Festivals Happening around Sarasota

Like America's best beach towns, Sarasota's a partying place. We celebrate sunsets by flocking toward the Gulf of Mexico hoping our cocktails will help us glimpse the green flash that happens just before the big red ball sinks into the coastal waters.

That's the impromptu festival.

Sarasota & Her Islands also hosts frequent festivities of the more organized kind. If there's something to celebrate, we're on it because we're havin' fun in Sarasota!

For more information, click on the festival link.

January

Forks & Corks Food and Wine Festival Showcases the delicious and diverse cuisine of over 50 members of The Sarasota-Manatee Originals alongside the palate pleasers of an international cast of visiting winery owners and winemakers. The sixth annual epicurean event will be held in the courtyard of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and other venues across the region. The Forks & Corks world-class weekend of food, wine and beer offers a bounty of flavors through various vintner events; interactive wine seminars; and The Grand Tasting, which will feature a tremendous variety of wine and beer, food sampling from top local restaurants, live entertainment, and a charity wine auction.

Ringling by the Bay — This monthly sunset party takes place in the shadow of the largest historic mansion on the west coast of Florida. That would be Ca d'Zan, the 1926-era Mediterranean Revival style home of Circus Magnate and Art Collector John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Now a house museum at the Ringling Museum, this mansion on the shore of Sarasota Bay offers the perfect backdrop for dancing to LIVE music and toasting the technicolor sunsets that flavor our world.

Photo by Louis Wery shows crowds partying at Ringling by the Bay, which takes place at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art on third Thursday evenings October through June.


Sarasota Native Americal Indian Festival — Celebrates the traditions and culture of the Native American peoples.

February

Ringling by the BayThis monthly sunset party takes place in the shadow of the largest historic mansion on the west coast of Florida. That would be Ca d'Zan, the 1926-era Mediterranean Revival style home of Circus Magnate and Art Collector John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Now a house museum at the Ringling Museum, this mansion on the shore of Sarasota Bay offers the perfect backdrop for dancing to LIVE music and toasting the technicolor sunsets that flavor our world.

Sarasota Highland Games and Celtic Festival — For almost 20 years, the Scottish Heritage Society has remembered the hardy band of settlers who waded ashore to found the town of Sarasota in the 1840s. The festivities include the sound of the pipes, the beating of drums, Highland Dancing and Athletic events. 

Sarasota Opera Winter Festival — In addition to two or three operas in the popular repertoire, each season typically includes an opera as part of the long-running "Verdi Cycle", the company's planned presentations of every Verdi opera, and one in the "American Classics" series.

March

Chillounge Night Sarasota Transforms South Palm Avenue into a tropical outdoor lounge area abundantly furnished to create the ultimate outdoor lounge party.

Ringling by the BayThis monthly sunset party takes place in the shadow of the largest historic mansion on the west coast of Florida. That would be Ca d'Zan, the 1926-era Mediterranean Revival style home of Circus Magnate and Art Collector John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Now a house museum at the Ringling Museum, this mansion on the shore of Sarasota Bay offers the perfect backdrop for dancing to LIVE music and toasting the technicolor sunsets that flavor our world.

Sarasota Folk & Acoustic Music Festival — The 10th folk festival sponsored by the Sarasota Folk Club. There will be statewide musicians, delicious food, many fine vendors selling excellent products, workshops, jams, family music & fun for kids!

Sarasota Jazz Festival — One of the major jazz festivals in the United States, presented annually by the Jazz Club of Sarasota.

Sarasota Opera Winter Festival — In addition to two or three operas in the popular repertoire, each season typically includes an opera as part of the long-running "Verdi Cycle", the company's planned presentations of every Verdi opera, and one in the "American Classics" series.

Sarasota Springfest — Showcases the healthy family lifestyle that is Sarasota, bringing together non-profit organizations, local businesses, and families for a relaxed day of out doors fun and enjoyment.

April

Florida Winefest & AuctionEnjoy a world-class food and wine experience all in one place over a long weekend. It is a perfect opportunity to entertain your family, friends or clients. David Elswood, Guest Auctioneer/Christie’s International Head of Wine Sales/ Christie’s London says that the Florida Winefest & Auction is “America’s Friendliest Winefest” and “a wonderful food and wine charity experience unparalleled in the United States.”

Harvey Milk Festival — Celebrates Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay Americans elected to public office. The 2013 Festival features a variety of attractions including live music, film, performing and visual artists, speakers, and vendors designed to engage a large and diverse audience.

La Musica International Chamber Music Festival — Brings outstanding European and American chamber musicians together in Sarasota to present exciting programs of familiar and seldom-heard chamber music. Among the events during the annual festival in April are open rehearsals, pre-concert lectures, youth activities, and five concerts performed at the historic Sarasota Opera House.

Ringling by the Bay - This monthly sunset party takes place in the shadow of the largest historic mansion on the west coast of Florida. That would be Ca d'Zan, the 1926-era Mediterranean Revival style home of Circus Magnate and Art Collector John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Now a house museum at the Ringling Museum, this mansion on the shore of Sarasota Bay offers the perfect backdrop for dancing to LIVE music and toasting the technicolor sunsets that flavor our world.

