beatrice Friedman Theater on the first night of the festival. The festival recently concluded the last week in September.

Sarasota swells with visitors each June for the Sarasota Music Festival. Hundreds of classic music students from around the globe audition the 62 slots, a continuation of training with some of the masters of classical music. During the weeks of the music festival visitors are invited to catch faculty performances with various themes Thursday through Saturday, with the fellowship participants performing on Sundays or invited to perform as guest musicians throughout the week. These events and many others are on my upcoming schedule page with a schedule that continues through June 27, 2020.

We continue to build our inventory of homes for sale during peak season. Last week I listed a stunning penthouse at L’Ambiance with sunrise-to-sunset panoramic views at this 4,900+ square-foot beach home. At 4325 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #604 is our Tiffany Plaza four-bedroom penthouse with more than 2,900 square feet of interior space. Grand Bay is one of my favorite communities on the bay and the new listing at residence 262 has panoramic sixth-floor direct bay views, something you will want to see for yourself. 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
415 L'Ambiance Dr, #PH-F $7,495,000 Video    
4325 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #604 $1,795,000 Video Photo Slideshow
3040 Grand Bay Blvd, #262 $799,000   Photo Slideshow

 

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A week filled with local activities

by Roger Pettingell

Festivals, Powerboats and Fireworks

Enjoy your 4th of July holiday with plenty of events in the Sarasota area

Superboats make their way out to the Gulf of Mexico
Powerboat Grand Prix - Reduced to one day of racing this year as powerboats motor past Lido Key on Sunday

Although the annual Powerboat Grand Prix hailed its two preliminary events the past few days, the kickoff party on Wednesday will start the trend of thousands to visit Sarasota for the full festival and the traditional fireworks in the area. The crowds will descend downtown and Lido Beach will come alive for the 35th annual festival. With the races reduced to just powerboats, there will only be one full day of racing off Lido Beach to be held on Sunday.

As part of the Powerboat festival, eight days of events were initiated with the 4th Annual Bob Rizi Memorial Golf Classic on Saturday at The Meadows Country Club in Sarasota. Also completed was the Boat & Personal Watercraft fun run yesterday. It started at Marina Jack with a shotgun start and a variety of boats with travels to the Salty Dog, Bridge Tender and Tarpon Bay Grill. Proceeds benefited the Suncoast Charities for Children. A private event The Friendliest Catch fishing tournament is another Suncoast Charities for Children at the Sarasota Outboard Club on City Island Tuesday.

Many powerboat fans will be visiting the Grand Prix Kickoff Party in the grand foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Wednesday starting at 6 PM. The Caribbean Chillers, an international travelling Jimmy Buffett tribute band is the live entertainment for the night. Wear your patriotic apparel for this evening of fun and island style food.

One of many firework displays this week, the Bayfront Spectacular is part of the Grand Prix Festival. Prime viewing is from Bayfront Park, but anywhere downtown will be good with an open view of the bay. Should be great if you can find a location on a rooftop. The fireworks start at 9 PM on Thursday.

Miss Geico
Miss Geico returns with a completely new look and mechanicals. The Miss Geico boat finished first in the Unlimited class in last year's festival. Meet driver James Sheppard and throttleman Steve Curtis at the Hyatt Regency for a Meet and Greet on Friday.

Meet and Greet Who’s in the Driver Seat is an autograph signing event by the race team pilots. Those 18 and under are free, a five-dollar donation will be accepted for all other guests. It starts at 1 PM on Friday in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom downtown. The Boats on the Block follows at 6 PM and will be held on Main Street from Orange Avenue to South Palm Avenue. The powerboats will be on display for pictures, live music and great food will keep you busy for hours.

Two events on day seven start at 9 AM, the Car & Motorcycle Show at Rossiter’s Harley-Davidson, four hours of some of the best-in-show four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles. Remote Control Race Boats is a charity event on Saturday where competitors of all ages pilot their own boat modeled after those in the big race festival. It takes place at O’Leary’s Tiki Bar & Grill on the Bayfront from 10 AM to noon on Saturday.

Miss Geico returns, a crowd favorite powerboat, kicking off a single-day of racing in the Class 1-7 course off Lido Beach at 10 AM on Sunday. Also entered in the Class One performance boats are Victory, 222 Racing, Lucas Oil and Scuderia Cazzani. Class One boats are the largest of the races and travel at speeds up to 160 MPH. Superstocks, Super Vee Extreme and Prostock Vee begin their races at 11:30 AM. The Supercat style boats race at 12:30 PM, while the Class One and Vee Extreme finish the day of racing at 2 PM followed by an awards ceremony at 6 PM in the Hyatt Regency ballroom. Viewing is free on the beach, a special VIP area at the Sandcastle Resort has been sold out.

In 2018 the impact of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival generated an estimated $20 million to the local economy with over $2.657 million in hotel spending. Of the $721,753 sales tax collected, $69, 670 was reimbursed to the county. Sarasota County collected its own sales tax of $120,292.

Other Area Fireworks and Festivals, Wednesday and Thursday schedule

Fireworks on Thursday
Fireworks off Bayfront Park in Sarasota, part of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix this year.

