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SRQ DAILY Oct 5, 2023

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

"Halloween is one of the best holidays because everything is supposed to be kind of weird. It is just such a great moment for creativity and fun."

- Maria Webb, Halloween Party Host.

[Holiday Event]  A Fab-Boo-Lous Halloween Party for All
Emma Dannenfelser, emma@srqme.com

Maria and Thomas Webb are passionate about hosting and their annual community Halloween party is no exception. What started two years ago as a creative outlet for Maria has now grown into a project that is planned months in advance and formed through countless hours of work handcrafting games and decorations.

The Webbs started their annual tradition while searching for ways to celebrate Halloween with their children even though they live in a more rural community where the numerous acres situated between neighbors makes trick-or-treating on foot a difficult task. Wanting to give the neighborhood kids a way to enjoy the holiday, Maria decided to plan a gathering for them, complete with a candy potluck and an array of games lining the Webb’s driveway.

From there, Maria’s creativity blossomed, turning what started as a casual get-together into the ultimate Halloween destination for families of all ages. For the second Halloween bash, the Webbs invited their children’s school mates and neighbors to the event with handmade invitations, complete with wax seals, made by Maria, a feat that took over a month to finish. This year, the Webbs will continue making hand-made invites, even more intricately now that they have invested in a laser-cutter, but will also use a website to spread the word of their event.

The creativity and long hours of preparation certainly doesn’t end with the invites. The Webbs also handcrafted creative, Halloween-themed games for their guests, including a ring toss game on a witch’s hat and corn-hole sets disguised as jack-o-lanterns and ghosts.

Along with the games and competitions for candy, the Webbs also set up craft tents for the children. The crafts range from watercolor painting to clay sculpting and even a slime “potion” station.

“Some of our kids’ birthday parties get similar treatment or serve as testing moments for the Halloween party, because we usually have a smaller crowd. For example, the slime station idea was actually from my older daughter’s birthday party, originally, because she is a huge Harry Potter fan,” Maria says. “So, she wanted “potions class” and all that kind of stuff. The kids completely swarmed that slime table, so we knew we had to include it because it’s so halloween-y. We put out jars and labels so it can be like their little jar of potion.”

This year, the Webbs have planted a pumpkin patch in their yard and have an inflatable corn maze for guests. The party will be on October 28th this year and will start at 2pm. The Webbs require no RSVP and the party is open to anyone who is looking for a fun way to spend their holiday.

“It's really just nice to come together as a community and just be silly,” Maria adds. “Halloween is one of the best holidays because everything is supposed to be kind of weird. It's just such a great moment for creativity and fun. Anyone is welcome.”

For more information about the Webb’s Halloween bash, visit their website webb-halloween.com. 

Pictured: The Webbs annual Halloween party is full of fun for all ages. Photo courtesy of Maria Webb.

[Recognition]  Barancik Foundation Presents Five Teachers with Ripple Effect Award

Five Sarasota County educators were recently named 2023 Ripple Effect Teacher Award winners by Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and Sarasota County Schools. Each award, which recognizes educators for their impact on their students, schools, and community, came with a $5,000 check for the teacher from Barancik Foundation. The Ripple Effect Teacher Awards program honors the chosen profession of Margery Barancik, co-founder of the foundation that bears her name, who was a teacher and lifelong supporter of education. Barancik Foundation presents the Ripple Effect Teacher Award to five educators twice a year, in September and May, to mark the respective birthdays of Margie and Chuck Barancik. The recipients of the fall 2023 Ripple Effect Teacher Award were: Elizabeth Donofrio, Venice High School, Kim Hunt, Venice Elementary School, BJ Ivey, Sarasota High School, Marjie Smith, Sarasota Middle School, Robert Whipple, Triad Alternative School. Each winner was surprised at their school with the award presentation by school district executive leadership, Barancik Foundation staff, school colleagues, and appreciative students. Superintendent Terry Connor read the nomination letter submitted by each winner’s principal, while award certificates and checks were presented by Barancik Foundation President/CEO Teri A Hansen and Senior Vice President John Annis. The Ripple Effect Teacher Award program was launched in 2021 and invites Sarasota County School District principals to nominate one educator from their school who sets the bar for innovation and creates lasting impacts on their students and peers. To date, Barancik Foundation has presented 30 Ripple Effect Teacher Awards. 

