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SRQ DAILY Dec 7, 2023

Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

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Thursday Family and Recreation Edition

"Through passing conventional expectations, I want to inspire others to realize that they are capable of much more than they may think, motivate them to break down self imposed limitations and strive to live up to their truest potential in all aspects of their life."

- Jonathan Simos, Athlete, Guinness World Record Holder.

[World Record]  Sarasota Native Jonathan Simos Sets Guinness World Record
Emma Dannenfelser, emma@srqme.com

Jonathan Simos is a man of many talents. He is a fitness fanatic, avid Strongman Competitor, trainer, weekend spanakopita chef and newly appointed Guinness World Record Holder, setting the record for heaviest weight lifted while hanging suspended in the dead hang position for one minute. Simos set the record last week by hanging for a little over a minute with 300 pounds strapped to his body, a feat that took 2 months of dedication and specialized training to accomplish.

Simos has always had a competitive spirit and passion for all things fitness, leading him to not only compete in numerous competitions as a performance drug free athlete, such as the popular American Ninja Warrior course and Hercules Hold competitions, but also to become both a trainer and entrepreneur. Along with working as a coach at MADabolic gym in downtown Sarasota and running his homemade spanakopita business, Greek Triangles, Simos’ newest venture is a fitness education program called Neuxist that aims to help teach people how to train in a functional style of fitness and reach their goals. It was through this venture that he began researching an array of fitness-inspired Guinness World Records and discovering that he could actually beat some of them. “I began to realize I wasn't very far off from getting a couple records with the way that I was training. I thought it would be a great way to bring more credibility to the program while inspiring others to realize that they're capable of a lot more than they think.”

His specialized training regiment for the record included an array of pull movements using a fat grip bar extender used to help with grip endurance, including single arm cable rows, heavy barbell shrugs and lat pull downs. Along with the dedicated dead hang workouts, Simos also maintained his usual regiment, consisting of weightlifting three to four times a week and running two to three times a week. While setting a weighted dead hang record is no easy task, neither is gaining the paperwork and evidentiary support required by Guinness World Records. The process of gaining approval to even just attempt the record takes anywhere from 8-12 weeks to be completed. During the actual attempt, everything has to be continuously recorded, including ensuring that both the weights and timer are completely accurate.

In the future, Simos plans to continue breaking world records, already eyeing the set records for longest 200 pound weighted dead hang and fastest explosive four meter pull up. Above all, Simos hopes to inspire and motivate others through his journey. “As a lifetime drug-free athlete, I am working to push physical limitations. Through passing conventional expectations, I want to inspire others to realize that they are capable of much more than they may think, motivate them to break down self imposed limitations and strive to live up to their truest potential in all aspects of their life.” 

Pictured: Jonathan Simos setting a Guinness World Record for heaviest weight lifted while hanging suspended in the dead hang position for one minute. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Simos.

For more information about Neuxist, visit @neuxist on Instagram.

[Sports Event]  Sarasota's Last Paddler Standing
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

“Standup paddle boarding (SUP) is a relatively young sport. It’s really only in the last 15 years that it’s become a sport at all,” says Greg Wingo, organizer of the Last Paddler Standing race. “Traditionally speaking, SUP races are typically done in either a sprint style–something fast and not very long distance–or are more technically focused, which are still pretty short races that feature buoys and other obstacles in the open water. There are some longer distance SUP races around the world, but they tend to be somewhere in that six to twelve mile range. There are not many ultra distance SUP races.”

That is, except for the one that took place in Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park this past Saturday. Last Paddler Standing returned to Sarasota for its second year of determining who is the toughest paddle boarder out of some of the sport’s top athletes. Created by Wingo, a long-time ultra runner and full-time organizer of endurance races, the Last Paddler Standing, to put it lightly, is the hardest thing anyone will ever do on a paddleboard. The endurance race is a test of strategy, stamina and mental fortitude: racers must paddle a 3.33 mile loop around the lake within a one-hour period, with each consecutive loop beginning on the hour. At the 48 hour mark–and yes, the race has gone for that long–the length of the loop is increased to 4.9 miles. Racers must dismount their boards and get out of the water after completing each lap. The last paddler standing wins.

