JULY 5, 1984. Before there were Suncoast Offshore Super Boat Grand Prix events to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday week in Sarasota, there were the Land ’n’ Sea Freedom Races on Siesta Key Beach. Sunday, July 1, 1984, more than 17,000 people attended the Second Annual Siesta Key Land ’n’ Sea Freedom races. About 15,000 competitors came out for the event, which included a 5K run; sailboard and skimboard contests; a volleyball tournament; and demonstrations in aerobics, breakdancing and jazzercise. The event also included a fashion show. Budweiser provided the beer, and Walt’s Fish Market catered the event. All proceeds of the event were given to Big Brothers and the Boys & Girls Club of Sarasota County. It wasn’t fun and games for everyone, though. Paramedics treated one women for heat exhaustion.
JULY 2, 2004. In 2004, for the second consecutive year, and in spite of high levels of bacteria that had been discovered in the water earlier that spring, Siesta Key Beach was listed on the Clean Beaches Council’s annual list of “Blue Wave” beaches. Each “Blue Wave” beach was certified as clean, healthy and environmentally well managed. Siesta Key was one of three beaches in Southwest Florida to receive the designation that year. Venice and Caspersen beaches also made the list.
June 28, 1979. Erosion must always be considered on barrier islands. A new bike path in 1979 on Siesta Key was no exception. At barely a week old, Siesta Key’s new $133,866 bike bath between Turtle Beach and Sanderling Road began showing signs of aging. The first heavy rain washed away the back slope and exposed the drainage pipe, sending dirt cascading onto neighborhood lawns. The county engineering department had cut economic corners and scattered seed instead of sodding. Had the back slope been sodded, as called for in the original plans, the problem would have been avoided, residents believed.