Pictured: BJ Ivey at Sarasota High School, one of the Ripple Effect award winners.

[Partnership]  New College Partnering with Classic Learning Test to Offer a Free CLT Exam on November 2

New College of Florida applauds the State University System Board of Governors for approving the Classic Learning Test (CLT) as an admissions test alternative to the ACT and SAT. New College has partnered with CLT to offer the test for free on Thursday, November 2, 2023. Students can register for the CLT through New College at apply.ncf.edu/portal/clt-reg to receive a code waiving the $59 test administration fee. The CLT is offered with in-school and remotely-proctored formats. The November 2 test offered for sponsored by New College is a remotely proctored test. The registration deadline for the November 2 test is October 26. Founded in 2015, CLT is designed for high school juniors and seniors preparing to apply for college. It offers assessments that evaluate English, grammar, and mathematical skills, providing a comprehensive measure of achievement and aptitude. CLT exams emphasize foundational critical thinking skills and are accessible to students from a variety of educational backgrounds. For more information about the CLT, visit cltexam.com. 

[Ceremony]  Groundbreaking Ceremony for Tara Elementary School Addition and Renovation Project

The School District of Manatee County will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a school addition and renovation project this Friday, October 6, 2023. The event is taking place at 9 a.m. at Tara Elementary School, which is located at 6950 Linger Lodge Road East in Manatee County. The school addition and renovation was approved by the School Board of Manatee County in July 2022, and the scheduled opening of the building is Fall 2025. The project includes the addition of four classrooms; roof replacement; improved traffic queuing; cabinetry and millwork, as needed; doors and windows; painting; tiles and flooring; building signage; plumbing; new mechanical system; LED lighting upgrade and other enhancements; and removal of portables. The project budget is $35.2 million. Architect: Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors. Construction Manager: Creative Contractors. 

[Leadership]  New College Board of Trustees Selects Richard Corcoran as President

New College of Florida’s (NCF) Board of Trustees today selected Richard Corcoran as the college’s next president, voting to enter into contract negotiations that will be considered at the next Board of Trustees meeting later this month. Corcoran’s selection comes after a six-month presidential search and selection process. “We want to extend our gratitude to the presidential search committee, who conducted a robust nationwide search to bring us candidates that would capably guide New College into the future,” said Board of Trustees Chair Debra A. Jenks. “With the selection of President Corcoran, New College is poised to continue on its path of becoming the best liberal arts institution in the nation. Thank you to all those who participated in this process.” Jenks designated Vice Chair Ron Christaldi to negotiate an employment contract with Corcoran. Once an employment contract is agreed upon, the full Board of Trustees will meet to review and vote on the contract. Once approved, the contract will go before the State University System of Florida Board of Governors at its November 9 meeting for consideration and a vote on approval. During four terms in the Florida Legislature, Corcoran was a staunch advocate for improving all levels of education. His eight years in elected office culminated with the speakership in the Florida House of Representatives in his final term. Subsequently, appointed as Florida’s Education Commissioner in 2018, he deftly navigated the reopening of Florida’s schools in the fall of 2020. Corcoran has been a member of the Florida Bar for 24 years and served six years in the U.S. Naval Reserve while in college. Corcoran was one of three finalists submitted by the presidential search committee to the NCF Board of Trustees for consideration. The 15-member search committee, comprising a distinguished group representing the SUS BOG, NCF Board of Trustees, student body, faculty, NCF Foundation, alumni and other stakeholders and supporters of NCF, started its work on April 7. The committee received and reviewed 63 applications and conducted eight interviews. The committee was tasked with identifying candidates who could guide New College beyond its recent history of enrollment and economic challenges while restoring its reputation for providing a nationally recognized liberal arts undergraduate education. 

