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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

 

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

 

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

 

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.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
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

 

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

 

Classic winter and spring events

by Roger Pettingell

Upcoming events for an active lifestyle

Ballet, orchestra, opera, plays, black-tie benefits and sports are highlighted

Upcoming events Sarasota
Art Festivals - There are many shows featuring artists from around the nation with their works in Sarasota, Lido Key, Venice, Bradenton and St. Armands Circle

The 36th annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival and the annual Thunder by the Bay ended this weekend, but this is peak season and there are many more to fill its place. There are mini-festivals such as the two events this past weekend. There are operas, ballet, orchestra Masterworks series, plays, musicals and sports that create a national buzz, if not international attraction to Sarasota and Manatee counties. And most are within the next couple of months while the weather is attractive for those who have the ability to spend a few months enjoying the sunshine.

Currently running is OVATION, a celebration of the modern circus. Now in its second week, world class performers from around the globe have traveled to Sarasota to display their acrobatic artistry. Put on by our own Circus Sarasota, Ringmaster Joseph Bauer, Jr. will guide you through the acrobatics, juggling, high wire acts and of course a little clowning around performances. There are animal acts too. The Anastasini Soccer Dogs flip, jump and roll and the Liberty Horses combine form with the grace of their trainer Sylvia Zerbini. You have until Sunday to catch these performances under the Ulla Searing Big Top in Nathan Benderson Park.

The Sarasota Film Festival has been acclaimed as one of the top film festivals in the world. This year the SFF will celebrate its 20th year for attracting celebrities and high quality films. Although the films will be announced in the next few weeks, you can set your dates of April 13 through 22 for parties and film premieres. Last year the festival kicked off with a luncheon with film star Rory Kennedy, a block party around the Opera House, and an Opening Night Film with a film by Rory. There were film screenings with premieres and a closing night block party, film and awards.

Black-tie events
Charities - Many black-tie charity events such as the Blue Ties and Butterflies benefit co-chaired by my wife Alisa are listed on the upcoming schedule.

Likewise, the Sarasota Music Festival is three weeks of professional guest artists in concert and student showcases in June for those who enjoy classical music at its finest. Just 60 students are accepted from applications sent in worldwide to join the masters as students and performers. Guest lectures by renown artists and local chamber music celebrities together form a festival of education and listening delight. The concerts are highlighted with theme-driven concerts on Thursdays with Artist Showcases, Friday Festivals and Saturday Symphonies. The students generally perform on Sundays are asked to perform alongside the accomplished artists. Most of the events take place in our Holley Hall at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center and the Sarasota Opera House. Although the exact dates have not been set, I expect the festival to run from June 3 through June 24.

Andy Warhol is celebrated in exhibits and workshops through June 30 dedicated to the pop culture icon at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens near the southern edge of downtown Sarasota. The gardens have six of Warhol’s original 10,000 images of flowers on display. The Sarasota Opera last Wednesday kicked off its monthly series of Warhol Nights. Guest performances by some of Sarasota’s classics are lined up on Wednesdays. The famed Perlman Music Program on the Suncoast alumni, with its stringed foursome artists of violins, viola and cello will continue its Around Series at the gardens under the stars on March 14. An exciting evening of dance is set for April 11 with the Sarasota Ballet and compositions by the Valet Underground, songs that were written for Warhol. Life’s a Beach is a theme for the May 16 Florida Studio Theatre improvisational comedy performance. The Sarasota Music Festival takes a break with a special one-night concert at the gardens on June 13.

The Sarasota Orchestra and its Masterworks Series runs through May 12 with three performances in one week at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, the outdoor Pops Field of Dreams concerts. Violinist Midori Honors Bernstein is featured with conductor Michael Balke Thursday at the Neel Performing Arts Center in Bradenton and Friday through Sunday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. Sarasota Orchestra Music Director Anu Tali will conduct the next of two Masterworks series. Lift-Off, with soprano Pureum Jo follows a similar four-day schedule as above starting March 15 at Neel. Anu will conduct the three-day series starting April 6 featuring violinist Elina Vӓhӓlӓ in The Red Violin.

