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72nd Annual Labor Day RegattaSeptember 1-2, 10 am – 4 pm – Free to Spectators

  • Hosted by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, this annual event draws hundreds of competitive sailors ages 8-80 from across the U.S. and Canada. Featuring five race courses, live music, barbeque, refreshments and an awards ceremony. 1717 Ken Thompson Parkway Sarasota, FL 34230 – Call: (941) 388-2355

10th annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival: September 1-2, 10 am – 4 pm – Free Admission, Free Parking

  • Vendor fair featuring Art, Crafts, Gifts, Plants. Miami Avenue, downtown Venice, Florida

Reggae Pon Di Lake Pre-Labor Day Party & Music Festival at Nathan Benderson ParkSeptember 2, 2 pm – 9 pm – Admission $30All Ages, VIP $70

  • A host of local and regional live Reggae bands and DJs, Food Trucks of all food types and a kids play area. Swimming, Paddleboard rentals (12 years or older), Pontoon Pedal Boat rentals and Kayaks allow listening to the live music from the water. 5851 Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota, FL 34235

Monday Night Kids’ Jam Session at the Music CompoundSeptember 3, 6 pm – 7 pm, Free and Open To Public – Ages 6 and Up

  • Bring the kids and jam to build music skills, enhance confidence, communication and social interaction abilities. 1751 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34232 – Call: (941) 379-9100

Florida Studio Theatre presents “Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged”: September 4 (and nightly), 7:30 pm, 90 minutes w/ intermission – Balcony Admission: $34

  • Description Courtesy FST: Gilbert & Sullivan Unplugged has delighted audiences across the US with lovingly loopy renditions and joyfully irreverent excerpts from HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, and The Pirates of Penzance. Last seen at New York’s 54 Below, this isn’t your grandmother’s Gilbert & Sullivan. Dining available 1 hr. prior to show in Cabaret (no reservation required). 1241 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236 – Call: (941) 366-9000

Ringling Underground: September 6, 8 pm – 11 pm – Admission: $15

  • Local and regional emerging artists perform live music and showcase artwork in the museum courtyard. Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road in Sarasota – Call: (941) 359-5700.

Lakewood Ranch Presents Music on MainSeptember 7, 6 pm – 9 pm (First Friday of Every Month) – Free Admission

  • Featuring live music, food, beer and wine. Bring: outdoor chairs, dogs/Don’t Bring: coolers. Located east of I-75 on University Parkway

Sunshine and Show Jumping $25,000 Grand Prix September 8, 9 AM – Admission $5, Free Parking

  • Fox Lea Farm hosts the first $25,000 Grand Prix of the fall season, featuring the Olympic sport of Grand Prix Show Jumping. 800 N. Auburn Road, Venice, FL 34292 – Call: 941-786-8028

38th Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition at Marie Selby Botanical GardensSeptember 9, 10 AM – Entry: $10 – $20

  • View photography entries and watch the judging during the 38th Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition. There are five categories of photographs depicting the scenery of Selby Gardens which will be awarded cash prizes : Favorite Selby Scene, Plant Life at Selby, Selby Gardens’ Geometry, Selby’s Birds, Bugs & Critters, Selby in Black & White. “Best in Show” winner will also be named. 811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236-7726 – Call: (941) 366-5731

Yoga in the Gardens (Session 1) with Instructor Michelle Roy at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens: September 10, 9 AM – Class Fee: $75

  • Start your week off right by treating yourself to a peaceful mind/body Yoga experience in a beautiful Garden or indoor setting. Focus is on alignment, breathing techniques and relaxation. For beginners as well as advanced students. September 10 thru October 1, 2018. 811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236-7726 – Call: (941) 366-5731

Salute to the Queen of Soul: A Tribute to Aretha FranklinSeptember 11-15, 8 pm – Admission: $39 Adults, $20 Students and Active Military

  • Westcoast Black Theatre, 1646 10th Way (Off Orange, N of 10th St), Sarasota, FL 34236 – Call: (941) 366-1505

17th annual Friday Fest at the Van Wezel with the Dr. Dave Band: September 14, 5 pm- 9 pm – Free Admission, Rain or Shine

  • A popular high-energy house band known for their blend of southern rock, bluegrass banjo and fiddle. Food and beverage available from local vendors. Bring: Lawn chairs, blanket. Prohibited: eating and drinking outside. Located on the Bayfront Lawn, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL – Call: (941) 953-3368

5th Annual A Taste of Downtown Sarasota: September 15, 1 pm – Tickets: $75

  • Located at the historic Sarasota Opera House; features fine menu samplings, wine pairings and assorted beer selections from downtown. Sarasota Opera House, 61 N Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236 – Call: (941) 328-1300

Monday Night Kids’ Jam Session at the Music CompoundSeptember 17, 6 pm – 7 pm, Free and Open To Public – Ages 6 and Up

  • Bring the kids and jam to build music skills, enhance confidence, communication and social interaction abilities. 1751 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34232 – Call: (941) 379-9100

Jerry Seinfeld at the Van Wezel Performing Arts HallSeptember 20, 7 pm and 9:30 pm – Tickets: $88.25-$164.22