[Dracula]  Dracula Descends upon the Gulf Coast at Bookstore1Sarasota
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

It’s officially spooky season, and that means pumpkin carving, costume planning and indulging in your favorite scary movie or book. At Bookstore1Sarasota, one of popular culture’s most iconic villains will come to life through The Gothic Library, a live radio theater event led by Bookseller Ren Pearson. For three nights, a talented cast will perform Dracula, by Bram Stoker, which Pearson adapted to fit the radio format.

Originally published in 1897, Dracula has had a tremendous influence on modern vampire stories. “Everyone knows the imagery of Dracula, and it’s so easy to copy and adapt. But when you’re doing it for an audio format, it presents some fun challenges,” says Pearson. In past iterations of The Gothic Library, audiences have been encouraged to close their eyes during the performances and let the sounds carry them through the narrative. However, for Dracula, an extra sensory component makes for even more compelling viewing. “We’re adding a visual element to the production. The audience will sit and watch the talented actors perform, and we will have imagery of moments and locations from the novel on a big TV, creating a multimedia experience that will fuel their imaginations,” he adds, noting that nudity and blood will appear on screen.

Whether you own a dog-eared copy of the novel or came to know the character as a child wearing plastic vampire fangs for Halloween, you’ll delight in Pearson’s ability to breathe new life into the undead vampire. “We had to get creative with casting. The beautiful thing about radio theater is that it doesn’t matter what an actor looks like,” he says. “Dracula is one of literature’s greatest villains, but we didn’t want to do it in a way that everyone was expecting, so we cast a female, Aden Russell, for the role. Anyone can do the accent, but she had that presence where the moment you speak you sound powerful.” Along with Russell, Tom Aposporos, Tom Horton and Amanda Heisey will lend their voices to the performance.

“As we go through the script, we keep the book by our sides. The case of Dracula is so interesting because Stoker wrote one thing and culture took it and and made it into something else. He’s old and parasitic and wicked, which we kept in the script, but we also made our Dracula sexy,” Pearson adds. “Casting a woman opened all these interesting doors and conversations around power. I’m not sure what people will discuss, but I hope the show will start some fun discussions.”

Dracula will be performed by The Gothic Library at Bookstore1Sarasota on October 12, 13 and 14 from 8-9:30pm. 117 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-365-7900, sarasotabooks.com. 

Pictured: Tom Horton and Aden Russell in Dracula at Bookstore1Sarasota. Photo Courtesy of Bookstore1Sarasota.

[New Exhibition]  Selby Gardens Announces 2024 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition: Yayoi Kusama: A

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will present Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O’Keeffe as the eighth iteration of its annual Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, which examines the work of major artists through the lens of their connection to nature. The exhibition, which will be on view from February 11 through June 30, 2024, at Selby Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus, will explore the unexpected yet profoundly impactful mentoring relationship that developed between iconic artists Yayoi Kusama and Georgia O’Keeffe. The theme of the upcoming Goldstein Exhibition is the latest announcement of programming planned for Selby Gardens’ 50th anniversary season. In the mid-1950s, Yayoi Kusama was a young artist living in Japan, where her future was very uncertain. Seeking advice from a more established female artist, Kusama wrote to Georgia O’Keeffe, whose work she greatly admired but whom she had never met. To Kusama’s surprise, O’Keeffe responded, thus establishing a correspondence that gave the young Japanese artist the courage to move to America and pursue her career in New York City, which was then the center of the art world. Kusama’s decision, with O’Keeffe’s encouragement, forever changed the course of modern art history.  Selby Gardens’ Trustee Keith D. Monda is serving as the key lender to the exhibition. Additional loans have been secured from Richard and Ellen Sandor and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  

[Event]  International Canoe Federation to Host Stand Up Paddleboard World Cup At Nathan Benderson Park Oct 13-15