Asolo Repertory Theatre
Asolo Repertory Theatre - Considered for its beauty, the threatre on the Ringling grounds hosts many performances throughout the year.

Catch some long runs of plays and musicals at many of the fine theatres in Sarasota, Venice and Bradenton. Four local productions run through March 4. The drama Heisenberg is at the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a play based on the Disney production of the same name and is currently running at the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton. The Morning After Grace at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota and the Toxic Avenger at the Venice Theatre are two plays also running through Sunday.

Northside Hollow, the dark humorous play at the Urbanite Theatre in Sarasota, is currently running through March 11. Native Gardens, the drama with a comedic twist is running through March 25 in the Gompertz Theatre of the Florida Studio Theatre. The play, Shakespeare in Love, based on the 1998 Oscar-winning film, completes its run on March 28 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Travel to the famous fictional land of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a play every Saturday through March 31 at the Florida Studio Theatre. You might be able to guess whose music is featured in the musical Blue Suede Shoes, now through April 1 at the Florida Studio Theatre. The well-received political farce, Rhinoceros, completes its run at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts in Sarasota on April 14.

Four long running performances open this week. The Rehearsal, a period piece based on French relationships is a play written in 1950 with tones that fit today’s schemes for desperate couples. It runs through March 11 in the Asolo Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Also running through March 11 is the play Bullets Over Broadway at The Players Centre for the Performing Arts in Sarasota. The play, Constellations, is a story about the collision of romance and science that runs through March 16 at the Florida Studio Theatre in downtown Sarasota. Now through March 18 catch Dream Girls at the Venice Theatre. It is a Tony Award winning musical that features Motown and Broadway hits with a story line that portrays a part of the music industry.

LECOM Park
LECOM Park in Bradenton is home for the Pirates in spring training and its farm club in the summer.

Professional major league baseball players are in town for spring training with 16 Baltimore Orioles home games starting Friday at Ed Smith Stadium in downtown Sarasota. Catch your favorite players in the Grapefruit League from Tampa Bay, Minnesota, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, New York Yankees and Mets. The Tampa Bay Rays actually have their spring training in Port Charlotte and the Atlanta Braves are moving their spring complex in 2019 from Kissimmee to North Port. To the north in Bradenton, the Pittsburgh Pirates have 16 home games starting Saturday with the same Grapefruit League teams in their newly named LECOM Park, formerly McKechnie Field. The Marauders, a farm club of the Pirates, plays in the summer at LECOM Park

There are over 500 events in the upcoming schedule on our website. Concerts, upcoming long running plays and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall shows are listed there. The complete list of events for the annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix from June 23 to July 4 will be listed there. Watch for news of the Ringling International Arts Festival in October and the Sarasota Chalk Festival and Sarasota MOD in November.

Check out the three new listings last week at the Beach Residences on Lido Key, Country Club Shores and Bay Harbour 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
1300 Benjamin Franklin Dr, #1201 $5,495,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1055 Bogey Lane $939,000 Video Photo Slideshow
448 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #A306 $549,000   Photo Slideshow

 

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

 

Local New Year's Eve celebrations

by Roger Pettingell

Local parties and festivals to attend

There is a celebration with something for all next Sunday night

Holiday Village at the Mall at University Town Center
Ice Skating - Holidays on the Green at UTC Mall

I hope your holidays are going well. There are more chances to celebrate in the days ahead as we approach the strike of midnight next Sunday and head into 2018. Whether you like to celebrate with bubbly cheer or prefer a family-oriented celebration, you may be able to find the right place to ring in the new year.

There is true ice skating on an outdoor rink until January 15 in the Holiday Village at the Mall at University Town Center. They are closed today for Christmas but will be open New Year’s Eve until 8 PM, and will open again from 10 AM to 10 PM New Year’s Day. Skate rentals are $12 for 90 minutes. They started their Holidays on the Green celebrations in November and had holiday movies Fridays and Saturdays, ending with Miracle on 34th Street last Saturday. In addition there are free train rides and other activities for the kids. The full schedule is on their website.

