LAKEWOOD RANCH — Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch may have big plans for the future, but this weekend, it’s calling East County residents to party like it’s 1995.
SMR subsidiary LWR Communities and the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance are joining forces to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Lakewood Ranch’s first home sale. Events kick off at 11 a.m., Oct. 15, at the Sarasota Polo Club, 8201 Polo Club Lane, where the alliance will host its second annual Car-BQ fundraiser. Patrons can purchase a boxed lunch of pulled pork or chicken, sides and a dessert for $10 and either drive through to pick it up or stay to picnic on site.
The celebration continues with a free fall festival from 4-9 p.m. at the polo club. Festivities will include hayrides, a hay maze, a roping contest, a polo demonstration, face painting, bounce houses, raffles, corn hole and a SWAT Team obstacle course, among other activities.
“We wanted it to be something where the whole community can come out,” SMR’s director of marketing and public relations Candice McElyea said. “Every inch of the polo grounds is going to be used for activities.
“Our big thing here is the residents, the businesses and the community have made Lakewood Ranch the success it is today,” she said. “It’s our way of thanking them.”
Featured events include a live performance from 6-9 p.m. by the Billy Rice Band and a showing of the film “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” at 7:30 p.m.
Guests who are on site at 5 p.m. can participate in a special photo opportunity as SMR organizes participants onto the polo field to form the number “15” for an aerial photograph.
Attendees who bring a canned food item to donate to Meals On Wheels or pet food to benefit for the Honor Sanctuary will receive tickets for food or refreshments, and each ticket redeemed will be entered in a drawing for prizes.
The Polo Grill and Bar also will be catering boxed dinners of pulled pork, chicken, hamburgers and veggie burgers for $10 and a kids dinner for $5. Other vendors also will be on site selling food and drink.
Although SMR is responsible for the creation of the community of Lakewood Ranch, the company also has a longstanding tradition of environmental stewardship and agriculture. McElyea said the company’s decision to give the celebration a more agricultural theme is largely a tribute to its heritage.
“We wanted to celebrate our culture and our roots,” McElyea said. “It’ll be a really neat night to look back at the last 15 years and to look forward.”
Families are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to the event to enjoy the movie and music but are asked to leave coolers at home.
Trolleys will be available to transport guests from a central parking location to the polo fields.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Oct. 15
WHERE: Sarasota Polo Club, 8201 Polo Club Lane
DETAILS: Cost includes a boxed lunch of pulled pork or chicken, sides and dessert. Guests can drive up and pick up their lunch or pull up and park to eat on site.
HOST: Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance
15th Anniversary Celebration
WHEN: 4-9 p.m., Oct. 15
WHERE: Sarasota Polo Club, 8201 Polo Club Lane
COST: Free. Food and drink available for purchase.
DETAILS: Activities such as a hay maze, hayrides, face painting, a polo demonstration, live music by the Billy Rice Band.
BENEFICIARY: Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance
INFORMATION: Guests are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets for the film and/or concert. No coolers allowed.
3:45-6 p.m. — Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office helicopter on site
4:15 p.m. — Bradenton Dance Team
5 p.m. — Aerial photo on the center field
5:15 p.m. — Polo demonstration
6-9 p.m. — Music by the Billy Rice Band
7:30 p.m. — Drawings for Money Machine, raffle ticket and Tag prize
7:30 p.m. — Screening of “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”s
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