Top 12 spring flings in Sarasota County

Lynn Hobeck Bates, 941-955-0991 Ext. 103
[email protected]

Top 12 spring flings in Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (February 13, 2014) –  Spring is right around the corner and Sarasota County has plenty of festivals and events to keep the entire family happy this year. 
Here is a list of the top 12 spring festivals and events happening in Sarasota this March and April.

Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival and Symposium
March 1 and 2, 2014, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Save Our Seabirds, City Island, Sarasota
Cost: $5 for adults, children 12 and under free
About: Benefitting the Rotary Club of Sarasota Foundation and Save Our Seabirds, the event features a juried exhibition of wildlife-themed paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other art, along with speakers discussing wildlife and environmental education topics. Festival attendees receive free admission to Save our Seabirds, which rescues and rehabilitates injured birds, and $5 off admission to nearby Mote Aquarium.

13th Annual Downtown Venice Art Classic
When: March 1 & 2, 2014,  10 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Where: West Venice Avenue in Downtown Venice, FL
Cost: Free
About: The annual Venice Art Classic is becoming as popular as its counterpart Venice show in the fall. Set up along West Venice Avenue, in the heart of downtown Venice, you will meet 150 of the nation's most talented artists showcasing a broad spectrum of mediums, including sculpture, photography, glass, paintings, ceramics, jewelry and mixed media. Howard Alan Events offers patrons the opportunity to personally meet with the artists, commission a work of art, and learn what inspires the artists' work.

Ringling In Bloom
When: March 1 & 2, 2014, 10 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Where: The Ringling, 5400 Bayshore Road, Sarasota, FL
About: Celebrate four days of fine art and flowers when the art museum galleries are full of artful arrangements inspired by works from the Ringling's collection. Floral designers from throughout the bay area participate in this eagerly awaited flower-filled event. New this year will be a variety of workshops and tours inspired by the Bayfront Gardens of The Ringling estate designed for aspiring gardeners and interested homeowners in our community.

Sarasota County Agricultural Fair
When: March 14-23, 2014 (hours vary)
Where: Sarasota Fairgrounds
Cost: $8 adults, $4 seniors, active military, and children ages 6 to 17 for admission (rides are an additional cost)
About: Find crafts, entertainment, agricultural exhibits, steer and swine shows and sales, and carnival rides for all ages at this popular annual event, which helps to support and promote 4-H and FFA programs in the area. Frequent arm-band specials offer discounts for major fans of the Ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl, and other rides. 941-365-0818,

First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay
When: March 16, 2014 starting at 7 a.m.
Where: Downtown Sarasota and beyond
Cost: Free
About: Cheer on the runners as they race over the Ringling Causeway, around St. Armands Circle, and up to the Ringling museum complex and back. Then head to the finish line at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall for a free, post-race event with live music and a kids' corner with face painting, balloon artists, and interactive games and contests.

Sarasota Folk Festival
When: March 22 (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and 23 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), 2014
Where: Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
Cost: $10 to $35 (different ticket options are available)
About: Three stages host a variety of folk acts throughout the weekend, which also features folklife exhibits and food and craft vendors. Aspiring musicians can check out the jam tent and workshop tent for tips and advice from the pros. For the kids, there's a family stage and arts and crafts area, conveniently located near the park's playground.

Sailor Circus 65th Anniversary Show
When: March 27 to April 5 (times vary)
Where: Sailor Circus Arena, Sarasota
Cost: $16 adults, $12 children
About: Do your kids dream of walking a tightrope or swinging on a trapeze? Known as the "Greatest 'Little' Show on Earth," the Sailor Circus Academy is America's oldest youth circus, offering after-school training for kids ages 8 to 18. It marks its 65th anniversary with a patriotic-themed show saluting veterans and their families. 941-355-9805,

BB&T Venice Shark's Tooth Festival
When: April 11 to 13, 2014 (times vary)
Where: Venice Airport Festival Grounds
Cost: $3 for adults, free admission for children 12 and under
About: The 22nd annual celebration of Venice's designation as "Shark's Tooth Capital of the World" features fossil collectors displaying and selling their prehistoric finds, more than 100 hundred Florida artists, food vendors, and live entertainment. There are games and other activities for kids, including a hands-on exhibit from Mote Aquarium. 941-412-0402,

Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash
When: April 18 and 19, 2014 (times vary)
Where: Venice Airport Festival Grounds
Cost: Free admission
About: This annual fundraiser for Suncoast Charities for Children includes barbecue, chili, and dessert cook-offs; bluegrass musicians and other live entertainment; a cornhole tournament; and exhibits focusing on outdoor living. Little ones can head to the Kids' Park, where they'll find free face painting, a bounce house, and games. 941-809-5232,

Big Truck Day
When: April 19, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Twin Lakes Park, Sarasota
Cost: Free
About: Start your engines for this popular annual event, where kids of all ages can see what it's like to be behind the wheel of a fire truck, dump trucks, and other vehicles. Food and beverage vendors will be on-site to help refuel truck enthusiasts young and old. 941-861-5000,

Earth Day Celebration
When: April 27, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey
Cost: Free
About: Show your appreciation for Planet Earth by hiking the 15 miles of trails and observing the wildlife at this popular state park, which offers free admission for the day. The celebration also includes live music, environmental and informational booths, and fun activities for kids. 941-483-5956,

Siesta Beach Amateur Sand Sculpture Contest
When: May 3, 2014, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota
Cost: Free
About: Head to world-famous Siesta Key Beach for the 42nd annual amateur competition, where kids and adults compete in a variety of categories for cash prices. Grab your shovels and create your own masterpiece, or simply take in all of the action and cast your vote for your favorite entry. 941-915-1184,


For a complete list of events and happenings, please go to . To request more information regarding the above-listed events, please contact Lynn Hobeck Bates at 941-955-0991 Ext. 103 or [email protected].



About Sarasota County
Located on Southwest Florida's Gulf Coast, Sarasota County offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene, a diverse array of culinary experiences and a variety of opportunities to take advantage of the clear waters and the great outdoors. Sarasota County provides the quintessential, laid-back beach getaway with numerous sprawling, white-sand beaches, including Siesta Key Beach, named "America's Best Beach" in 2011 by Stephen Leatherman, aka, Dr. Beach. Dubbed "Home of the American Circus," Sarasota County served as the headquarters for the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus for 75 years, and visitors can experience its unique circus heritage first-hand by following the circus trail or catching a performance by one of two local circus companies. For more information on visiting Sarasota County, visit or call (941) 706-1253.