The night for excitement on Sunday has many activities, some free to the public and some with full service that generally ends with champagne flowing at midnight. If you can’t make Times Square for the annual ball drop, one of the free events is somewhat comical involving a giant Pineapple drop at midnight. I’ve heard of other cities with similar drops, even a 20-foot walleye at the stroke of midnight on the shores of Lake Erie. There is even a Kumquat Drop at midnight mentioned later in this article. Our event will take place at Lemon Avenue and Main Street in downtown Sarasota. Arrive early for the celebration with live music, concessions, amusement rides and fireworks following the pineapple drop.

Reverend Barry and the Funk
Reverend Barry & Funktastic Soul at the Municipal Auditorium for Sarasota's revived New Year's Party

Sarasota revives its New Year’s Party in the municipal auditorium starting at 9 PM and lasting until 1 AM on the first day of 2018. Jonathan Cortez (JAC of All Trades) will be spinning records and the popular Reverend Barry and Funktastic Soul, featuring the Hellacious Horns, is a high-energy dance band to take you into the new year. Your advance ticket of $140 available through December 30 includes champagne, entertainment and catered appetizers. There are other reserved tables and VIP balcony seats available at www.THESRQNYE.com.

The New Year’s Eve Celebration at Selby Gardens is a black tie affair that starts at 8 PM and finishes at 1 AM. This is a sophisticated party and one last look at the Lights in Bloom display throughout the gardens. You can expect hors d’oeuvres, a seated four course dinner, live entertainment and dancing at Michael’s on the Bay. Then countdown to 2018 that ends with a champagne toast. It is also the place for a good view of fireworks over Sarasota after midnight.

McCurdy's Comedy Theatre in downtown Sarasota is having a special night with Dwight Slade, hosted by Les McCurdy. Slade is a comedy legend and winner of this year’s Boston Comedy Festival. From Portland, Oregon he has opened for Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Beck and Dave Chappelle. On Sunday night the Green Room Lounge doors open at 8:30 PM. Raffles are planned and the New York Times Square ball drop will appear on a 70 inch screen at midnight, when there will be a champagne toast and party favors.

WSLR will host their New Year's Eve Surf Party starting at 8 PM in the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center at 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota. The Surf Tones will take you back to the 60s with its brand of surfing music, Do You Wanna Dance? Also planned is a version of beach blanket bingo with Elissa Bello and Ed, the Music Librarian, will spin music of the era while the Surf Tones are on their only break of the evening. Ready for this, there will be a Kumquat Drop at midnight.

Other area cities are having their celebrations as well. Old Main Street in Bradenton will have all their businesses open and food trucks that will line the street for their regular free Main Street Live celebration, but kick it up few notches for New Year’s Eve. The Dram, a group of six that has their own original songs of southern rock and folk music, will perform from 6PM to 10PM. Have Gun, Will Travel will take you to midnight with their blend of folk, rock and country music.

Just a little further north in Manatee County is the New Year's Eve Masquerade from 7 PM to 12:30 AM at the Blu Mangrove in Palmetto. The Eric Stone Band will perform their mix of rock, country, pop and reggae. There is no cover for this party but reservations are recommended by calling (941) 479-7827. The menu is limited that evening but still there is a good selection of seafood, steak and sushi plates.

Twinkle and Rock Soul Radio
Twinkle - Will ring in the Englewood New Year

The New Year's Eve Celebration in Olde Englewood Village is spread over three days to conclude at 1 AM on Monday with music from Twinkle and Rock Soul Radio. It all starts in Pioneer Park at 2 PM on Saturday with food vendors, a beer garden and carnival rides. Tom Brooks will be spinning records with music from the 70s and 80s for this free celebration. Dearborn Street will be closed for these days, opening at 4 AM on Monday.

