Just because it's wintertime and there's a nip in the air doesn't mean things are slowing down in Sarasota ... well, other than traffic. The snowbirds have officially landed, and everyone wants to celebrate the complete lack of snow. So, although we may spend a little more time getting from place to place due to the increased number of cars, we can take comfort in the fact that there's also an increase in the great stuff to get out and do.
Starting off the month with a bang on February 4, The Ringling transforms its museum courtyard into a truly epic showplace as Ringling Underground presents performances by three different musical acts. This month features one-man band and hip-hop impresario Netherfriends from Chicago; the Tampa-based indie rock band Empire Cinema; and 17-year-old singer-songwriter Ella Jet. Experience The Ringling like you've never seen it before.
Follow up that musical showcase with the 4th Annual Shake, Rattle and Soul Fest on February 5-6, featuring four-time world champion Elvis impersonator Dwight Icenhower and tribute performances to more music legends such as Buddy Holly, Rod Stewart, James Brown, Roy Orbison and Little Richard. The event is from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Robarts Arena on the Sarasota County Fairgrounds (3000 Ringling Blvd. off Fruitville Road).
If you're up in the Bradenton area that weekend, you might check out the opening and closing parties for the 2nd Annual Bradenton Riverboat Regatta: music, food, drinks, and fun throughout downtown Bradenton and along the Riverwalk to celebrate the regatta on February 6, 2016.
Also in Sarasota that weekend is the Mardi Gras Music and Food Festival to benefit Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary at Payne Park. There will be DJs, live bands, Bourbon Street Hurricanes, a real crawfish boil, and some of your favorite New Orleans style delicacies. Dance to zydeco and Dixieland jazz at this family-friendly event, also featuring carnival rides, games, face painting, cotton candy, and snow cones. Festivities run Friday the 5th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday the 6th from noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday the 7th from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
On Sunday, February 7, get in some cardio at the 2nd Annual Sarasota Music Half Marathon, a 13.1 mile course with 20 bands throughout and a "beer mile."
And that's just the first weekend! Aren't you glad you live here already?!
On February 10-13, learn more about the local Amish community at the Palm Grove Amish Quilt & Craft Show at the Palm Grove Mennonite Church (1087 Beneva Rd.) and get yourself a handmade quilt to keep warm at night. Throughout the month, you can also be amazed by Sarasota's circus culture and catch the Circus Sarasota Winter Performance taking place under the Big Top at its new location in the southeast corner of University Town Center Mall.
From the 13-14, enjoy the 28th Annual Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts, featuring life-sized sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewels, photography, and more. It's ranked as one of the Top 100 Fine Arts Shows in the country by a national artists' magazine.
But for a lot of people, this weekend isn't about art -- it's about romance. On February 14, the Siesta Key Village Valentine Stroll offers live music throughout the village and free candy kisses from the merchants. And for the lovebirds who are really ready to step it up, you can always renew your wedding vows! In a tradition that dates to 1989, couples of all ages and years of marriage gather for the annual group renewal of vows at the Siesta Beach Pavilion, presided over by a Sarasota judicial magistrate. The ceremony begins at 5 p.m., and you can preregister by calling (941) 861-5000. There is also a service on Venice Beach if you call (941) 861-5000.
The final weekend of February has the Suncoast Blues Festival at the Sarasota Fairgrounds; the 20th Annual Coquina Tides Arts and Crafts Show on Bradenton Beach; the 22nd Annual Siesta Key Craft Festival in Siesta Key Village; the 51st Antiques, Vintage & Collectibles Show at the Bradenton Area Convention Center; and downtown Sarasota hosts the Le Marché Bohémien vintage clothing festival in Five Points Park on the 27th.
Julian is a happy Sarasota resident and your go-to guy for information about the perks of living in paradise. For more, get in touch with Julian directly via the Sarasota Property Finders Contact Page.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist