Don't-Miss Spring Events in South Sarasota County

If you’re looking for something to do this March through May, you’ll find plenty of options on the calendar in Venice, North Port, and Englewood.

From food-centric festivals to artistic happenings, there are all kinds of events to check out this spring in southern Sarasota County.

Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival

Looking for a good read? Head to the 8th Annual Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival March 15-16. The free event includes a festival market on Saturday that will be set up this year in Blalock Park (across the street from the new William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Public Library), where children’s, nonfiction, and fiction authors of all kinds will be selling and signing books. The festival also includes panels and a masterclass on Friday (registration required) with authors who will speak about the writing and publication processes. Learn what it takes to create believable characters or how to turn an idea into a published work.

Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash

There’s no better combo than good food and good tunes. That’s why the Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash—which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year—is a must-do event in these parts. Taking place on March 29-30 at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds, the bash brings together top pit masters and world-class bluegrass musicians for a finger-licking and finger-picking good time. The party kicks off on Friday night with a fish fry, live bluegrass performances, and kids’ activities. On Saturday, folks can sample ribs, pulled pork, and other eats from barbecue teams hailing from all over the country, then enjoy tunes from award-winning bluegrass bands like the Grascals and Flatt Lonesome. There are also games, face-painting, and bounce houses for the kids; plus a classic car show for auto enthusiasts.

Englewood Fine Arts Show

More than 100 artists from around the U.S. will head to Englewood for the Spring Fine Arts Show, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Englewood. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 30 and 31, browse the ceramics, paintings, jewelry, and other artwork and home decor items for sale at the juried show that sets up on West Dearborn Street in downtown Englewood. Attendees are asked to make a $2 entry donation to benefit the Rotary’s Youth Foundation, which provides scholarships for local students and supports many local youth activities and programs.

Shark’s Tooth Festival

Venice is known as the “shark’s tooth capital of the world,” so it’s no surprise the city is the site of an annual Shark’s Tooth Festival. This year’s event takes place April 12 through 14 at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds. Fossil collectors from across the southeastern United States head to the festival to display and sell shark’s teeth and other prehistoric finds. They’re joined by more than 100 artists showcasing their original work. There’s also live music throughout the festival, kids’ activities, and lots of other family-friendly fun.

Easter Egg Hunt

You might want to bring your biggest Easter basket to North Port’s “Egg”Normous Egg Hunt. On April 13 at 10 a.m., the free super-sized egg hunt takes place on the City Center Front Green near North Port City Hall. Participants ages three to nine will be divided into three age groups to search for more than 15,000 eggs! The hunt will also include 60 special prize eggs in honor of the City of North Port’s 60th anniversary.

Easter in Venice

At the Easter Eggstravaganza, a popular annual event in Centennial Park in downtown Venice, the egg hunting begins at 9 a.m. on April 20. Participants are divided by age group and can pose for photos with the Easter Bunny himself after they’ve finished searching.

Yoga in the Garden

To celebrate National ParkRx Day, North Port’s Garden of the Five Senses will host Yoga in the Garden on April 20 at 9 a.m. Participants ages 12 and up can bring a mat or towel for some gentle stretching in this 16-acre park designed to stimulate all five senses. You might smell some of the fragrant plantings or hear the soothing waterfall as you’re doing sun salutations during the free event.

Concert in the Park

North Port is celebrating its 60th birthday in 2019, and the city’s Concert in the Park on May 3 near City Hall will include tunes that were popular in 1959. Attendees can set up their chairs and blankets starting at 6 p.m., and vendors will be on hand selling food and drinks to enjoy during the free all-ages show that kicks off at 7 p.m.

Seafood & Music Festival

Who’s hungry? The Third Annual Venice Seafood & Music Festival takes over Centennial Park in downtown Venice May 3 through 5. Try out all kinds of seafood delicacies, then browse the festival marketplace stocked with gourmet food items and wares made by arts and craft vendors. Live musical acts from Florida and beyond provide the soundtrack for the free outdoor fun.

Throwback Party for Kids

Want to play like it’s 1959? Bring the little ones to the Kids to Park Day at North Port’s George Mullen Community Center on May 18. The free event that runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will include children’s games that were popular in 1959 in honor of North Port’s 60th anniversary. Kids can also play giant lawn games, run water relay races, and participate in field day activities.