Get an early jump on fireworks Wednesday at dusk with two local displays in Manatee and Sarasota counties. The Bradenton Marauders take on the Jupiter Hammerheads on Wednesday at LECOM park in Bradenton, followed by an Independence Day fireworks celebration. Before dusk at 7 PM, the Fireworks 4 Miler is a prelude to the fireworks that follow at Nathan Benderson Park.

But a majority of the fireworks are scheduled for Thursday, following a day of celebrations at parks around the area. A party in Bicentennial Park starts the day on Longboat Key as the Freedom Fest and the half mile Hot Diggity Dog Parade begins at the Suntrust Bank building on Bay Isles Road. Dress your pup in the best red, white and blue for a chance to win prizes in this annual event.

While the Freedom Fest starts at 9 AM, so does the Myakka River Kayak Festival as the two early morning festivals. Rent a canoe or kayak, then eat plenty and sample some of 30 different craft beers while listening to live Folk Americana music at Snook Haven in Venice.

Palmetto will hold its 9th annual Fourth of July Festival in Sutton Park followed by fireworks in Sutton Park, a full day of entertainment, music, food and drink. Rare Earth and Mark Farner’s American Band, two oldies rock favorites precede the fireworks over the Manatee River at the Green Bridge with good viewing from both sides of the river.

Privateers on Anna Maria Island
Break out your swashbuckling attire for the annual Privateers Fourth of July Parade.

If you are on Anna Maria Island Thursday you will undoubtedly find the Privateers Fourth of July Parade. The parade is a lengthy one which starts at Coquina Beach, 10 AM, and finishes on the north end of the island at the city pier. Stick around for the fireworks at the Sandbar Restaurant. The All-American Cookout at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens features food preparations from Michael’s on East, a family dance party, games and other activities before the Bayfront Fireworks Spectacular.

There are fireworks in the area that are not centrally tied to a community festival. The viewing area for the Siesta Key Community Fireworks on the beach opens at 6 PM, and areas around the south jetty in Venice are prime locations for the fireworks there shortly after sunset. The weather forecasts are typical for this time of year as the normal summer pattern spreads across the area, with little rain chances except for an afternoon shower. It shouldn’t dampen any of your plans. But for more local events, check out our updated schedule of events.

Last week I listed a private waterfront residence that is tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac in the secluded Hideaway Bay community at 705 Hideaway Bay Lane. A tropical oasis, this 3BR home offers walls of lush foliage surrounding the property, complemented by pavered walkways, charming gardens, a hammock, plus newer dock and lift on sailboat-deep waters that enhance its seclusion. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing or if you have a property to sell or buy. Enjoy your Independence Day Holiday festivities.

 

Address List Price Media Slideshow
705 Hideaway Bay Lane $1,495,000 Video Photo Slideshow

 

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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

 

Fun-filled events this holiday weekend

by Roger Pettingell

Ending the Summer Season in Style

Bashes, Festivals and Live Theater this Weekend from Englewood to Tampa

Bridge at Nathan Benderson Park
Reggae Pon di Lake Party and Music Festival - This party at Nathan Benderson Park on Sunday featuring MyKal Rose is a fun-filled event for the entire family

There are some people that like to spend their Labor Day holiday weekend relaxing at home with a barbecue for family and friends. There are others who like to explore the area and find fun events around the area. This article is for those people.

We can start with local festivals that may be of interest. The Reggae Pon di Lake Party and Music Festival is a pre-Labor Day party on Sunday at Nathan Benderson Park. Former lead singer for the Black Uhuru band, MyKal Rose, headlines this festival that starts at 2 PM. MyKal Rose will be joined by other local bands and DJs of the reggae genre until closing at 9 PM, including the popular band Jah Movement. There is a lot going on at the park during this party, something for the entire family. Rentals of pontoon pedal boats, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks will be available for this first-time event. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Chairs and blankets are welcome. Admission is $30, free admission for those under 12 if accompanied by an adult. There is a special VIP area in the tower and balcony to enjoy the music. For your $70 VIP ticket also enjoy Jamaican catered cuisine, official Pon Di Lake t-shirt with lanyard and sponsor swag bag. Advance tickets are available through the Osfest Music sponsor website.

The Beach Club on Siesta Key is celebrating the holiday on Sunday with beer pong, flip cup and corn hole Beerlympics tournaments. The Pre-Labor Day Beach Club Bash starting at 3 PM will feature live music from NoFilter and John DJ Xtreme until closing at 2 AM Monday. The tournaments will be displayed on their 180 degree projection screen. Winners will receive $100 for first, with $50 and $25 awards for second and third place finishes.

Rain forced the cancellation of the Woodstock Revival earlier this month with a notice of redo for this weekend to be celebrated with the downtown Farmer’s Market that will open at its regular hours from 7 AM to 1 PM. Paisley Craze will be the main retro band playing hits from the 60s on the main stage within three blocks of ceremonial area. Get involved by dressing as a hippie flower child for prizes in the single, couples and dog categories. Local celebrities will be announcing for the contest to start at 11 AM. Prizes in several categories will be awarded during the Vintage VW Show. The Farmers Market has plans for children with a rock climbing wall, photo booth, peace sign painting and water slide. The first 50 children under 16 with a bike accompanied by an adult will receive a free bicycle helmet from Friends of The Legacy Trail.

