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10 to Attend: Longboat Key

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  • | 4:00 a.m. October 2, 2013
Sarasota High School Drama Department scared the circle by playing the part of zombies prior to performing “Thriller” at last year’s Fright Night on St. Armands Circle.
Sarasota High School Drama Department scared the circle by playing the part of zombies prior to performing “Thriller” at last year’s Fright Night on St. Armands Circle.
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Season’s greetings.

Sure, it’s only the first week of October.

But, we’ve felt the first fall breezes and spotted the first of what’s sure to be many car carriers. That can only mean one thing: Season is almost here.

We’re counting on a busy social calendar this year. Here, we compile 10 events through the end of 2013 that
have us counting the days on our calendar so you can plan ahead.

Village de Chefs Food & Wine Fest
When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9
Where: Powel Crosley Estate, 8374 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
Cost: $65; a limited number of VIP tickets are available for $120. To purchase, visit
Vive la France!
Twenty of the world’s top French chefs are coming to the Sarasota-Bradenton area for the two-day Village de Chefs event.
The host will be José Martinez, co-owner of acclaimed Longboat Key restaurant Maison Blanche, who became president of the non-profit organization in May. It will be the first time the group holds the annual event in the United States.
The highlight of the two-day extravaganza will be the “Village de Chefs Food & Wine Fest” in which guests will sample 15 food-and-wine pairings chefs will prepare with assistance from Manatee Technical Institute culinary students.
The selections will take attendees around the world, with selections such as bouillabaisse with a Caribbean flavor, prepared by Roman Valicon, of the Dominican Republic; kangaroo tartars, by Boris Cuzon, of Australia; and orange chocolate truffles, by Marc Claerbout, of Belgium.


Mote’s Night of Fish, Fun & Fright
When: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18
Where: Mote Marine Aquarium, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Cost: $6 per person online at through Oct. 16; $8 for members and $10 for guests at the door; free for children age 3 and younger.
The sea gets spookier every Halloween at Mote Marine Aquarium.
Children of all ages are invited to explore the ocean in costume at Mote’s Night of Fish, Fun & Fright.
Explore Dr. Frankin Fish’s Icky-ology Lab (recommended for children 8 and older) and unearth shark teeth at Coffin Creek. Don’t miss the underwater pumpkin carving that will take place in the spooktacular shark tank.

Longboat Key International Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon
When: 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 20
Where: Race begins at the Resort at Longboat Key Club, 301 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Cost: $75 for triathlon sprint distance, $120 for international distance and $110 for duathlon before Oct. 17. Register at
The race is on for the fourth annual Longboat Key International Spring Triathlon & Duathlon.
This event offers a scenic course for competitors.
The international distance triathlon course consists of a half-mile swim in Gulf of Mexico, 20-mile bike ride and 5-mile run. For sprint distance, participants will swim a quarter-mile, bike 10 miles and run 2.5 miles. Duathlon racers will bike 20 miles and run 5 miles.
The event offers opportunities to participate for non-athletes.
The Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce always needs volunteers for the event, and spectators are welcome on race day to cheer on participants.

Centre Shops Family Festivals
When: First festival is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27
Where: Centre Shops of Longboat Key, 5370 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Cost: Free
Centre Shops merchants began holding festivals last year and have three festivals planned for the 2013-14 season, the first of which is their Fall Festival.
Find antiques, farmers market booths, refreshments, live music, and specials from merchants.

Longboat Key Historical Society Fish Fry
When: Doors open at 5 p.m.; dinner is served from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1
Where: Cedars Tennis Resort, 645 Cedars Court
Cost: $25 in advance; $30 at the door
The Longboat Key Historical Society just netted a new location for its annual fish fry: Cedars Tennis Resort.
The event is a Longboat Key tradition that the Historical Society revived in 2005 and that’s been held each year at Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant & Pub.
Owner Ed Chiles opted to discontinue the Fish Fry and Fourth of July fireworks at Mar Vista earlier this year in response to complaints about noise and parking from residents.
The Historical Society considered holding the event in the backyards of two Longbeach Village residents with Mar Vista as caterer. Ultimately, uncertainties surrounding a redevelopment application for the property prompted the group to seek another venue.
The Fish Fry will include a selection of fried favorites similar to past menus, along with music by Blues Pig.

Fright Night on St. Armands
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31
Where: St. Armands Circle
Cost: Free
Talk about a thriller night.
St. Armands Circle goes from sophisticated to scary at this annual event that features decorated storefronts, frightening characters and trick-or-treating throughout the Circle.
Children can climb on an antique fire truck the Sarasota Fire Department will have at the scene.
But the most thrilling part of the night takes place around 8 p.m., when the Sarasota High School Drama Department performs Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Sarasota Bay Water Festival
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2
Where: Ken Thompson Park on City Island
Cost: Free
Celebrate the bay at the second Sarasota Bay Water Festival, which promotes the importance of Sarasota Bay to the region’s environment, economy and quality of life.
The event includes live music by Ben Hammond, Home for Her and Come Back Alice, along with food trucks, beer and wine, water sports, an art zone, dragon boats and more.
For information, visit

Longboat Key Gourmet Lawn Party
When: Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16
Where: The Resort at Longboat Key Club Islandside Driving Range, 301 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Cost: $25 in advance; $30 at the gate
It’s the most delectable event of the season, and it benefits local children’s charities.
This year, sample signature dishes from 28 local restaurants and counting, along with beverages provided by Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Sysco, Premier Beverage, Coca-Cola and Southern Wine & Spirits.
Purchase one of just 400 raffle tickets priced at $100 each for a chance to win this year’s grand prize: a 2013 Ford Fusion or $10,000 cash.
This year’s event will feature 40 tables of 10 for $300 each in its reserved section with upholstered chairs, linen and tableside wine service.

34th annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
When: 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26
Where: Christ Church of Longboat Key, Presbyterian, 6400 Gulf of Mexico Drive
O’ come all ye thankful.
Individuals of all faiths are welcome at this annual Thanksgiving service that rotates each year between each island place of worship: All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church, Christ Church of Longboat Key, Presbyterian, Longboat Island Chapel, St. Armands Key Lutheran Church, St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Catholic Church and Temple Beth Israel. Clergymen also take turns each year delivering the sermon.
The service features an interfaith choir made up of people from each house of worship on Longboat and St. Armands keys.

35th Annual Holiday Night of Lights
When: 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6
Where: St. Armands Circle Park
Cost: Free
St. Armands Circle lights up during this annual kickoff to the holiday season.
The event begins with an annual Christmas carol sing-along while participants welcome Santa Claus to town as he arrives in the Wells Fargo Stage Coach.
Watch as the Circle’s 51-foot Christmas tree lights up during a ceremony — then stick around for a photo-op with Santa and specials at many businesses.


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