These are just a few celebrations to select from, other venues will announce their parties and I have listed a few more on my upcoming events page. Have a wonderful Christmas day and I hope your new year will be filled with happiness. We would be glad to share this paradise, beginning in 2018. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

Address List Price Media Slideshow
3030 Grand Bay Blvd, #395 $1,095,000   Photo Slideshow
1571 Hillview Drive $999,000 Video Photo Slideshow
1125 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #604 $794,000   Photo Slideshow
6701 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #307 $699,000   Photo Slideshow

 

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

 

Home Showcase XII - New listings, Part 3

by Roger Pettingell

Part 3 of new Global Luxury listings

High quality homes from Longboat Key, Bradenton and Siesta Key

Water Club North #701
Water Club North - 1281 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #701

I listed three properties for sale last week that meet the Global Luxury criteria of Coldwell Banker. It is a good variety and wonderful properties to put on the market as we prepare for peak season. It’s our theme for the week, the third week in a row we concentrate on Global Luxury homes, those that have an attribute as a listing over $1.2 million. These three are in good locations, the first is our second listing in The Water Club. The second is an architectural treasure on the open waters of Sarasota Bay in Bradenton. The third is perfectly situated on Siesta Drive with easy access to Sarasota and Siesta Key by car or bike, and to the open waters of the Gulf by boat from your private dock space.


Seventh floor, three bedroom Global Luxury residence at The Water Club

The first residence is in the wonderful community of The Water Club. Located directly on pristine beach Gulf of Mexico shores, this premiere community is a creation of an amenity-rich lifestyle, just minutes from the best that Longboat Key offers. I highlighted the history and how this community grew over the years in my REALTALK™ #127 video.

The property for sale there offers panoramic sunrise to sunset views at this rarely available, direct Gulf-front, 3BR Arlington residence at 1281 Gulf of Mexico Dr, #701. Perfectly situated in the southwest corner of the second building, it features three generous terraces, cook’s kitchen, open den and two secure parking spaces. The open layout is great for entertaining guests and their privacy is assured with the split bedroom plan. This seventh floor residence at The Water Club is available for $3.195 million.


Architectural treasure located directly on the open waters of Sarasota Bay

Esplanade on the Bay estate
4908 64th Drive W, Bradenton

Sarasota Bay is protected from winds by Longboat Key on the west and mainland Bradenton on the east, where the second home is located in the Esplanade on the Bay community. this neighborhood is in a small enclave near the renown IMG Academy where many of the world’s athletes travel to train for college or professional sports. The home at 4908 64th Drive, West is an architectural treasure located directly on the open waters of Sarasota Bay. This stunning 4BR, 6,100+ SF home boasts a creative design accentuated by contemporary finishes. Offering unmatched panoramic views and boat dockage, the estate here also offers a great room and media room for the listing price at just under $2.5 million.


Great location in Siesta Key with easy access to best of Sarasota and beaches

878 Siesta Drive in Siesta Key
878 Siesta Drive, Sarasota

The best of both worlds is available in the third home this week at 878 Siesta Drive. This gated residence is minutes from downtown Sarasota, within biking distance to Siesta Key Beach and Morton’s! You will adore the proximity to a bustling city lifestyle, offering theaters, fine dining, boutique shopping, farmer's markets and much more. Situated on almost a quarter acre of lush property directly on the tranquil waters of Roberts Bay, this two-story, four-bedroom layout features soaring ceilings and a neutral decor waiting for you to make your own. Relax by your own pool, relax in your spa or take a spin on your boat from your dock to the open waters of the bay and the Gulf. Call us and make an offer on this Global Luxury home listed at $2.295 million.

We are putting together more Global Luxury announcements for next week, including an exciting residence at 435 L’Ambiance which is a combination of two full home units with a direct walk-down to the Gulf of Mexico beaches. This weekend is the annual Ringling International Arts Festival, Thursday through Saturday. Explore a prelude to the eight different performances by attending Wednesday night, the Grand Opening celebration in the West Courtyard. Expect the Unexplored, Explore the Unexpected is the theme for the ninth RIAF. And if you are in town getting a jump on peak season home buying, please contact me at (941) 387-1840 for an exclusive showing of any of these properties or if you have a real estate to sell or buy.