The 10th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival scheduled for Saturday and Sunday offers plenty of craft goods and plants for purchase. Free parking downtown will be available in the historic district of Venice. The festival will be open both days from 10 AM to 4 PM.

A little further south, the 62nd Annual Pioneer Days Festival in Englewood concludes its weeks of celebrations this weekend with many events Saturday through Monday. The cardboard boat race is a fun event for team participants and spectators on Saturday. The race was moved to its new location at Ann Dever Memorial Park. Registration is at 8:30 AM with the race start at 9 AM. Visit the Pioneer Days boat race website for registration and more information. The popular local band Kettle of Fish will take the Pioneer Park stage during the Shipwreck Dance Party on Saturday from 5 to 11 PM. The festivities continue on Sunday with the Diaper Derby, where babies will crawl to glory for trophies to the quickest baby in the area. The crawl takes place at the Lemon Bay Women’s Club, celebrating 100 years as an organization. On Monday, the 62nd Annual Pioneer Days parade will run its course down Dearborn Street of Englewood starting at 9 AM. The Festival and Car Show will be held in Pioneer Park all hours of the festival on Sunday and Monday. Prizes for the open class of cars will be awarded at 6 PM on Sunday before the Corvettes come into town on Monday, with cash awards at the 3 PM closing.

On Labor Day Monday, the Birdrock Taco Shack in Bradenton will throw its Labor Day Music, Food and Art Bash. Local musical talents Emily Roff and Paul Fournier will be on stage during this event that runs from noon to 5PM. Enjoy the favorites dishes of the Bash that includes lobster quesadillas, wood grilled skirt steak and its own guacamole while sipping on cold beer during this event celebrating its third year.

Sugar Ray at the Summer of Rum Festival in Tampa
Sugar Ray is set for the Summer of Rum Festival.

If you happen to be in Tampa Saturday and Sunday the Summer of Rum Festival featuring Sugar Ray will be going on both days in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Other bands include The Wailers, Ballyhoo!, UNRB, Tribal Style and includes DJs Fresh and Cardinal. Sample a different variety of rums or imbibe on popular summertime rum drinks during this festival that begins at noon on Saturday. Purchase single, two-day and VIP advance tickets of $85 for Saturday and $75 for Sunday through the Summer of Rum Festival website. Fireworks are planned after dark.

Interested in live theater instead? Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged presents a modern twist to popular songs of the famous writing duo. The show runs through September 23 in the John C. Cabaret of the Florida Studio Theatre. Now through September 9 catch the one-woman solo performance, Becoming Dr. Ruth, in the Kiwanis Studio of the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton. Actress Susan Greenhill portrays Dr. Ruth Westheimer who converses with the audience while packing her New York apartment following the death of her husband.

The biggest event of the year for the Sarasota Sailing Squadron on City Island was to take place this holiday weekend. Now in its 72nd year, the Labor Day Regatta was cancelled over the weekend due to an environmental advisory put out by Sarasota County. The same advisory forced the cancellation of the Great Scallop Search and Clam Jam scheduled for this past weekend.

a complete line-up of holiday events this weekend is on our upcoming events web page. There is plenty to do this holiday weekend, I hope you are able to make the best of it. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

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

 

Many events slated for the holiday

by Roger Pettingell

Have an enjoyable Independence Day

Many local events conclude with fireworks tomorrow night

Fireworks
Fireworks off Bayfront Park in Sarasota, part of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival last year.

If you missed one of many opportunities to see local fireworks on Saturday night, or you’ve seen them and want more, the best may be spiraling skyward Tuesday night. Pyrotechnics were enjoyed after the festivities at Nathan Benderson Park and after the Marauders baseball game in Bradenton.

But tomorrow night will feature another round. As the conclusion to the successful 2017 Powerboat Grand Prix Races, the fireworks over Sarasota Bay will have its best viewing from Bayfront and Island parks. Marie Selby Gardens will have its special day before the fireworks with the All-American Cookout from 6 to 9 PM. The grill will be fired up for the cookout and there will be live music by soulRcoaster. This local band has a large range of songs in high energy fashion with lead vocalist Sheri Nadelman. The Office Bar SRQ Rooftop Party will provide a panoramic view of the bay for the show. Le Barge Tropical Cruises are featuring their boat on the water to anyone over the age of 21. Call (941) 366-6116 for more information.

You can expect crowds up to 30,000 to watch the Siesta Key fireworks put on by a number of local businesses. There will be great viewing from Crescent Beach and from your boat in the Gulf. Station yourself near the sand volleyball courts on the beach where the pyrotechnics will be set off. Their starting time for the fireworks is expected at 9 PM. Special VIP tickets and parking passes can be purchased through the Chamber of Commerce by calling (941) 349-3800.