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), one of the fastest-growing international sports, will be showcased October 13-15 in Sarasota County when the International Canoe Federation and Visit Sarasota County host the SUP World Cup at Nathan Benderson Park. Spectators are welcome to watch the events for free and enjoy the festive atmosphere with food trucks, vendors and a beer tent. Athletes from around the world will compete in three professional hard board and inflatable events including 10K distance, 200-meter sprint and 800-meter technical races for prize money of $3,400 in each race. A recreational 5K paddle and costume contest will also be held and is open to all groups, ages, and experience levels. Athletes who register for the professional events will be invited to practice at the event venue on October 12 and attend a welcome party in the evening. Registration will close soon, so SUP athletes and recreational paddle participants are encouraged to sign up now on the paddleguru.com website. The 5K race is a rare opportunity for recreational paddlers to be part of an international competition while having fun and building team unity. It is a great activity for companies looking for team-building ideas, families, and social clubs. With Halloween around the corner, the optional costume contest adds to the playful atmosphere. Prizes will be awarded for the best costume and best group theme. Scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 14, the 5K is BYOB (bring your own board). Professional races will begin at 8 a.m. on October 13 and will be held each day throughout the event. The full schedule is available online here. The global SUP market size is expected to reach $2.39 billion by 2030, according to a recent research report by Skyquest. The growing popularity of water sports, rise in adventure tourism and interest in environmentally friendly activities are among the fueling the sport’s growth. 

[Pet Adoption]  Hound Happy Hour at Hamlet's Eatery

This Friday, Oct 6th is paw-ty at Hamlet’s Eatery! The award-winning permanently located food truck is open until from 5pm - 8pm for Hound Happy Hour. Joining with adoptable dogs is Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue. Live music by Capt John. Great food and drinks from Hamlet’s Eatery including vegan options. Located outdoors with plenty of room under a covered patio. This is a great way to kick off your weekend. Always dog and kid friendly.

821 Apricot Ave in Sarasota. For more information visit www.hamletseatery.com or call 941-445-1938. 

[Announcement]  Sarasota Opera's DaCapo Society for Young Professionals Announces Activities for the 2023-24 Season

Sarasota Opera is pleased to announce the schedule for the DaCapo Society, a dynamic group of opera patrons between 21-40. Members of the DaCapo Society will have access to fun and exciting social events, discounted performances, and a fantastic community of like-minded individuals, while enhancing their enjoyment of Sarasota Opera performances. On Friday, October 20th from 5:30 p.m.– 7:00 p.m., Sarasota Opera will host a DaCapo Society Kick-Off Party at the Kanaya Condominium rooftop (505 S. Orange Avenue, Sarasota) for all DaCapo Society members and future members. The first of many events, this Kick-Off Party will feature delicious bites, signature drinks, delightful performances, a raffle drawing for tickets to the Fall Season concert and will be entirely free to all who wish to join our community. The DaCapo Society activities are sponsored, in part, by 99 Bottles, and Morton’s Gourmet Market and Catering. This event is free.  

To RSVP click here

[Visit Sarasota County]  Discover Natural Sarasota - Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility

Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility

Whether walking, jogging, training for a trekking expedition or bird watching from
the 75-foot man-made observational hill, Celery Fields is an ideal location for your recreational needs. The 400+ acre site is also the county’s primary stormwater collection zone, allowing it to serve a dual purpose.


6893 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota.

Check out more on this feature!

[SRQIST]  It's Aboat Time
Barbie Heit, barbie.heit@srqme.com

IT'S ABOAT TIME | After decades of use Sarasota Youth Sailing and Sarasota Sailing Squadron will be getting a new sailing education center, October 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Cars and Coffee at University Town Center , March 11 – December 9, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This monthly gathering of car enthusiasts brings together automobile lovers from every walk of life, not to mention a wide array of spectacular cars. Bring your own vehicle (all makes and models are welcome) to show off, or check out the hundreds of cars on display. Each month, the event sponsors a different charity, and attendees are encouraged to donate $10 to benefit the charity. The event, occuring on the second Sunday of each month, will feature live music, complimentary coffee and more. To learn more, visit facebook.com/carsandcoffee941. Sarasota Cars and Coffee, The West District at University Town Center near Ford’s Garage, 295 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Boo! At the Bishop , October 28, 6-8pm