  • 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 – Call: (941) 953-3368

The Flying Carrs Circus at the Sarasota Fairgrounds and Robarts Arena: September 21, 11 am – 9 pm – Tickets: $8 – $50 – All Ages

  • 3000 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34237

Oktoberfest at JDub’sSeptember 23, 11 am – Midnight – Admission: Free

  • Features German-style beer and in-house recipes and food provided by the Schnitzel Trailer. Music, Stein Games, Best Dressed Contest Awards at 3:30 p.m. JDub’s Brewing Company, 1215 Mango Ave, Sarasota, FL – Call: (941) 955-2739

Monday Night Kids’ Jam Session at the Music CompoundSeptember 24, 6 pm – 7 pm, Free and Open To Public – Ages 6 and Up

  • Bring the kids and jam to build music skills, enhance confidence, communication and social interaction abilities. 1751 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL 34232 – Call: (941) 379-9100

Stelliferous Live at The South Florida Museum’s Bishop PlanetariumSeptember 26, 7 pm – Tickets: $5 Non-Members (reservation required)

  • A monthly discussion of stars, planets, constellations and current events in astronomy including Q&A at end of presentation. 201 10th Street W., Bradenton, FL 34205 – Call: (941) 746-4131

Other Excursions & Tours

Tour an Award-Winning Rum Distillery

See every step of the process as hand-crafted spirits are locally made in small batches utilizing premium ingredients in a copper pot still. Tours are very popular, so arrive early. Tuesday, Wednesdays and Saturdays. (50-60 Minutes)

Drum Circle Distilling, 2212 Industrial Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34234-3120 – Call: (941) 702-8143

Explore a Botanical Garden

This tropical wonder on Sarasota Bay features stunning horticulture displays and a variety of gardens to explore and enjoy, such as the Rainforest Garden, Fragrance Garden, Butterfly Garden, Edible Garden and many more. Also offers botanical photo tours, group tours, classes and volunteer opportunities.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Hours: 10 am – 5 pm, 811 S Palm Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236-7726 – Call: (941) 366-5731

Visit a Big Cat Habitat and Sanctuary

This big cat rescue advertises 3 large indoor/outdoor housing complexes with adjoining exercise habitats that mimic native environments with swimming pools, toys and palm trees. It is home to dozens of exotic large-animals in need of rehabilitation, placement or sanctuary, and relies on volunteers and the admissions proceeds from daily tours, demonstrations and tours. Petting Zoo, Big Cats, Alligators, Bears, Bison, Monkeys, llamas, Turkeys, and so much more…

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, Hours: Wed – Sun, 12 – 4 pm, 7101 Palmer Blvd, Sarasota, FL 34240-9407 – Call: (941) 371-6377

You may have seen news reports, heard from a friend, or have scrolled by it in your social media feeds. Dead fish, turtles, dolphins, and many other local sea creatures wash up on our beaches and collecting in our canals. It is a devastating and unsightly scene here in the central gulf coast these past few weeks. This post, I hope, will shed some light onto this natural event. I am no scientist or marine biologist, however I am a resident and local business owner, very much affected by this red tide event. I heard a lot of different “opinions” about what it is and why it happens however these were often more than not very conflicting explanations. I owed it to myself to find some real truth between political backlash and simply obtuse reasoning.

What is Red Tide? Red tide is an algae that grows several miles off the coast on the ocean floor. When there is a bloom, it can rapidly multiply and rise. Depending on currents, this bloom can reach the surface of the water where is can feed off of 12 different types of nutrients. Completely subject to the currents of the Gulf of Mexico, these blooms can reach the coasts.

When did Red Tide start? Red tide has been around for centuries and the first documented encounters were in the 16th century by Spanish explorers. Their records noted the event as “red water” which killed birds and fish. The first scientific record comes from 1844 and occurred near the Panhandle of the state. In 1947 a red tide event lasting almost a year originating from the panhandle after months of rains spreads south to Tarpon Springs almost killing all of the well-known sponge beds and commercial fishing. In 1954, then longest single red tide event recorded lasted nearly 18 months killing thousands of tons of sea life. Eclipsed by the 1994 event that lasted 24 months. Followed very closely by the 1996 event which killed over 200 manatees stretched from Clearwater to Key West. 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 all spurred red tide events to one degree or another but not always making it to the coasts.

Many believe red tide events are tied to freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee. I strongly believe this is simply fuel for political backlash on the situation there, a completely separate matter. There has yet to be one marine biologist or scientist that I could find to link water releases from lake O and either the creation of red tide or fueling of red tide. From what I have gathered from all different kinds of sources is still that this is a naturally occurring event that has to due with algae forming miles off of the coast, drifting in with currents, and fed by nutrient rich storm water runoff.

The popularity of Siesta Key grew from its beaches however the surrounding areas of Sarasota have also grown and kept pace. We will soon be posting more entries with the myriad of things to do in town. From festivals to things to do, and see, Sarasota is a vibrant city in and of itself. Of course a beach days is still not out of the question as things can quell with changes in winds and currents. Stay up-to-date on daily beach conditions on our Facebook page.