The Sandbar Restaurant on Anna Maria Island will shoot off its fireworks shortly after sunset. Remember 8:29 PM because you may be eligible to win a bottle of champagne in their nightly guess the sunset time. They will want the seconds too because many people will have Googled 8:29 PM. A special VIP party section for $140 is available by reservation at (941) 778-0444, but the restaurant is open for first available seating. The annual Privateers 4th of July Parade will start at Coquina Beach at 10 AM and conclude just north of the Sandbar Restaurant at the city pier around 1 PM. A party will be held after the 7 mile parade at the Ugly Grouper restaurant and bar on Holmes Beach.

Another Manatee County restaurant, Pier 22 in Bradenton, kicks off its Independence Day festivities at 6 PM with a buffet and annual pig roast. The best seating will be at the open bar for $69.95 and an adult wristband for an additional $30. Children under 12 are $19.95. Reservations for this event can be made at (941) 748-8087 or through their pier22dining.com website.

Venice will fire off their 30 minutes of fireworks after sunset from the south jetty. There will be good viewing from many locations around the jetty, and by boat in the Gulf and intracoastal. The inlet will be closed around the jetty for boat traffic from 8:45 PM to a half hour after the grand finale. Tarpon Center Drive will be open for car traffic but closed near the jetty. Road closures will be displayed on message boards, expect a crowd of around 15,000 viewers.

A little further south in nearby Englewood, a block party on Dearborn Street will feature muscle cars and crafts to precede one of the largest fireworks shows in southwest Florida. The festivities start at 10 AM and live bands will be on stage starting at noon. Fireworks presented by the Lemon Bay Sunrise Rotary Club will be exploded over Lemon Bay.

If you’re looking for a family day, Busch Gardens in Tampa will conclude its party day with an extended fireworks show starting at 9:30 PM. The Actual Bank Robbers, a local Tampa band, will hold a dance contest on the main stage in Gwazi Park. For $34.95 you can purchase a Summer Nights Sampler Lanyard for a full-day of food at park locations.

The crowds may be heavy at times so it is highly recommended that you leave your personal fireworks at home. Even the legal sparklers, snappers and trick noisemakers should not be set near a crowd of people. You should also consider leaving your pets at home, the loud sounds of exploding fireworks might leave them disoriented and panicked. There is a chance for afternoon thunderstorms so an umbrella may be in order.

Daytime special events on Independence Day

Avenue of the Flags
Longboat Key will line Bay Isles Road in their Avenue of Flags display for FreedomFest.

David Miller of Cannons Marina will serve as grand marshal of FreedomFest, put on by the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce. For two hours starting with the parade at 9 AM there will be food, kid games, balloon artist, sand art, a butterfly release and avenue of the flags along Bay Isles Road. The festivities will be held in Bicentennial Park. Dress up your puppy in patriotic colors to get involved in the Hot Diggity Dog contest. Registrations for the parade and contest will begin at 8:30 AM at the registration table near the Sun Trust Bank or by calling Carol Erker at (847) 274-8741. The contest is put on by the Rotary Club of Longboat Key.

Other events tomorrow include Voices of Freedom, a patriotic salute to Independence day by the Choral Artists of Sarasota. The concert begins at 4:30 PM in the First Church of Sarasota.

The city of Palmetto will hold its annual Fourth Festival, this year featuring the Oak Ridge Boys as the main act at 7 PM. This band was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015. Festivities begin at 1 PM in Sutton Park, admission is free.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens has a special day for children, half off the $13.00 admission price for ages four through 16, children under four are free. The Jungle Gardens is on 3701 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota and is open from 10 AM to 5 PM.

The 4th of July Jam Blast and Myakka River Kayak Festival with live entertainment and craft beers, will be free to the public from 8 AM to 4 PM. Kayaks will be available for rent.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday and please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

 

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

 

Fireworks Tonight

by Roger Pettingell

Spectacular Independence Day fireworks

The best of local celebrations from North Port to Palmetto

Fireworks on Monday
Fireworks off Bayfront Park in Sarasota, part of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix this year.

I hope your holiday weekend has been enjoyable and safe, but it’s not over yet. There’s fireworks tonight. You won’t have to drive far from your home to find fireworks today and you may be able to sit on your terrace to catch a spectacular display. I’ve seen some great locations from L’Ambiance on Longboat Key or downtown residences in which to catch one of the best displays in the area, the Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay. If you want to avoid the traffic, consider taking a boat and anchoring south of the Ringling Bridge for the explosions emanating from Bayfront Park. You can expect a 9 p.m. start for all the fireworks, so allow plenty of time for traffic and set up early for the better lawn chair viewing locations.

The Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay signals the final end of the 32nd Annual Sarasota Power Boat Grand Prix Festival with racing on Saturday and Sunday. The proceeds from festival events such as the “Grand Prix by the Sea” kickoff party last Tuesday benefit production of the fireworks and Suncoast Charities for Children. This non-profit organization provides funding support to Suncoast Foundation for Handicapped Children, Inc. and has served the special needs community since 1985.