“This concept of a last man standing style event exists in other sports but not within the paddle boarding world and so I took my knowledge of directing other races and basically just tried to see how it could be created within the SUP world,” says Wingo. “Pretty much everybody quits or gets timed out in the process of the race happening and you’re left with one person at the end. It’s pretty unique and pretty insane.”

This year, Blake Carmichael proved to be the Last Paddler Standing out of 31 competitors after completing 50 laps, with two extra laps of 4.9 miles after the 48 hour mark. In a test of strength, stamina and just plain grit, Sarasota’s Last Paddler Standing race stands alone. 

Pictured: Second place finisher Alex Somoano (left) speaks with winner Blake Carmichael (right) during the Last Paddler Standing race. Photo courtesy of Last Paddler Standing.

[Baseball]  Orioles Announce Spring Training Promotional Schedule and Game Times

The Orioles recently announced that individual tickets for all Spring Training games at Ed Smith Stadium will go on sale Tuesday, December 12, at 10:00 a.m. ET. The club also announced its Spring Training game times and the promotional schedule, which is highlighted by five giveaway items. Beginning December 12, fans can purchase individual tickets for the Spring Training season. Birdland Members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets in advance as part of a members-only pre-sale on Thursday, December 7. In addition, fans can sign-up for the Sarasota 365 newsletter for pre-sale access on Friday, December 8. All tickets must be purchased online at Orioles.com/SpringTickets. The Ed Smith Stadium Box Office will open for in-person sales at a later date to-be-announced. The 2024 Spring Training promotional schedule features giveaways and experiences for fans of all ages. Again this year, the Orioles invite children and seniors to run the bases after select home games. Kids Run the Bases, presented by The Out-of-Door Academy, is open to all fans ages four to 14, and will return following every Sunday home game, while Seniors Stroll the Bases, presented by Sunways Senior Living Concierge, will return following each Monday and Tuesday home game for fans age 60 and older. The promotional schedule is highlighted by special event days such as Heroes Day (February 29), presented by Cheney Brothers, Youth Sports Day (March 10) presented by First Watch, and Fireworks Night (March 23), as well as various giveaways, including a Magnet Schedule (February 24), a Spring Training T-shirt (March 8), a Chick-fil-A Plush Cow (March 13), an Orioles Rally Towel (March 17), and an O’s Cap (March 22). During every Saturday and Sunday home game, the Orioles will honor members of the Sarasota community who are selflessly working or volunteering to improve the lives of others through the Birdland Community Heroes program. To nominate a hero, visit Orioles.com/Spring. The CEO Seats program, created to give back to the community while using baseball to inspire the next generation of leaders, will return this season. Founded in 2023, the CEO Seats program donates the partnership group’s seats, located near the Orioles dugout, to local organizations that are making a difference in the community. The seats, which will be donated by the Orioles during both Spring Training and Regular Season games, serve as “thank you” to those making a difference in the community, and act as a reminder to young people that if they set their goals and work hard, they can accomplish whatever they put their minds to. The 2024 Spring Training marks the club’s 15th spring season at Ed Smith Stadium. The Orioles will play 16 home games at their home park, including 10 afternoon games, all beginning at 1:05 p.m., and six night games, each slated to begin at 6:05 p.m.



To learn more, visit.

[Adult Education]  Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College Presents Listening to Women Jan. 18-Feb. 22, 2024

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College (OLLI at Ringling College) presents its fifth annual Listening to Women, a six-session series that recognizes women whose brilliance and fortitude have reshaped industries and who are making a difference in today’s communities. The series takes place on Thursdays at 1 pm, from Jan. 18-Feb. 22, 2024, at Sarasota Art Museum, the Ringling College Museum Campus, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Registration for the complete series is $81 for OLLI Gold Members and $90 for OLLI Silver Members and general admission; register at www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org. Holly Freedman, co-chair of the OLLI Advisory Council, is the founder of the Listening to Women series. Members of the Listening to Women team include Victoria Eckl, Louise Gallagher, Susan Gorin, Bev Harms, Victoria Kasdan, Judy Levine, Terry Rixse, Sherry Suggs, and Tobie van der Vorm. 