Join The Bishop and other community partners for safe, family fun at Boo! At the Bishop on October 28 from 6-8pm. Trick-or-Treat within the Museum while visiting with local community members. Light activities will also be provided for children to explore with our Education Department. Child-friendly costumes are encouraged. You will leave with candy and plenty of great memories! Tickets are $5, children under 2 can attend for free. For more information, or to register visit bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Creative Liberties Family Art , October 28, 9am-12pm

Creative Liberties Family Art will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 9am to noon. Bring the whole family and participate in free art projects led by professional artists. In a special edition of FAD, artist Judy Levine will team up with Art In Common Places co-founder and poet Teresa Carson to lead families in making story bracelets and poetry. For more information, visit creativeliberties.net.

[SOON]  GALA: 21st Annual Buddy Walk with Bringing Up Down Syndrome , October 28, 10 am to 2 pm

Bringing Up Down Syndrome will hold its 21st annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, October 28th from 10 am to 2 pm at Bayside Community Church, located at 15800 FL64 in Bradenton, Florida. This exciting event is the largest Down syndrome awareness and celebration experience in the area. This event will feature live music with celebrated vocalist and DJ, MoTown Ross Brown, silent auction, carnival games, a 50/50 raffle, food and beverages, and a variety of other family friendly activities. All donations support programs and services offered to over 250 families across Manatee and Sarasota counties. Register now at manasotabuds.org.

[SOON]  FOOD: Suncoast Largest Food Truck Festival 4.0 at UTC , November 11, 12-9pm
Featuring over 70 Food Vendors, and coinciding with the Grand Arrival of Santa Parade held at UTC. 140 University Town Center Dr., Sarasota.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Van Wezel Presents The Concert: A Tribute to ABBA , May 4, 8pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome The Concert: A Tribute to ABBA to Sarasota on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 8 p.m. The Concert: A Tribute To ABBA continues to be the top ABBA tribute group in the world, dazzling all who see with their fantastic performance while playing the most iconic hits from ABBA, including “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes All,” “Waterloo,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” and “Dancing Queen.” Tickets are $30-$75 and can be purchased at www.VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should contact 941-263-6726. Pre-show dining is available through Mattison’s at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Pride Festival , October 21, 12pm-5pm

Project Pride SRQ, the regions leading LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, is thrilled to announce its highly anticipated Sarasota Pride, scheduled to take place on October 21st, 2023, in the heart of the Rosemary District along Boulevard of the Arts and Florida Ave. Sarasota Pride has been dedicated to celebrating diversity, promoting inclusivity, and supporting the LGBTQ+ community for many years. The annual outdoor festival has become a beloved tradition, bringing together individuals, families, and allies from across Sarasota and beyond for a day of entertainment, education, and unity. This year’s festival promises to be the biggest and most vibrant yet, with an exciting lineup of events and activities that will appeal to attendees of all ages and backgrounds. Highlights of the Sarasota Pride Outdoor Festival include main stage entertainment, a food and beverage village, community resource fair, art and craft vendors and a community pride bike rally. Sarasota Pride will take place from 12:00pm to 5:00pm. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend. https://www.ppsrq.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Ringling Art of Performance Season Kickoff Party: White Hot Fête , October 20, 7pm