Marie Selby Gardens, near Bayfront Park, will hold its All American Barbecue before the fireworks show. This is a ticketed event that includes four barbecue pit masters and music from the Lauren Mitchell Band. There are different levels of ticket prices and there is VIP seating available for purchase of this event that starts at 6 p.m.

You can stay downtown all afternoon and keep your car in a good location for the fireworks. At 4:30 p.m. the choral artists of Sarasota, Gloria Musicae, will present their Patriotic Spectacular! at First United Methodist Church. The group’s Artistic Director Joseph Holt will lead the chorus in songs by Irving Berlin, John Philip Sousa, George M. Cohan and will include a salute to our armed forces. Call for tickets at (941) 387-6046.

An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people are expected at the Siesta Key Fireworks Display, if the weather holds. These fireworks are in their 26th year and will go off north of the volleyball courts. Again, those fortunate to go by boat can view from the intracoastal or the Gulf of Mexico. A lawn chair on the beach will also provide prime viewing locations. Thank the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce for hosting these fireworks put on by Zambelli Fireworks. The chamber is actively seeking local donors to continue this Independence Day tradition.

If you live in Manatee County there are two locations to catch fireworks. As part of its Fourth Festival in Palmetto, good viewing of Fireworks over Manatee River can be seen from either side of the river. A free concert starts at 5 p.m. in Sutton Park and features two successful bands, Big Daddy and Smash Mouth. The party starts at 4 p.m. with food vendors and children’s activities. Across the river the Pier 22 Restaurant has its annual Pig Roast starting at 6 p.m. through the time of fireworks with VIP viewing. Reservations are required for this limited seating venue. Also in the county the Sandbar Restaurant on the north end of Anna Maria Island will hold its annual Fireworks Spectacular. Beach viewing is free but there is VIP limited seating in the outside pavilion. The Chamber of Commerce offers free trolley service up the island so you can park away and ride to the restaurant.

Sandbar Restaurant fireworks, Anna Maria Island
Be safe on the 4th - Florida allows some backyard fireworks without a permit. Although having your own fireworks display may be fun, it also poses potential problems. Sparklers, fountains, snakes and glow worms are permitted by Florida law.

Southern Sarasota County residents might want to head to Venice for the fireworks that are set off from the south beach jetty. Thousands line up for this spectacular fireworks display. If you are looking for something to do in Venice before the fireworks there are two events to consider, the Myakka Kayaka Jam Blast and America the Beautiful performance. The Jam Blast starts at 8 a.m. with free admission at Snook Haven. This festival features watercraft by paddle, music and beer, but ends at 4 p.m. America the Beautiful, a Patriotic Celebration at the Presbyterian Church, 825 The Rialto, begins at 7 p.m. for the concert starring Brian Gurl and featuring Michelle Pruyn and Katherine Alexandra. Tickets are required so call (941) 488-2258 for availability.

The annual Freedom Festival will shoot off its fireworks after a fun day that begins at 6 p.m. at the North Port High School stadium. Lawn chairs will be good to see the fireworks. This is a family event that features kid’s activities, food vendors, gladiator joust and live music by Zombie University. Note that Price Boulevard in North Port will close about a half hour before the fireworks.

Whether by car or boat, allow some time to get to the venue of your choice. Be aware there will be no SCAT mass transit bus or trolley service today in Sarasota County. Manatee County service will be restricted and has no fixed route traffic. Taxis and the ride sharing services of Uber and Lyft may be available but will be very busy. Traffic is monitored at www.FL511.com or through mapping programs such as mapquest.com. FL511 also has a free mobile app to download.

So wherever you live in Sarasota and Manatee counties you should be able to find something good for the entire family. I have a list of fireworks and community celebrations below. Enjoy your holiday and please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Fireworks Tonight

Event Location City
Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay Bayfront Park Sarasota
Siesta Key Fireworks Display Beach Siesta Key
Fireworks over Manatee River Sutton Park Palmetto
Venice Fireworks South Jetty Venice Beach
Fireworks Spectacular Sandbar Restaurant Anna Maria Island
Freedom Festival High School Stadium North Port

 

Independence Day Community Celebrations

Event Location City
Longboat Key Freedom Fest Bicentennial Park Longboat Key
All-American BBQ Marie Selby Gardens Sarasota
Patriotic Spectacular, Gloria Musicae First United Methodist Sarasota
Liberty Day Regatta and Fest Sarasota Sailing Squadron City Island
Manatee River Festival Sutton Park Palmetto
Privateer's 4th of July Parade Island parade route Anna Maria Island
America the Beautiful, performance Presbyterian Church Venice
Myakka Kayaka Jam Blast Snook Haven Venice
Freedom Festival High School Stadium North Port

 

Lifelong Learning for retirees

by Roger Pettingell

Lifelong Learning Opportunities in Sarasota

Explore These Options For Extending Your Education

University of South Florida, Manatee and Sarasota campus
University of South Florida - Sign up for LLA adult classes at its Sarasota and Manatee campus.

You may have seen the commercial that asks, “What do you want to do when you retire?” The responses are written on a wall and suggests anything from an airplane pilot to architect. These are occupations that require advanced training.

