Summer is a season to celebrate, and what better way to do that than by participating in your local community’s events, festivals, and activities?
As a premier new and used car dealer in Sarasota, we’ve got our finger on the pulse of all that is exceptional, all that is thrilling, all that will pique your interests. No, we’re not just talking about our incredible Toyota lease specials; we’re talking about the region’s greatest festivities that you can enjoy with family and friends. Check out these 12 summertime events we’ve deemed as “must-attend,” and the year 2016 may very well be your most memorable.
The Best July Events around Sarasota
Bradentucky Bombers Roller Derby Bout (July 16th)
Modern roller derby is nothing like the “sport” from the 60s and 70s when elbows to the face were commonplace and helmets were considered optional apparel.
Now refined, flat track roller derby combines a bit of the hard-hitting action from decades past with actual rules—you won’t be seeing body slams without penalties, folks—helping derby grow into one of the most exciting sports in Florida and around the country. Cheer on the local Bradentucky Bombers girls as they pivot, jam, and block their way around the track.
Location: Astro Skate Center in Bradenton, FL
Price: $6 – $10 (ages 5 and under are FREE)
Time: 5:00 PM
Monday Night Men’s Summer Golf League (July 18th)
Re-grip your driver, scrub your club heads, and pack your bag for a friendly yet competitive summer full of golf.
From now through October, the University Park CC will host a golf league for men who frequently suffer from cases of the Mondays. For just $20 a week, league members are provided with golf carts, a drink, and an excuse to spend time on a course. League fees are pooled together and awarded as a prize to winners. Amateurs and professionals alike are welcome!
Registration forms and more details can be found here.
Location: University Park Country Club in University Park, FL
Price: $20 – $25 (per week)
Time: 5:30 PM every Monday
Christmas in July (July 22nd – 23rd)
Downtown Venice is lovely around the holiday season, but their annual Christmas in July event makes a case that the holidays should be moved to summer.
Come say hello to Mr. and Mrs. Claus as they finalize their naughty and nice lists before their elves are put to work on the assembly line. With dozens of participating stores involved, Venice’s summertime event will hold a raffle and offer tremendous sales and prizes. Don’t forget to take a trolley ride while you’re there—it’s free and fun for the whole family.
Location: Downtown Venice, FL
Time: 10:00 AM
Snooty’s 68th Birthday Bash & Festival (July 23rd)
No, Snooty isn’t an Oompa Loompa from “Jersey Shore.” He’s the world’s oldest manatee (on record), and he wants you and the family to celebrate his 68 years on Earth.
Perfect for people of all ages, the bash and festival will offer free cookies and drinks to children, games and art activities, wildlife awareness presentations, and much more. Visit southfloridamuseum.org for more information about his birthday party, and see what you can do to volunteer or participate. Snooty will be here, rain or shine. Will you?
Location: The South Florida Museum in Bradenton, FL
Time: 10:00 AM
August Events near Venice, FL
Sarasota Slam Fishing Tournament (August 5th – 6th)
Anglers big and small come to Marina Jack every year for the annual Sarasota Slam—and it’s not just because of the fish.
With junior and adult divisions, the Slam is set in beautiful Sarasota, where the view is never far from extraordinary. Both novice and professional anglers take part in the event to reel in that trophy fish, their own White Whale. With billfish, grouper, trout, redfish, snapper, tuna, wahoo, and more just feet under the boat hulls, all it takes to nab that sucker is patience, patience, patience.
Fill out an entry form and review the inshore/offshore rules at sarasotaslam.com.
Location: Marina Jack in Sarasota, FL
Time: Varies (view the online schedule)
Manatee County-wide Pet Adopt-A-Palooza (August 6th)
Although fishing may be a form of pet adoption (for some), most people would rather have a four-legged companion roaming their hallways at night.
Presenting the 2nd annual Pet Adopt-A-Palooza, Manatee County’s solution to kill-shelters and euthanasia clinics. Featuring more than 100 adoptable pets, this event is free to all community members and residents in Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice, and the Tampa area. Dozens of vendors, retailers, service providers, and vets will be on hand to offer insight, products, and assistance as you welcome a new family member into your home.
More details about the event and Manatee County Animal Services can be found on their Facebook page.
Location: Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto, FL
Price: Free to attend; adoption & product fees vary
Time: 11:00 AM
Eye Spy Venice Children’s Scavenger Hunt (August 13th)
While this event is solely for children, adults who love the thrill of discovering hidden treasures can participate vicariously through their kiddos.