[Holiday Event]  Art Center Sarasota Presents A Holiday Art Festival December 8 and 9

Art Center Sarasota presents a two-day Holiday Art Festival, Friday, December 8, and Saturday, December 9, noon to 5 p.m. The event features paintings, hand-dyed garments, crochet apparel, ceramics, ornaments, drawings, jewelry, sculpture and more—all created by area-based artists and artisans. Admission is free. 

Pictured: Work by Dorothea Calvert.

[Adult Education]  Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College Announces its Winter Semester

Registration is open for the 2024 winter semester at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Ringling College, which offers noncredit educational opportunities for adults to pursue new interests, expand intellectual horizons, and enrich their lives. The semester, which runs Jan. 8-March 1, 2024, features more than 50courses, workshops, lectures, and special presentations covering a wide variety of topics, including arts and entertainment, history, music appreciation, health, literature, philosophy, religion, and science. Semester highlights include Searching Dr. Google. What Should I Believe?; The History of Psychiatry: Winners and Losers; Voting Behavior and the Electoral Process; Glass: The New Hot Contemporary Art Form; andThe Historic First Federal Prosecution of a U.S. President. Classes are offered at Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; and online via Zoom. To register, or for more information about becoming an OLLI member, visit www.OLLIatRinglingCollege.org or call 941-309-5111.   

To learn more, visit

[Event]  Belle's Princess Parties- Royal Holiday Musical Spectacular

Step into a world of enchantment and Holiday cheer with Belle’s Princess Parties at their Royal Holiday Musical Spectacular! Join them for an unforgettable experience as 10 Princesses take the stage in a live theatrical stage performance. From enchanting songs to captivating dances, immerse yourself in the festive spirit with the Princesses of Belle's Princess Parties!
Join Anna and Elsa as they host 8 of their Princess friends for a Holiday Spectacular like never before! You can expect to see Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Snow White, Moana, Mirabel, Jasmine, And TInkerbell! The Royal Holiday Musical Spectacular will be held in the beautiful outdoor stage at The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime in Sarasota, FL, on December 17th, from 5pm to 7pm! Get ready for an enchanting experience filled with joy, laughter, and holiday cheer. Event Highlights included in your ticket: 10 Princesses in attendance to entertain, charm, and delight! Live Stage Performance: Immerse yourself in a captivating show filled with holiday music, royal tales, and festive spirit. Meet and Greets: Interact with your favorite princesses up close, capture precious moments, and create memories to last a lifetime. Yummy Treats: Indulge in delectable snacks and treats fit for royalty. Cash bar available for adults 21+. Bounce House: Let the little ones bounce away, adding an extra layer of fun to the festivities- brought to you by Sunhouse Inflatables! Vedors: Explore a variety of vendors offering unique and delightful treasures just in time for the holidays. Tickets available now! Don't miss out on the royal celebration of the year. This is an all ages event. Children under 12 months are free with an adult. Every guest must have a ticket to enter. GA Adult/Child : $25, VIP (Very Important Princess)- $45 *LIMITED AVAILABILITY*, Includes Upfront Seating, Tiara, Private photo op with all 10 Princesses after the event!* For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://bellesprincessparties.ticketleap.com/royal-holiday-spectacular/ Or visit www.bellesprincessparties.com. 

[Recognition]  School District Announces Manatee County Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year

The School District of Manatee County is proud to announce its Principal of the Year is Joshua Bennett of Braden River Elementary School, and Assistant Principal of the Year is Jessica Kane of Palm View K-8. Both are eligible for the Florida Department of Education’s Principal and Assistant Principal of the Year programs. Principal Bennett has led Braden River Elementary School since 2019. He formerly served as Principal of Bashaw Elementary, as well as Assistant Principal at Bayshore and Kinnan Elementary Schools, and ESE Teacher at Mills, Bashaw and Oneco Elementary Schools. He has been with the school district since 1999. Jessica Kane became Assistant Principal of Palm View K-8 in 2021. Previously, she served as Assistant Principal at King Middle School, as well as a dean at Lakewood Ranch High School, a student support specialist at Haile Middle School, the ESE department chair at Horizons Academy and ESE teacher at Manatee High School. She has worked for the school district since 2007. The Principal and Assistant Principal Achievement Awards for Outstanding Leadership recognize exemplary school administrators for their contributions to their schools and communities, according to the Florida Department of Education. The program honors leaders who have spearheaded initiatives to increase student performance, promote safe learning environments and establish partnerships with parents and community members. 