Secure your tickets to our Art of Performance Season Kickoff Party: White Hot Fête on Friday, Oct 20 featuring La Dame Blanche. White Hot Fête is Sarasota’s hottest party. Put on your stylish glow and celebrate the opening of the cultural season in your finest all-white attire! General admission includes a pre and post-show DJ, live concert with La Dame Blanche, as well as food and beverages for purchase. Tickets for general admission are $35 for non-members and $31.50 for members. VIP admission includes priority entrance to the venue at 7pm, a private VIP Section, open bar and buffet, as well as VIP parking access. VIP tickets are $125 per ticket. Be sure to buy your tickets soon, VIP tickets are limited. 5401 Bayshore Rd., Sarasota, www.theringling.org.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Lemur Yoga , October 14, 10:30-11:45am
Join Big Cat Habitat for our Lemur Yoga fundraising event, in collaboration with instructor Erika Cain. This is a unique interactive animal experience with gentle yoga weaved into the adventure. Erika will guide you through a yoga flow in our intimate encounter area, while our two beautiful Ruffed Lemurs, Marley and Ziggy, freely leap around and connect with you. Allow yourself to be transformed by this exclusive experience as you become immersed in the outdoor environment and powerful energy of the lemurs. This alignment-based class synchronizes breath with movement for you to deepen the mind-body connection and tune into your spirit animal. Practice is for most levels, giving you the opportunity to be gentle on your body Big Cat Habitat hopes that this event will help guests connect with our majestic animals in a new way and support our mission to provide a safe, loving and permanent home for big cats and other exotic creatures in need. Registration is $125 per person and includes interactive animal encounter, yoga flow and a single-day pass to return to the habitat during normal business hours. Advanced reservations only. Bring a yoga mat, towel and any props to assist your practice. Complimentary refreshments and light snacks available. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, 7101 Palmer Boulevard, Sarasota.
[SOON]  FILM: Taylor Swift the Eras Tour at at Sarasota Film Society , October 13 – October 22

The cultural phenomenon continues on the big screen! Immerse yourself in this once-in-a lifetime concert film experience with a breathtaking cinematic view of the history-making tour. Taylor Swift Eras attire and friendship bracelets are strongly encouraged! Tickets available for October 13-15 and October 19-22. For more information visit filmsociety.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Lights at Spooky Point , October 13 – October 31, 6:30pm and 7:45pm

Kicking off Friday, October 13, naturally, our popular Halloween-inspired light show is back for a second year! The show will run from October 13-31 with entry times at 6:30pm and 7:45 nightly. Don't miss the chance to see our Historic Spanish Point campus transformed into Spooky Point where you can follow an eerily lit path and encounter fantastic creations and boo-tanically-themed decorations along the way. Equal parts campy and cute, this walk-through show is fun for all ages. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Purchasing tickets in advance is strongly encouraged, buy yours soon to secure the dates and times of your choice. To purchase tickets at the member price, you must log in to your Selby Gardens member account. For more information visit selby.org.

[SOON]  SPORTS: Bradentucky Bombers Vs. River City Rat Pack , October 7, 5pm

The Bradentucky Bombers are excited to announce the next home game of 2023 on Saturday, October 7th against River City Rat Pack, a team out of Jacksonville, Florida. They will be hosting the game on Saturday, October 7th at Ellenton Ice & Sports Complex at 5:00 p.m, doors open at 4:30pm. Tickets are available! Presale-$10 online; Adults at the door-$15; Kids 6-12-$10 at the door. Kids 5 and under are free! For more information visit www.bradentuckybombers.com or the Eventbrite to purchase tickets eventbrite.com/e/bradentucky-bombers-vs-river-city-rat-pack-tickets-517783603697.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Sarasota County Schools Job Fair , October 6, 10am-1pm

You are invited to attend a Job Fair at the SCS district offices at The Landings, 1960 Landings Blvd., Sarasota. You will be able to learn about various careers available throughout the SCS district and the valuable benefits offered and complete an online application. School and district staff will be available for questions and application assistance. We can't wait to meet you.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Wellen Park , June 25 – December 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Visit Fresh Harvest, the newly launched weekly farmers market in Downtown Wellen. Fresh Harvest offers a selection of local goods from nearly 40 local vendors. Fresh Harvest takes place every Sunday in Downtown Wellen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can peruse different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown and produced food, including herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and prepared food and beverages. A limited selection of craft vendors also participate in the farmers market. For a listing of participating vendors and more information on Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, visit wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market. Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice.