The Venice Farmer’s Market is home to more than fresh veggies and fruits; it’s apparently also a must-visit destination for wannabe pirates. Featuring crudely drawn maps, a bevy of clues, educational events, a touch-a-truck area, and prizes, the Eye Spy hunt will produce hours of summertime entertainment. Best yet, the first 100 children to visit the gazebo (where the hunt begins) will receive a goody bag.
With cooperation from Venice MainStreet, the market will host the Eye Spy hunt for children of all ages. Check out thevenicefarmersmarket.com for additional details.
Location: Centennial Park Gazebo in Venice, FL
Time: 8:30 AM
Sarasota Craft Brew Fest (August 22nd)
There’s something about the summer heat that makes beer of all kind so refreshing, don’t you think?
Featuring dozens of craft beers along with food, hand-rolled cigars, live music, and more, the Sarasota Craft Brew Fest marks the beginning of the end of summer at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. General admission grants you unlimited beer samples—catch your attention?—and VIP packages come with full-pour craft ales of all kinds. Events like these are some of our favorites at Germain Toyota of Sarasota.
Check out floridabeerfestivals.com for more details about this event.
Location: Robarts Sports Arena in Sarasota, FL
Time: 5:00 PM
September Events near Tampa
70th Annual Labor Day Regatta (September 2nd – 4th)
With 70 years of history behind it, the Labor Day Regatta is the biggest and most impressive sailing event of the year. Hundreds of sailors of all ages and from around the world compete to take home a first-place prize and approval from the gods of the sea. Activities include five races across five different courses, live music, refreshments, barbecue, and the final award ceremony.
Location: 1717 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota, FL
Price: Free to spectators
Time: 9:00 AM
Englewood Pioneer Days (September 3rd – 5th)
This two-week event winds down on the first weekend of September, culminating with the Pioneer Days Parade on Labor Day morning. But there’s plenty to do before that!
Fun activities and events on the weekend include an open car show, cardboard boat races, fishing competitions, a Corvette presentation, and something called “Diaper Derby,” which sounds a little scary, but is probably safe for families. The pièce de résistance of the weekend is the Pioneer Days Festival, which features everything from watermelon-eating competitions to live music to dance-till-you-embarrass-your-kids events. It’s one of the best Labor Day events in the Sarasota region.
Visit the Pioneer Days homepage for more information and a calendar of events.
Location: Olde Englewood Village (West Dearborn St) in Englewood, FL
Price: Free to attend; vendor and activity fees vary
3rd Annual Taste of Downtown (September 10th)
Hosted at the Sarasota Opera House, the Taste of Downtown is a food and wine festival that celebrates the local restaurants in the finest way possible: by offering a ton of deliciousness.
With menu samplings from over two dozen restaurants and wineries local to downtown Sarasota, the festival is a foodie’s paradise. Attendees will taste the delectable, the succulent, the super-sweet and decadent—all without taking out another mortgage. And hosted inside such a unique building as an opera house, the food and wine are, of course, paired with vocal performances you’d only hope to replicate in the sanctity of your shower.
The Taste of Downtown is a consistently sold-out event. Buy your tickets online and review the event’s participating restaurants by clicking here.
Location: Sarasota Opera House in Sarasota, FL
Price: $55 per person
Time: 1:00 PM
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (September 25th)
The long football-less summer has ended. It’s a miracle.
The Bucs are hopeful to improve upon last season’s sub-500 record; with a talent-loaded roster, they might just surprise a few pigskin pundits by winter. And it all starts with their first home game of the season versus Los Angeles’s newly acquired Rams squad. Are they ready to shock the world?
Tickets can be purchased here.
Location: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
Price: $52 and up
Time: 4:05 PM
Don’t Let These Sarasota Summer Events Pass You By
Once summer’s over, these events will be a part of Florida history. Don’t miss out on what could be magic! Mark your calendars today, and feel reassured knowing you made the best of it.
And remember: If you’re in need of a new or pre-owned vehicle, Germain Toyota of Sarasota has your back. With one of the largest inventories of vehicles in the area, we’re proud to be your local Toyota dealership near Venice. Call us at (855) 826-1499 to schedule a test drive today, or visit our showroom at 7435 Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, FL, for the best prices and Toyota lease specials you could hope for.