Sarasota Film Festival — Screens the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 180 films screened each year including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks. Entering its 14th year, SFF feels proud to bring the best new and veteran independent filmmakers to its Festival with local and kid-friendly programs that showcase the idyllic Gulf Coast community that is Sarasota & Her Islands.

May

Ringling by the Bay - This monthly sunset party takes place in the shadow of the largest historic mansion on the west coast of Florida. That would be Ca d'Zan, the 1926-era Mediterranean Revival style home of Circus Magnate and Art Collector John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Now a house museum at the Ringling Museum, this mansion on the shore of Sarasota Bay offers the perfect backdrop for dancing to LIVE music and toasting the technicolor sunsets that flavor our world.

June

Friday Fest on the Bay - The FridayFest, Free Concert series, takes place in rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, the Festival will move indoors to the Grand Foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverage from local vendors.

Ringling by the BayThis monthly sunset party takes place in the shadow of the largest historic mansion on the west coast of Florida. That would be Ca d'Zan, the 1926-era Mediterranean Revival style home of Circus Magnate and Art Collector John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Now a house museum at the Ringling Museum, this mansion on the shore of Sarasota Bay offers the perfect backdrop for dancing to LIVE music and toasting the technicolor sunsets that flavor our world.

Sarasota Music Festival — For three weeks each June, internationally recognized guest artists and student musicians come together in Florida to study and perform chamber music. The Sarasota Music Festival is a magical combination of youthful promise and acclaimed talent that carries a reputation as one of the finest classical-music events in the nation.

Savor Sarasota Restaurant WeekSarasota boasts the highest concentrations of Zagat®-rated restaurants in Florida and in June they treat hometown crowd to a culinary adventure around our award-winning eateries without breaking the bank. It's one of those insider secrets that we love about living here! That's right, during Savor Sarasota, you can enjoy 3-course meals from our famed eateries for just $15 per person for lunch and $25 per person for dinner.

July

Celebrate Sarasota Summer Music Theater & Dance Festival — The Artist Serieshighlights local artists in its Celebrate Sarasota Summer Music, Dance & Theater Festival.

Friday Fest on the Bay - The FridayFest, Free Concert series, takes place in rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, the Festival will move indoors to the Grand Foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverage from local vendors.

Snooty's Birthday Bash & Wildlife Awareness Festival — Join Snooty the Manatee, who was born July 21, 1948  at the old Miami Aquarium, and help him celebrate his birthday and promote wildlide awareness.

Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festival

August

Friday Fest on the Bay — The FridayFest, Free Concert series, takes place in rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, the Festival will move indoors to the Grand Foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverage from local vendors.

Carreño Dance Festival

Players New Play Festival

September

Friday Fest on the Bay — The FridayFest, Free Concert series, takes place in rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, the Festival will move indoors to the Grand Foyer of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Bring your blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverage from local vendors.

Sarasota Blues & Music Festival

October

Downtown Sarasota Art & Craft Festival

Sarasota Pumpkin Festival

Ringling International Arts Festival (RIAF) - Presented annually, the Ringling International Arts Festival is produced under the artistic direction of the Baryshnikov Arts Center with Sarasota's The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. RIAF takes place in the performance galleries of The Florida State University's Ringling Center for the Arts and on the beautiful estate where the Ringlings built their Mediterranean Revival style mansion in 1926.

Ringling by the Bay - This monthly sunset party takes place in the shadow of the largest historic mansion on the west coast of Florida. That would be Ca d'Zan, the 1926-era Mediterranean Revival style home of Circus Magnate and Art Collector John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Now a house museum at the Ringling Museum, this mansion on the shore of Sarasota Bay offers the perfect backdrop for dancing to LIVE music and toasting the technicolor sunsets that flavor our world.

November

Sarasota Chalk Festival

Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sandsculpting Competition

Sarasota Medieval Fair

St Armands Art Festival

Sarasota Bay Water Festival

Ringling by the Bay - This monthly sunset party takes place in the shadow of the largest historic mansion on the west coast of Florida. That would be Ca d'Zan, the 1926-era Mediterranean Revival style home of Circus Magnate and Art Collector John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Now a house museum at the Ringling Museum, this mansion on the shore of Sarasota Bay offers the perfect backdrop for dancing to LIVE music and toasting the technicolor sunsets that flavor our world.

Photo by Louis Wery shows crowds admiring the street paintings at the 2011 Sarasota Chalk Festival.

December

Holiday Night of Lights

Ringling by the Bay - This monthly sunset party takes place in the shadow of the largest historic mansion on the west coast of Florida. That would be Ca d'Zan, the 1926-era Mediterranean Revival style home of Circus Magnate and Art Collector John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Now a house museum at the Ringling Museum, this mansion on the shore of Sarasota Bay offers the perfect backdrop for dancing to LIVE music and toasting the technicolor sunsets that flavor our world.

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