Sarasota has plenty of opportunities to learn a new skill without a four-year degree program. Some are state and local school initiatives for children and adults, but two of the more prominent programs for retirees are non-profit organizations. These were started with the idea that this area has a rich culture base and that retirees have a desire to learn new skills.

The University of South Florida, near the SRQ airport, operates the Lifelong Learning Academy, a non-profit that operates year-round. Students don’t earn college credits for the LLA courses offered through USF on the Manatee and Sarasota campus, there are no grades, but these classes are taught at the university level. It is very structured with six to eight week courses and offered in four terms throughout the year. In the current course catalog are classes on anything from photography and art, to history, cuisine and culture. Interested in learning about movies? Here is the place. Have a new iPhone but don’t know how to use it? There’s an app, I mean, class for that. Become an LLA member and your world opens to class discounts, lectures, participation in Shared Interest Groups (SIGs), and an invitation to the annual appreciation dinner.

Just south of USF on Tamiami Trail (Route 41), the Ringling College of Art and Design offers certification programs in similar disciplines of fine arts and photography. These classes are for those that are looking to develop their professional skills, but are short enough for retirees who want to learn a new skill in a part-time learning environment. Professional CEUs are available for several disciplines.

University-level seminars from staff of the Ringling Museum and guest lecturers at the Cultural Institute cater to those who share a quality interest in the arts. The Cultural Institute is an ongoing program through the Expressive Arts Florida program. The Ringling Museum of Art’s “Spotlight Series” are two-hour presentations that highlight artists and exhibits at the museum. Topics are mostly chosen and presented by the staff of the Ringling Museum. Registration for their Summer Art program is available now.

The area on this strip is ripe with learning opportunities for all adults. Within the mile between USF and Ringling College of Art and Design is the New College of Florida main campus and a Masters of Fine Arts degree program offered through Florida State University. Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training is a three-year graduate program with performances in the historic Asolo Theatre on the Ringling Museum campus.

In their 44th season, the Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning (SILL) offers a seminar series on global issues with internationally recognized speakers. "Thinking Globally, Speaking Locally," the series begin in January and end in March, in Sarasota and Venice. At this time the organization has not announced a schedule for its 2015 Tuesday through Thursday lecture series. Music Mondays are for those with more eclectic tastes in music.

Free classes on a variety of subjects such as computer skills and creative writing for adults over the age of 55 are offered at Senior Friendship Centers. The Sarasota center is located in Luke Wood Park near downtown Sarasota where 301 and Tamiami Trail intersect. There student trainers are gearing up for Tech Boot Camp for Beginners, which runs from June 23 through June 27.

The School Board of Sarasota County offers fee-based classes to residents of Manatee and Sarasota counties through its Adult and Community Enrichment (ACE) program. These classes are on a variety of subjects at various campuses and businesses in the area.

It is my hope that these organizations are able to offer the perfect program for you to quench that thirst for continuing education. More information is available through the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, the state’s arts agency.

Please take a look at our most recent listing. We welcome this new seller in Country Club Shores to our services here at Roger Pettingell, Coldwell Banker Previews International. If you have any questions on this property, or any other property on our site, please feel free to contact me at (941) 387-1840.

501 Halyard Lane $625,000   Photo Slideshow

 


 

Enjoy the Winter Months with these Events

by Roger C. Pettingell

Enjoy the Winter Months with these Events

Welcome back. While you were away you may have missed that Sarasota and Bradenton were voted 1-2 respectively in American Style Magazine’s top arts destinations in the nation for populations of 100,000 or less. Quite an accomplishment.

Sarasota Chalk Festival attracts thousands and over 100 artists to the Pineapple Ave downtown area each year in mid-November. The 2013 theme is Not without reason, the culture here supports opera, ballet, symphonies, theatre and family entertainment. And with the height of the season coming up there is plenty to do. I’ve compiled a list from online sources so that you have one location for some suggestions I have for you to spend your time here in the area around Longboat Key and Sarasota. When possible I tried to list these events right through March and April of 2014.

And on any given Friday night you can always catch "Live from Downtown Sarasota - It's Friday Night!" with live entertainment at Towles Court.

If you have additions to this list please feel free to add them in the comments below. If you need more information there are a variety of sources for each event, just a Google search away. There are over 100 events listed to enjoy your time here through April. Enjoy the winter months.