[Contest]  Williams Parker Announces the Winner of the 2023 Holiday Card Design Contest

Williams Parker is proud to announce Stella Kim as the winner of the 2023 Holiday Card Design Contest in partnership with Ringling College of Art and Design. This marks the sixth year of collaboration between the law firm and the college in seeking creative designs from students for their annual holiday card. As part of the recognition, she has been awarded a cash prize to assist with her school-related expenses. Stella Kim, a talented Illustration freshman from South Korea, stood out among numerous impressive submissions. Her project involved designing a captivating holiday card, showcasing not only her talent but also her passion for visual storytelling. During her free time, Stella draws inspiration from the fusion of illustration and music, crafting visually stunning pieces that showcase her distinctive style. As she continues to make her mark on the vibrant artistic community at Ringling College, Williams Parker eagerly anticipates the next chapters of Stella Kim's artistic journey. 

[HOTY]  2024 Home of the Year is Live!

SRQ Magazine is calling home builders, architects, landscape architects and interior designers to submit their projects from the past year. The winning entries are awarded Home of the Year Platinum, Gold, and Silver Awards and the winning entries are published in the March 2024 awards edition of SRQ Magazine. 

Enter Here!

[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]  MUSIC: Jazz Thursdays , July 13 – December 14, 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Join Sarasota Art Museum for Jazz Thursdays featuring live jazz music, contemporary art, and sips and bites from Bistro. Hosted by the Jazz Club of Sarasota. Jazz Thursday happens on the second Thursday of each month, 5:30-8 p.m. Galleries, Bistro, and SHOP open. FREE for Members, $20 for Not-Yet Members.

[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: Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch , September 3 – September 30, 10am-2pm

Experience some of the best food and flavors of the region with more than 100, and still growing, curated vendors. The Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch has fast become a favorite weekly tradition for people from all over the region seeking farm-fresh produce, delicious prepared foods, and specialty items and gifts. Aside from all the goodies you can shop at the Farmers Market, find your flow in a free yoga class or have the kiddos get creative during weekly-hosted workshops. 1561 Lakefront Dr., Lakewood Ranch.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Bradenton Market Returns , October 7 – May 25, 9am-2pm

Realize Bradenton is happy to announce the return of the Bradenton Market to its weekly schedule. This beloved community gathering will be held Saturdays through May 25, 2024 from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm on Old Main Street in Bradenton. Founded in 1979, the Market has expanded to include more than 90 local vendors. In addition to the weekly shopping and music, the Market hosts special event days throughout the season. Halloween at the Market will be held on Saturday, October 28. This family-friendly event includes trick or treating with vendors, face painting with Manatee School for the Arts Academic Team from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, and a dance performance by Slick Motion Studios at 10:00 am. For more information, visit RealizeBradenton.com.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Wellen Park Group Fitness , October 15 – December 16, 8-9am

Starting the week of Oct. 15, a dynamic lineup of weekly fitness activities for the community will begin. Groups will meet in Downtown Wellen, in front of Kind Vibes Outfitters. Yoga and Zumba classes meet on the Great Lawn. Walking Group Meet-Up, every Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. Cycling Group Meet-Up, every Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. Running Group Meet-Up, every Monday at 6 p.m. Yoga, every Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. Zumba, every Monday from 8 to 9 a.m. For more information, visit wellepark.com.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Holiday Splendor at The Ringling , December 14, 5 to 8 p.m.