 

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

 

Legacy of our status as the Sunshine State

by Roger Pettingell

There is a Secret to our Beautiful Sunsets

Weather here complements our waterfront beaches

Rainbow over the Chart House
Rainbow over the Gulf - This rainbow ends at the Chart House where we conduct business in our office.

One day last week there was a generous amount of rain falling, but the sun was shining brightly. It was actually a beautiful sight. Even with the rain falling, Florida can still make its claim as the Sunshine State. On almost any day you will find plenty of sunshine, even in the summer when the sea breezes move in from the Gulf of Mexico for a morning shower. In the summer afternoon you can set your watch by brief afternoon showers as humidity fuels the rain clouds. The rain is refreshing and can actually change the heat index 10-20 degrees cooler. The heat index is a combination of humidity and temperature.

It is easy to say that in summer a weather forecaster here has a very easy job. It seems that daily the weatherman here will predict a 50/50 chance of rain in the afternoon with warm temperatures. There is a great deal more of complexity and with computer models are more accurate with the timing and the ferocity of the storms.

They are also able to predict much further in advance when a storm is forming that has potential for heavy rainfall and damaging winds. We have a good history for avoiding hurricanes. Myth or truth, it is said that sacred Indian burial grounds protect the land from dangerous storms. The last hurricane to have a direct hit here in Sarasota was 55 years ago with Hurricane Donna. New residents of Florida learn quickly how to make preparations in the unlikely event one should strike here.

The lack of dangerous wind storms make Sarasota a good location to live. With an average temperature of 81 degrees for a high and 65 for the low, this is a comfortable range for most people. The higher temperatures in the midsection and southern portions of Florida can be intimidating to someone looking to relocate here, we enjoy the breezes from the gulf for a subtropical climate. Climatologists classify the land south of Naples as an equatorial savannah while Miami area is in an equatorial monsoon zone and Jupiter is classified as a rainforest climate.

Tropicana Field dome
While it appears ready to rain at Tropicana Field, the dome offers AC and protection from the elements.

The amount of rainfall here averages 45 inches per year. From June to September is a rich growing season for flowering plants and garden vegetables. Florida citrus crops represent roughly 65 percent of the United States production for consumption. Florida oranges are shipped widely in Canada and grapefruits are primarily exported to Japan. Tropicana was founded in Bradenton and became a world-wide leader in the production of orange juice since its beginnings in 1947. It remains as the single highest purchaser of Florida fruit and has the naming rights to Tropicana Field, the air-conditioned dome for the Tampa Bay Rays major league baseball team.

And how cool is it to see lush green grass on manicured lawns here. Water is needed and the summer rainfalls peak in August with an average of 7.6 inches. But lightning also provides a growth spurt and color for the grasses here. We are in the lightning belt of the United States, the central section of Florida that extends to the east coast. A single strike of lightning is only an inch in diameter, but delivers up to 45,000 amperes of electricity that strikes the ground. With each lightning strike nitrogen is replenished into the ground to deliver spectacular lawn results. Oxygen in the air combines with nitrogen to produce nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide is also introduced into the ground by fertilizers and animal droppings.

At dawn or dusk our beautiful vistas are bright with vibrant red and orange hues. Picture that at sunset and the deep blue sky contrasts these colors for a grand spectacle. I personally like cloud formations at sunset, the colors paint the clouds for even more spectacular lighting effects. We are fortunate to have these cosmic events made in part from the dust particles that circulate in the air across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa.

Sand particles from Africa color the skies a deeper red
Brilliant Hues at Sunset - Sands from the deserts of Africa make their way here for more vibrant reds.

Our winter climate and waterfront availability attract the snowbirds to swell our population in January and February. The average low in these two months is a comfortable 53 degrees. Although natural citizens of Florida may have never seen snow, it does fall here mostly in the northern part of the state. Your best chances to see snow in the winter months are very early in the morning, as it typically melts once it hits the ground. Snowfall has been recorded as far south as Homestead in 1977, just south of Miami. And although it is hard to imagine for me, the coldest day on record in Florida was set on February 13, 1899 in Tallahassee when the temperature dipped down to -2 degrees Fahrenheit. That was also the coldest day on record in Louisiana, two days after the coldest day on record in Washington, DC.