Updated February 14 with upcoming events
This is the last update for 2013 - Updates will continue on our Upcoming Events page

See expanded event details with links below 2014 Area Events for these venues

  • Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
  • Ringling Museum
  • Van Wezel Performing Arts
  • Sarasota Ballet
  • Sarasota Opera House
  • Sarasota Orchestra
  • Sarasota Opera
  • Asolo Repertory Theatre​

2014 Area Events

Now - February 27
Tropical Splendor - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Now-April 27
Warhol: Art. Fame. Mortality
Dali Museum, St. Petersburg

Now - May 1
Bird Naturalist Program
Celery Fields

February 15-16
32nd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival
Florida Maritime Museum, Cortez

February 15-16
Sarasota Festival of the Arts
Five Points Park

February 15-16
Sea Blues Festival
Clearwater

February 22
Sarasota Exotic Car Fest
Five Points Park

February 22
Sarasota/Bradenton Chili Cook-Off
University Square Plaza

February 22
Battle of Ballast Point
Civil War Reenactment
Fort De Soto Park

February 22-23
Fine Arts Show and Sale
Venice Art Center    

February 22-23
2014 Plant & Garden Festival
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

February 22-23
Circus Sarasota Winter Performance 
Circus Sarasota Tent

February 22-23
Wine, Chocolate and Romance 
MOSI, Tampa

February 23
Arts at the Point Festival
Historic Spanish Point

March 1
Highland Fling
MOSI, Tampa 

March 1-2
Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival
Ken Thompson Park, City Island Sarasota

March 1
Celebration Dinner, dog-in-bowtie
Southeastern Guide Dogs
This delightful dinner is a chance to celebrate the year, mingle with friends, enjoy fine cuisine and present awards of distinction
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront

March 4
Masquerade - Mardi Gras St. Armand's Style
St. Armand's Circle Park

​March 8-9
Buccaneer Beer Fest
MOSI, Tampa

March 15-16
Shamrocks and Shenanigans
MOSI, Tampa

March 22
Classic Antique Car Show
St. Armand's Circle Park

March 22-23
Wonders of the World
MOSI, Tampa

​March 29
Firefly Gala, "Illuminate the Night!"
Presented by the Dart Foundation
Entertainment by The Go‐Go’s, girl band of the early 80's
The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club
Benefiting Forty Carrots Family Center

March 29-30
High Seas Adventure
MOSI, Tampa

April 4
Festival Friday
MOSI, Tampa

April 4-13
The Sarasota Film Festival returns for its 15th year of celebrating the art of filmmaking while providing engaging community programs. We invite you to join us to experience the best of independent film from new and veteran filmmakers on the No. 1 beach in the world.

April 5-6
Huzzah to the King
MOSI, Tampa

April 9
Blue Ties & Butterflies
Michael’s On East
Child Protection Center Signature Event

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
Season theme is “Rhythms of Change”

February 19 – March 23
Harry and Lena
Nate Jacobs honors the debonair “King of Calypso” Harry Belafonte and the incomparable singer and actress Lena Horne in an original musical revue guaranteed to delight you.

April 9 – May 11
Bubbling Brown sugar
Journey back in time to the Harlem Renaissance (1920-1940) when audiences flocked to the area’s popular nightclubs to see the greatest talents entertain.

Ringling Museum

March 6
Wes Moore
Ringling College Library

Now - March 9
Unfamiliar Realities Exhibit, The Ringling
John & Mable Ringling Museum

Now - March 9
Optical Impulses Exhibit, The Ringling
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

March 20
Leon Panetta
Ringling College Library

Now – May 7
Highlights of New Acquisitions, The Ringling
John & Mable Ringling Museum

Now - June 29
The Philip and Nancy Kotler Glass Collection, The Ringling
John & Mable Ringling Museum

March 20
Ringling by the Bay: The Venturas
Bolger Campiello at Ca'd'Zan for live music and dancing. Music will be provided by The Venturas.

Van Wezel Performing Arts

February 14
Tony Bennett
What could be more romantic than Valentine’s Day with the one and only Tony Bennett! The 17-time Grammy® Award-winner has his albums continue to top the charts today.

February 15
Lewis Black The Rant is Due
You’ve seen him on countless late night talk shows and all over Comedy Central touting four Comedy Central Presents standup specials.

February 16
Masters of Illusion-Live!
Masters of Illusion Live! is a spectacular stage phenomenon comprised of the most astonishing and amazing magical performers in the world!

February 17
The Hit Men
The Hit Men Former Stars of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons & Tommy James and the Shondells

February 18
Stayin’ Alive
Stayin’ Alive The World’s # 1 Tribute to the Bee Gees

February 20
Man of La Mancha
Winner of five Tony® Awards, including Best Musical, MAN OF LA MANCHA is one of the best loved musicals of a generation.

February 24
Memphis
Winner of four Tony® Awards, including 2010 Best Musical, MEMPHIS bursts off the stage with explosive dancing and irresistible songs.

February 25
Bob Newhart
Back at the Van Wezel by popular demand! With a comedic career rarely seen today, Bob Newhart has starred in multiple iconic TV series & 14 feature films.

February 26
Lang Lang
Heralded as one of the hottest artists on the classical music planet, LANG LANG returns to Sarasota for his first solo concert!

February 27
The Moscow Festival Ballet: Don Quixote
THE MOSCOW FESTIVAL BALLET presents the full length ballet: Don Quixote.

February 28
Rhythm of the Dance
Since the creation of RHYTHM OF THE DANCE in 1998, it has consistently toured internationally-achieving greater critical acclaim year after year.

March 1
Sutton Foster
Award-winning actress, singer and dancer, Sutton Foster, has become a mainstay on the Broadway scene.