Celebrate the holiday season and help support the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots, serving Sarasota and Manatee counties during Holiday Splendor on December 14. Local schools will provide musical entertainment and there will be Art Making, as well as a free Holiday Book Market. Children will receive a free book of their choice. All venues will be open for self-touring, including the Museum of Art, Ca dZan, and the Circus Museum. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Admission to this event is free with one unwrapped toy per person. Regular admission will apply without a toy donation. $15 Adult / $5 Child. Guests are encouraged to shop in the Museum Store, which has a large selection of toys under $20. Please enter through the Visitor's Pavilion. ringling.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Community Kwanzaa Celebration , December 7 – January 1, Various times

Kwanzaa is a beautiful celebration that honors African-American heritage and history. In order to celebrate Kwanzaa, the Friends of the Betty Jean Johnson North Sarasota Public Library and the African American Cultural Resource Center will conduct a series of candle-lighting ceremony events that feature family-friendly activities during the seven days of Kwanzaa, which runs from Tuesday, December 26, 2023, through Monday, January 1, 2024. These events are also free and open to the public. bettyjjohnsonfriends.org.

[SOON]  SPORTS: 47th Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run , December 9, 8am

Kick off the holiday season by participating in the 47th annual Sandy Claws Beach Run at Siesta Beach, on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 8am. Register by Nov. 17 to guarantee the best price, along with receiving a long-sleeve performance event shirt and runner swag. For more information, or to register, visit runsignup.com/47thannualsandyclawsbeachrun.

[SOON]  FOOD: 8th Annual Ugly Sweater Crawl, Sarasota , December 9, 3-10pm
Join us for the 8th Annual Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl. Get that Goodwill sweater, find those tacky holiday pants, and get ready to jingle bell ROCK on Dec. 9th. Regular and VIP tickets are available, and you will enjoy specials throughout the evening as you visit local bars. Purchase tickets at https://uglysweatersarasota2023.eventbrite.com/.
[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Holiday for the Birds , December 9, 11am-12pm

Get ready to celebrate in a unique and eco-friendly way at our Holiday for the Birds tree trimming event, brought to you in partnership with the Florida Native Plants Nursery and Landscaping. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase and decorate a Southern Red Cedar tree with bird-friendly ornaments. These special decorations include natural treats and nesting materials, providing essential support for our feathered friends during the winter season. Following the festivities, take your tree home or leave it to be planted at one of our forever-protected preserves. Tickets are $50 per group of up to 6 people. Each group ticket includes one small, tabletop-sized red cedar tree, bird-friendly trimmings, and light refreshments. Only 15 trees are available for this intimate event. Register early to reserve your spot. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/holiday-for-the-birds-tickets-748063436877?bbeml=tp-e5KNqKMYvkmbFXSRvHWx3w.jLk6Ql6m2hkKbNWPHs8RnDw.rBI7iJD6grEutifTT9GM5ow.lEYs6k37dfE-LzjCdW7UPiA

[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 Mattisons at the Van Wezel which is located inside the theatre. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office.

[SOON]  GALA: Celebrate 75 Gala and Concert , February 15, 6pm
Celebrate 75 years of inspiring music all season long, and our Celebrate 75 special concert and gala experience will be the party to top them all. We invite you to support 75 more years, and beyond, of enriching lives through music by purchasing tickets to Celebrate 75. For access to the best seats and the full celebration, opt for a Gala ticket, which includes pre-concert cocktails and a gourmet dinner after the performance. Concert-only tickets are also available for purchase. The concert program, led by Creative Partner Peter Oundjian, captures all the euphoria of reaching this milestone in our history as Florida’s oldest continuously operating orchestra. After two stirring fanfares written by Aaron Copland and Joan Tower, legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson joins Sarasota Orchestra for the monumental Piano Concerto No. 3 by Rachmaninoff. Paired with An American in Paris by Gershwin, a rhapsodic portrait of a stroll through the City of Lights, this one-night-only program promises to thrill. Gala begins at 6:00 pm, and concert begins at 7:00 pm. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, sarasotaorchestra.org.
[SOON]  GALLERY: Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , February 11 – June 30, n/a