Visit for the weather, move here for the lifestyle. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

LPGA and NCAA Golf Most Recent Visitors

by Roger Pettingell

Golfing is King, and Queen, in Sarasota

Many Fine Courses for Amateurs and Professionals

Grand Bay condo view of golf course on Longboat Key
Longboat Key Harbourside Golf Course - View from this residence at Grand Bay is of the course updated in 2005 to USGA greens specifications.

With the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships wrapping up at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, golf is on the minds of many people here in the Sarasota area. The NCAA men take center stage this weekend starting Friday. Earlier this year LPGA Legends officials announced their tour to stop at Palm Aire Golf & Country Club in November. A lot of golf, and a lot of professionals and budding professionals will be in the area.

Consider those tours and the fact that IMG Academy is in Bradenton gives a lot of credence to this area as a golf center. IMG is a training ground for many fine athletic golfers as amateurs and professionals study the game. It is not uncommon for LPGA and PGA stars to get their start at IMG Academies which features a customizable training regimen. Amateurs relocate to Sarasota to enroll in their programs in order to improve their game.

On Monday Emma Talley of Alabama capped off a lightning-delayed singles NCAA tournament to win by three strokes at the Concession Golf Course. She is definitely a woman on the fast track. She is already a U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and is the first woman to win a championship at Alabama. Eight colleges head into match play led by number one seed University of Southern California. The women complete the championship here on Wednesday.

The Concession Golf Course is one of the area’s newest courses with many accolades in the golfing world, most recently designated by Golf Digest as one of America's 75 Toughest Golf Courses. It was designed by famed golfers Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin. They were involved in one of the great concessions in golf history, the 1969 Ryder Cup when the two tied by Nicklaus conceding on the last hole.

The ISPS Handa Cup will be held at Palm Aire Country Club in Sarasota, November 12-14, as part of the LPGA Legends Tour. The Legends Tour of 120 female golfers has 12 World Golf and LPGA Hall of Fame members. The 18-hole Champions course at Palm Aire was designed by world renown course architect Dick Wilson and has a 74.1 course rating and 131 slope rating. The Lakes Course was designed by Joe Lee. The newly renovated greens of both courses make it a dream to play on TifEagle Bermudagrass.

Juliette Valin, director of membership, Longboat Key Club, with Roger Pettingell, REALTALK #36
REALTALK™ #36 - I discuss Longboat Key Club membership in this REALTALK™ interview with Juliette Valin, director of membership.

For privileged residents of Longboat Key, there is nothing to compete with the 18 holes at the Links of Longboat and 27 holes at Harbourside Golf Course. They combine for Golf Digest's "Best Places to Play" award. Trees line the Harbourside Golf Course along Sarasota Bay for an ecological tour of plants of animals, while the Links of Longboat (formerly Islandside Golf Course) is known as the "watery challenge", with water hazards on all 18 holes. Members of the Longboat Key Club have access to both courses, I discuss membership with the director of membership in REALTALK™ #36.

I added six more courses to my list of local public, semi-private and private courses that will bring the list up to 38, north from Palmetto to Englewood in the south. They are also updated in the golf section of my online guide. We can put you in a Gulf-front beach residence or a great location in any of our residences below that are on the Harbourside Golf Course at Grand Bay. Please contact me at (941) 387-1840 if you have a property to sell or buy.