March 4-5
Chicago: The Musical
The #1 longest-running American musical in Broadway History! CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great.

March 7
Jerry Seinfeld
America’s Premier Comedian, Jerry Seinfeld returns to the Van Wezel performing his signature stand-up routine for one night only!

March 10
Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
With his three-and-a-half-octave vocal range, over 100 million records sold and a multi-decade career, we can’t take our eyes off of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

March 12
Peking Acrobats
China’s most gifted tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, cyclists, and gymnasts, the Peking acrobats are complemented by live musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments.

Sarasota Ballet

February 28-March 3
Program 5 | Graziano, Ashton & DeMille
FSU Center for the Performing Arts

April 4-5
Program 6 | Ashton, Graziano & Tudor
Sarasota Opera House

April 25-26 
Program 7 | The Sarasota Ballet Presents Johan Kobborg, Alina Cojocaru & Friends
Sarasota Opera House

Sarasota Orchestra

February 12-15
Heart to Hart
Holley Hall

February 20 - 23
Homage
Anu Tali conducts her second concert of the season
Van Wezel

March 7-9
Exotic Stories
Neel PAC

March 13
Mozart Madness 1
Holley Hall

March 14
Mozart Madness 2
Holley Hall

March 19-22
Come Fly With Me
Holley Hall

March 28-29
Satchmo, Fats & The Duke
Van Wezel

March 30
Come Fly With Me
Neel PAC

April 4
Beethoven’s Fifth
Neel PAC

Sarasota Opera

February 16, 21-22, 25, 27, March 2, 7, 14, 22
Il trovatore
Giuseppe Verdi
A troubador's quest for love, a soldier's lust, and a mother's undying thirst for vengeance is the story of this dramatic opera by Verdi.
Sarasota Opera House

February 13-15, 18-20, 23, 26, 28, March 7, 15, 20-21
The Barber of Seville
Gioachino Rossini
One of the most beloved works in the operatic repertory returns to Sarasota Opera's stage!  
Sarasota Opera House

March 1, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 23
The Flying Dutchman
Richard Wagner
Ancient lore comes to life in the tale of a cursed sea captain forced to wander the world, ultimately finding redemption in the selfless gift of a woman's love.  
Sarasota Opera House

March 5
American Music Concert 2014
Sarasota Opera House

March 8, 11, 13, 16, 19, 22
Jerusalem
Giuseppe Verdi
An epic tale of warriors, family rivalry, and jealousy evolves into a story of forgiveness.  
Sarasota Opera House

March 8
Prelude Dinner 2014: Mozaic
Sarasota Opera House

March 18
Artists Choice Concert 2014
Sarasota Opera House

March 23
The Verdi Concert 2014

Sarasota Pops

March 16
007 and Other Numerous Movie
Pops Soloists
Felicia Brunelle
Riverview PAC

April 13
Take 5 Around the World
Pops Soloists
George Mancini
Marc Mannino
Neel PAC

Asolo Repertory Theatre
Check Dates and Times

Show Boat
A true classic of American Musical Theatre. Spanning the years from 1890 to 1927, Show Boat follows the lives, loves, and losses of a troupe of riverboat performers on the mighty Mississippi.

Philadelphia, Here I Come! 
The play that established Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa) as one of the greatest theatrical voices in the English language, "Philadelphia, Here I Come!" paints a touching and humorous portrait of a young man on the verge of a new beginning.

Other Desert Cities
This fiercly funny new play by the creator of TV’s hit drama “Brothers & Sisters” brings dysfunctional family drama to new heights.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike 
Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia live a quiet life in the Pennsylvania farmhouse where they were raised, while their movie-star sister Masha travels the world.

The Grapes of Wrath
Frank Galati’s groundbreaking adaptation of Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel won the Tony Award for Best Play and has become a national theatrical treasure. 

4000 Miles 
Called by TIME magazine “The best play of 2012, hands down,” this funny and moving masterpiece looks at how two outsiders find their way in the world today.

Hero
Aspiring comic book artist Hero Batowski lives anything but a superhero life—he’s 28 years old, works in his family’s Milwaukee comic book shop, and still lives at home with his dad.

Following are performances by FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training

Antigone
A retelling of the famous Greek tragedy about the collision between the state and personal responsibility, in a modern version that reveals just how dangerous it is for the individual to take a stand in the 20th century. 

How I Learned to Drive
L'il Bit has put her past behind her, but her dark and dangerous relationship with her Uncle Peck continues to haunt her in this Pulitzer Prize winning play about disturbing family relationships and a culture that sexualizes young women.

Loot
A wild, black farce by one of the 20th century's most anarchic playwrights. Hal and Dennis try to hide the loot from a bank robbery while juggling a grieving widower, a mother's corpse, a predatory nurse, and a sinister police inspector in this brilliant English comedy.

The School for Lies
It's 1666 and in the glittering salons of Paris, a surly misanthrope falls in love with the very fashionable Celimene, causing chaos and catastrophe in everyone's lives.

To post your own event or to comment on any of these events click to the full 2014 Sarasota Area Winter Events post if you are not already there.

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About Roger Pettingell

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.