Sarasota Springtime Festivals with a Salty Twist

Sarasota FL Festivals

FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL

Spring is the peak time of year in Sarasota, Florida. The rising temperatures bring more entertainment to the area. Affordable beach homes and Sarasota Florida gated communities keep retirees and young families flocking to the area too.

Sarasota County is often referred to as the cultural capital of the Gulf Coast because of its performing arts scene that includes award-winning opera, ballet, orchestra and theatre. All of that makes it one of the best towns to retire in Florida.  Art lovers, history buffs and seafood fanatics will love the selection of fun events in the spring. There are several popular events happening this time of year. 

Here are a few fun things to in the month of April in Sarasota:

Annual Desoto Heritage Seafood Festival - April 1st - 3rd, 2016 Sutton Park, Palmetto FL

This three-day family event features some of the best seafood around along with other tasty offerings from area restaurants and food vendors. A great lineup of continuous entertainment on two stages includes the best the local music scene has to offer as well as nationally known recording artists. Area artisans and craft vendors as well as other activities for the whole family round the offerings at the Seafood Festival.

Adults: $5 / $10 on Saturday after 4pm, Children 12 and under: Free

  • Friday 5-10pm
  • Saturday 11am-10pm
  • Sunday 12-6pm

24th Annual Venice Sharks Tooth Festival - April 8-10th, 2016

Venice Airport Festival Grounds, 610 E. Airport Avenue, Venice, FL 

The Sharks Tooth Festival takes place each spring, where fossil collectors from around the Southeast display and sell sharks teeth and other prehistoric fossils. Artists from around the state market their original work using sharks teeth. Food vendors serve up delicious dishes from seafood to BBQ. Throughout the festival, live entertainment is on stage performing.

  • Friday 4pm - 9pm
  • Saturday 10am - 9pm
  • Sunday 10am - 5pm

3rd Annual Bradenton Dragon Boat Festival - April 9th, 2016 - Bradenton Riverwalk

The third annual Bradenton Dragon Boat features a multitude of family-friendly activities are on the agenda including a Farmers’ Market, volleyball and fishing. It’s a great way for the whole family to spend the day, whether you are paddling in the event or watching the competition.

9am-3pm

Lido Beach Spring Fine Art Festival  - April 9-10th, 2016

GPS Address:  400 Benjamin Franklin Dr., Sarasota, FL

Formerly known as the St. Armands Fine Art Festival, this event features an extraordinary outdoor gallery of original handmade fine art by national and international artisans.  A spectacular tapestry of art will be woven of exquisite creations in painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, glass, ceramics, fiber and wearable art, mixed-media, woodworking and more.

  • Saturday 10am - 6pm
  • Sunday 11am - 5pm

Sarasota Open Tennis Championship Tournament - April 9-17th, 2016 

Lakewood Ranch Athletic and Tennis Center
8488 Legacy Blvd, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

With $100,000 in prize money, the Sarasota Open Tennis Tournament will bring the top tennis pros in the world to Sarasota. The Sarasota Open is the premiere USTA Men’s Pro Circuit event on Florida's west coast. Most days children under the age of 18 get in free when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.

7th Annual Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash - April 15 &16th, 2016

Festival grounds at Venice Municipal Airport, 595 Airport Ave.

This event features Bluegrass music, cooking competitions for barbecue, chili and desserts; and free hot air balloon rides, community exhibits and children's activities. It also raises money to help maintain several buildings that the Suncoast Foundation for Handicapped Children owns that are occupied by nonprofits, including Special Olympics, Florida Center, Community Haven, Children's First and the Loveland Center that serve more than 8,000 special needs children. Gates Open: Fri 5pm | Sat 10am

14th Annual Downtown Sarasota Art and Craft Festival April 16 & 17th, 2016

1592 Main St. in Sarasota, FL

This Annual Craft Festival garners crowds of fine craft lovers each year. More than 100 of the nation's most talented artisans will showcase a variety of jewelry, pottery, ceramics, photography, painting, clothing and much more - all handmade in America. Prices range from$15 to $3,000. An expansive Green Market with plants, orchids, exotic flora, handmade soaps, gourmet spices and freshly popped kettle corn further compliments the weekend, blending nature with nurture. Saturday and Sunday 10:00am to 5:00pm

4th Annual Sarasota Bay Water Festival - April 30th, 2016

Ken Thompson Park on Ken Thompson Parkway, Lido Key, Sarasota. 

Formerly known as the Sarasota Bay Water Festival, this year’s SeagrassFest is a fun, family-friendly education and water-based activities highlighting the importance of seagrass to the Bay. There will be food, music and hands-on activities and games. The event is free.  10am-4pm

Sarasota is one of the best towns to retire in Florida. There are countless fun events and most of them are free, which is a huge plus for people living on a fixed budget. Many areas of Sarasota are filled with affordable beach homes and are bike/pedestrian friendly including miles with relaxing Gulf of Mexico water views. You’ll find as many recreational opportunities such as biking, hiking, swimming and fishing. Sarasota is also home to many fine small colleges.

Sarasota consists of several distinct areas including the upscale St. Armands Circle. In addition there are the Casey, Longboat and Siesta keys offering a variety of island lifestyles. In 2015, TripAdvisor named Siesta Key the best beach in the United States.

The Sarasota Bay is a fantastic area for people for boaters, golf country clubs, affordable beach homes and condos in the heart of downtown. It’s also home to Lakewood Ranch, a 17,500-acre golf community that’s one of the largest green-certified communities in America. Since 2005, new Lakewood Ranch homes have been built "green," incorporating building products and techniques that result in a healthier, more energy-efficient, and environmentally responsible home. 

Lakewood Ranch is among the top Sarasota Florida gated communities. It offers a variety of housing and lifestyle options - from single-family, maintenance-free, and luxurious private estates - surrounded by dramatic landscapes and wetland preserves harboring hundreds of species of native wildlife. The Sarasota Open is now played at Lakewood Ranch.

Amazing architecture, superb weather, beautiful beaches, boating and culture are the top reasons for moving to Sarasota. Plan a visit this spring to check out some great events, to see if there’s a better reason for you. If you're learning about the area for the first time, ask for our free Sarasota relocation information to help you. 

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