3040 Grand Bay Blvd, PH2101 $2,995,000   Virtual Tour
3060 Grand Bay, #151, Longboat Key $1,450,000 Video Virtual Tour
3060 Grand Bay Boulevard, #123 $935,000   Virtual Tour
3080 Grande Bay Blvd. #533 $679,000 Video Virtual Tour

 

Golfing Guide to Sarasota Area

Public Courses

Course with Link Address City Phone
Bobby Jones Golf Club 1000 Circus Blvd. Sarasota (941) 365-4653
Bobcat Trail Golf Club 1350 Bobcat Trail North Port (941) 429-0501
Boca Royale Golf & CC 1601 Englewood Road Englewood (941) 475-6464
Calusa Lakes Golf Course 1995 Calusa Lakes Blvd. Nokomis (941) 484-8995
Capri Isles Golf Club 849 Capri Isles Blvd. Venice (941) 485-3371
The Concession Golf Club 7700 Lindrick Ln Bradenton (941) 322-1922
IMG Academies Golf & CC 4350 El Conquistador Pky Bradenton (941) 758-1466
Longboat Key Club Harbourside 3000 Harbourside Dr. Longboat Key (941) 387-1631
Misty Creek Country Club 8954 Misty Creek Dr. Sarasota (941) 922-2188
Oak Ford Golf Club 1552 Palm View Road Sarasota (941) 371-3680
Oaks Golf Club 301 Mac  Ewen Dr. Osprey (941) 966-2161
The Preserve Golf Club 7310 Tara Preserve Lane Bradenton (941) 756-2944 
River Club Golf Course 6600 River Club Blvd. Bradenton (941) 751-4211
River Run Golf Links 1801 27th St. East Bradenton (941) 708-6331
River Wilderness Golf & CC 2250 Wilderness Blvd Parrish (941) 776-2691
Rolling Green Golf Club 4501 N. Tuttle Ave Sarasota (941) 355-7621
Serenoa Golf Club 6773 Serenoa Drive Sarasota (941) 925-2755
Stoneybrook Golf & CC 8801 Stoneybrook Blvd. Sarasota (941) 966-2711
Tatum Ridge Golf Links 421 Tatum Road North Sarasota (941) 378-4211
Timber Creek Golf Club 4550 Timber Lane Bradenton (941) 794-8381
University Park Country Club 7671 The Park Blvd. Univ. Park (941) 355-3888
Waterford Golf Club 1454 Gleneagles Dr. Venice (941) 484-6621
Waterlefe Golf & River Club 995 Fish Hook Cove Bradenton (941) 744-9881

 

Semi-Private Courses

Palm Aire Golf & CC 5601 Country Club Way Sarasota (941) 355-9733
River Isles Golf Course 159 River Isle Bradenton (941) 720-2712

 

Private Courses

Bent Tree Country Club 4700 Bent Tree Blvd Sarasota (941) 371-8200
Buffalo Creek Golf Course 8100 Erie Road Palmetto (941) 776-2611
Founders Club 3001 Founders Club Dr. Sarasota (941) 404-3107
Gator Creek Golf Club 9000 Gator Creek Dr. Sarasota (941) 924-1111
Groves at Meadows CC 3101 Longmeadow Sarasota (941) 371-6000
Heron Creek Golf & CC 3401 South Sumter Blvd North Port (941) 423-6955
Lakewood Ranch Golf & CC 7650 Legacy Blvd. Bradenton (941) 907-4700
Laurel Oak Country Club 2700 Gary Player Blvd. Sarasota (941) 378-3608
Legacy Golf at Lakewood Ranch 8255 Legacy Blvd. Bradenton (941) 907-7920
Longboat Key Club 361 Longboat Key Club Rd Longboat Key (941) 387-1632
The Meadows Country Club 3101 Longmeadow Sarasota (941) 371-6000
River Strand Golf & CC 7155 Grand Estuary Trail Bradenton (941) 708-3837
Sara Bay Country Club 7011 Willow St. Sarasota (941) 355-7658
TPC Prestancia Club 4409 Tournament Players Clb Dr Sarasota (941) 922-2800

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Why Choose
Roger Pettingell?

Experience

  • Over 33 years as a top producing REALTOR® on Longboat Key and in Sarasota.

Achievements

  • Number 1 single Coldwell Banker agent in all of Florida for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Number 1 Realtor on Longboat Key and Bird Key for 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Number 1 Realtor for all Sarasota in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • Coldwell Banker Society of Excellence award in 2013, 2014 and 2016
  • Ranked among the top 250 agents in the country for 2014, 2016 and 2017 by REAL Trends as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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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.