[SOON]  GALA: Oktoberfest Charity Bingo , October 5, 2-4pm
Join us for our Oktoberfest-themed Bingo event benefitting the Alzheimers Association. Enjoy a variety of local beer, bingo games, exciting prizes, themed foods and more. Inspired Living always puts on a great party so get your Oktoberfest outfit ready and RSVP today. Inspired Living Lakewood Ranch, 5424 Lena Road, Bradenton.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: 21st Annual Goblin Gathering , October 13, 5:30-8pm

Now into its third decade offering family Halloween Fun, the 21st Goblin Gathering is ready to take over Bradenton’s G.T. Bray Park from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2023. This event will feature a costume contest, food trucks and a spooky trail to explore. A $5 wristband will be sold for children to participate in the face painting, petting zoo, pony ride and bounce houses. Parental participation and trick-or-treating is free. Wristbands will be on sale beginning Friday, October 6, at the front desk inside the G.T. Bray Recreation Center, no refunds or replacements will be issued. Wristbands will also be available on a cash-only basis at the event entrance on the day of the event. Representatives from the County and several local community partners will distribute “treats & sweets” to participants, providing a safe alternative for children to trick-or-treat. Vendors also will be on hand with food for purchase. G.T. Bray Park is located at 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West in Bradenton For more information visit mymanatee.org/goblin.

[SOON]  FOOD: Sharktoberfest , October 14, VIP Tasting 5-7pm and Main Event 7-10pm

Raise a glass with Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium during Sharktoberfest, a craft beer festival in the Aquarium after hours sponsored by Gold Cost Eagle Distributing. The event will feature local and regional breweries that will provide samples of their staple selections alongside unique, seasonal brews. Each guest will receive a commemorative tasting glass for sampling and a branded gift bag. Sharktoberfest guests will experience Mote Aquarium as they never have before, enjoying live entertainment, food stations, merchandise vendors and special experiences provided by the Mote Education department. A limited number of VIP Tasting tickets are available for a private tasting experience that will be held at Mote prior to the start of Sharktoberfest. Presented by 99 Bottles Taproom and Bottle Shop, the VIP Tasting will feature six sample selections from local brewers. A curated menu of light bites will be paired with each brew. Guests will enjoy a guided tasting experience where representatives from each brewery will provide insight into the creation of each brew. At the completion of the VIP Tasting experience, guests will enter the Aquarium for the start of Sharktoberfest. Rain or shine event. Must be age 21 or older to attend. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, mote.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: The Bay Turns 1! Community Celebration , October 18 – October 22

The Bay Turns One! Community celebration provides free, exciting, and diverse programming for the entire community to enjoy. With more than 30 free events over the 5 days, there’s something for everyone, including family-fun activities, headlining musical acts by Journey former lead vocalist Steve Augeri and Sarasota’s own Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, food and cultural festivals, a one-year community celebration party, Boo! at The Bay Halloween, dancing, nature explorations in nature and more! For more information, visit thebayturnsone.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sights and Sounds at Waterside Place , July 28 – May 31, 6 to 9 p.m.

Head out to Waterside Place for a rocking evening as part of the Lakewood Ranch Sights and Sounds Program. Enjoy a live concert in partnership with Easterseals and EveryoneRocks, featuring artists who are rocking their spectrum. This event is free and open to the public; there is limited seating at the Plaza, but attendees are welcome to bring their own seats. Food and beverages will be available from numerous Waterside Place merchants. For more information on shows, dates, and times, visit lakewoodranch.com/sights-sounds/. Waterside Place, 1560 Lakefront Dr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  FOOD: Siesta Key Rum Distillery Tours , September 2 – September 30, Various times

Siesta Key Rum runs free year-round tours for guests to learn the story of the craft distillery, the awards they have won and the secret to how they make their rums taste so good. During our 30-45 minute tour we will discuss the following topics: history of Siesta Key Rum, an overview of the awards our small company has won, what makes our rums taste so good, the rum-making process from mashing and fermentation to distillation, barrel aging and bottling of our rums. After the tour, we welcome you to sample a freshly made Siesta Key Rum cocktail, stock up on your favorite rums and browse our gift shop. 2212 Industrial Blvd., Sarasota.

SRQ Media Group

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