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will present Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O Keeffe as the eighth iteration of its annual Jean and 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. For more information, visit selby.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Under the Sea ALSO Youth Annual Prom , February 3, 6-10pm
The ALSO Youth Annual Prom is the most highly anticipated event for our LGBTQ youth each year. Youth from Sarasota County, Manatee County and beyond attend this unique celebration where they are free to come as they are, with whoever they wish, without fear of judgment or needing to mask who they are. We anticipate between 250-300 youth sending their RSVP to attend the ALSO Youth Prom on Saturday, February 3, 2024. Attendees will enjoy fun music, dancing, games, themed crafts, an awesome photo booth, and so much more. alsoyouth.org
[SOON]  FOOD: Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival , January 25 – January 29, Various times
The 2024 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival, hosted by the Sarasota Manatee Originals, will take place January 25 to 29. Grand Tasting tickets go on sale in October. A full five day slate of food and wine themed fun is planned, including the University Master Classes, wine dinners at area restaurants, wine shop tasting events, a trade tasting and the much anticipated Grand Tasting at The Ringling Museum of Art. Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, ticket sales for The Grand Tasting launch on two consecutive Tuesdays: On October 10 at 9 a.m. there is a presale of the VIP and Early Access tickets and on October 17 at 7 p.m. General Admission tickets will be available and historically have sold out in a matter of minutes. All Forks and Corks Grand Tasting tickets will be available online only. For more information, please visit www.eatlikealocal.com.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Music Mondays , January 8 – March 25, Various times

The 2024 season of Sarasota Institute of the Lifetime Learning Music Monday Series presents performances and lively conversations with renowned and emerging performers, January 8-March 25, on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. at Church of the Palms in Sarasota; and Mondays at 3 p.m. at Venice Presbyterian Church in Venice. https://sillsarasota.org/index.htm.

[SOON]  GALA: New Year's Eve Gala , December 31, 7pm-1am

Kick-off 2024 at Selby Gardens. Enjoy private access to Lights in Bloom, passed hors doeuvres, a seated four-course dinner, as well as a performance by The Sarasota Ballet and dancing to DJ Karim. The countdown to the new year culminates with a champagne toast and an excellent view of the fireworks overlooking Sarasota Bay. selby.org.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Kenny Weiland Quartet , December 28, 7-9pm
This music, best described as free-range, is diverse and jazz-oriented. Swing, country, blues, ballads, honky-tonk, and contemporary covers and originals. Tickets are $8. thereserveretreat.com.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Holiday Music with David Munoz and Emily Baar , December 23, 7:30 to 9:30 pm

Local Honey features guitarist David Munoz with vocals by Emily Baar. The duo serenades our guests with holiday melodies, standard classics, and their original compositions. Tickets are $10.

[SOON]  MUSIC: IL DIVO , December 20, 7:3opm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome IL DIVO A New Day Holiday Tour to Sarasota on Wednesday, December 20, at 7:30pm. The tour will feature the group performing holiday classics that include It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Its The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, and more, in addition to songs from their vast catalog. Tickets start at $59.50 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 10am to 4pm. 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 theater. Reservations can be made on VanWezel.org or through the box office.

[SOON]  FOOD: Book Launch Celebration with Award Winning Journalist Carrie Seidman , December 18, 5-6pm

In the tradition of such beloved food writers as Ruth Reichl, Laurie Colwin, and Calvin Trillin, Carrie Seidman, an award-winning newspaper journalist for 45 years, has written A Place at the Table, a collection of essays that explores the intersection between what sustains us physically and how it binds us emotionally. Join us as we celebrate her book's release with a Q and A, reading, and book signing. A Place at the Table will strike chords of remembrance and nostalgia in readers at a time when health and heritage have assumed a high priority and food has become an avenue for creativity, solace, and connection. Bookstore1Sarasota, 17 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-365-7900, sarasotabooks.com.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Breakfast with Santa , December 16, 10am-12pm

Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources invites children ages 12 and under and their families to the free Breakfast with Santa event, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 16. Enjoy breakfast, holiday music, and a visit by Santa in person at Laurel Park and at Newtown Estates Park. Pre-registration is required to attend this event. Register children ages 12 and under online before Friday, Dec. 8, or until the event is full. Unwrapped toy donations for children ages 12 and under are being accepted through Monday, Dec. 11 at Sarasota County parks, events, fire stations and library locations throughout the county. For more information, or to register, visit scgov.net.

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SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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