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The best things to do in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat for Jan. 11-17

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  • | 10:00 a.m. January 9, 2024
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in words and song on Jan. 14 at the Sarasota Opera House.
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in words and song on Jan. 14 at the Sarasota Opera House.
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Thursday, Jan. 11

Opening reception for ‘Odyssey’ pop-up exhibition
5 p.m. at SPAACES, 2051 Princeton St., Sarasota

Embark on a visual journey featuring the works of eight members of Ringling College of Art and Design’s class of 2024. Christina Antoniou, Rose Marjanneke Williamson, Cari Beattie, Pretty Ram, Bella Higgins, Chaewook Lim, Dorian Mogda and Angelaure Pierre use painting, fiber arts and time-based media to explore aspects of human connection. Exhibit runs through Jan. 23. 

Sarasota Winter Carnival
5-10 p.m. at The Mall at University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota

The annual Sarasota Winter Carnival features rides, games, food and more on the east side of The Mall at UTC. Ride tickets are available for purchase. Runs through Monday.

Clayton Reagan, an eighth grader at Carlos E. Haile Middle School, works with his pig he'll show at the Manatee County Fair. 
Photo by Liz Ramos

Manatee County Fair
5-10 p.m. at the Manatee County Fairgrounds, 1402 14th Ave. W., Palmetto
$10; children ages 6-12 and military $6; children 5 and younger free

The Manatee County Fair, which debuted in 1916, returns with its usual assortment of rides, games, entertainment, livestock contests and sales, crafts, and food. Runs through Jan. 21.

Great Escapes 3: By Special Arrangement
5:30 p.m. at Holley Hall, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
From $47

Christopher Confessore leads a Sarasota Orchestra concert dedicated to the music world’s unsung heroes: arrangers. Runs through Sunday. 

‘Crimes of the Heart’
7:30 p.m. at Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton

“Crimes of the Heart” follows three sisters reunited in their Mississippi hometown for the first time in a decade. Runs through Jan. 21.

Friday Jan. 12

The Big Bounce America
At Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota

Big Bounce America comes to Nathan Benderson Park for a three-day run with eight inflatable attractions, including the 24,000-square-foot World's Largest Bounce House. Reservations required; time slots vary by age group.

Jazz @ 2: Synia Carroll Jazz
2 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota

Jazz Club of Sarasota presents Synia Carroll and friends Tom Pizzi, Chuck Stevens, Grant Cuthbertson and Tony Antonio. Admission only at the door.

Foundation Training: A Community Wellness Initiative
2 p.m. at Whitney's, 600 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key

Dr. Eric Goodman, the creator of Foundation Training, will lead this event. Foundation Training focuses on empowering individuals through strengthening core muscles and improving body posture. It is particularly beneficial for seniors, offering a great way to enhance mobility and maintain an active lifestyle.

Movie in the Park: 'Frozen 2'
6 p.m. at Waterside Park, 7301 Island Cove Terrace, Lakewood Ranch

The monthly movie series returns to Waterside with a showing of "Frozen 2." The movie will begin at sunset with other children's activities, such as inflatables, available. The first 300 people in attendance will receive a Chick Fil A sandwich or nuggets. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring a blanket and lawn chairs. Concessions provided by We B’ Poppin Popcorn and Kettle Corn.

‘The Amish Project’
7:30 p.m. at Tree Fort Productions, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Written by Jessica Dickey and directed by Todd Olson, “The Amish Project” stars Tree Fort Productions founder Katherine Michelle Tanner. The play explores the 2006 mass shooting at an Amish girls school in Pennsylvania and how the community handled its grief. Runs through Feb. 11. 

‘Calendar Girls’
7:30 p.m. at Venice Theatre's Pinkerton Theatre, 140 Tampa Ave. W., Venice

Based on a true story that inspired a film, “Calendar Girls” tells the story of ordinary women who become pinup girls in order to raise money for a good cause. Runs through Feb. 11. 

‘Tall Tales and Treasure’
7:30 p.m. at Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice

The Venice Symphony plays music from family favorite films “The Lord of the Rings,” “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid” in a program featuring guest vocalist Lauren Jelencovich.

Saturday Jan. 13

Main Street Market
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Lakewood Ranch Main Street

More than 70 vendors will be out with food, beverages, retail and more at the boutique market, hosted by Main Street Market LWR.

Sarasota Winter Festival
Noon to 5 p.m. at The Mall at University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota

The annual Winter Festival features 25 food trucks with a food truck competition, live music and more than 40 local vendors. Tickets for craft beer sampling from local breweries are available for purchase. The festival is held alongside the Sarasota Winter Carnival. Festival continues Sunday.

Sunday, Jan. 14

Andrew Monroe 5K
8:15 a.m. at Siesta Beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key

Andrew Monroe was an avid soccer player, and the proceeds from the annual race go toward a scholarship fund for senior soccer players at Riverview High School, track and JROTC members. The 5K will begin at 8:15 a.m., and the 1-mile walk will begin at 8:20 a.m. The first 400 registrants receive goodie bags. 

Windjammers featuring Sailor Circus Academy
1 p.m. at Sailor Circus Arena, 2075 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota

Following their convention in Sarasota, nearly 100 members of Windjammers Unlimited will perform a free concert of classic circus music, backing up a performance by Sailor Circus students. Seating is first come, first served.

Hannah’s Whirl Show
2 p.m. at Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota

The Will McLean Foundation presents Tampa-based musical duo Paul Arnone and Timi Wingard, founders of Hannah’s Whirl. They perform Arnone’s original guitar-driven songs featuring Wingard’s vocals and harmonica and percussion accompaniment.

New Year in Vienna with Suncoast Concert Band
3 p.m. at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3131 61st St., Sarasota

It’s not too late to celebrate New Year’s Vienna style, as the Suncoast Concert Band performs favorites including Tales from the Vienna Woods, On the Blue Danube, Hungarian Dances and the Emperor Waltz.

WBTT's Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
7 p.m. at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in spoken word and song. The show, which is arranged and directed by WBTT Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs, will feature re-enactments of Dr. King’s speeches by Rev. Charles McKenzie, as well as song and dance performances by students in WBTT’s Stage of Discovery youth training program.

Les Ballet Trockedero de Monte Carlo appears Jan. 14 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
Courtesy image

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo
7 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

The world famous male ballet dancers bring their drag-inspired show to Sarasota for an unforgettable evening. The ballet troupe, founded in 1974 in New York City, parodies the conventions of classical ballet. 

Monday Jan. 15

Market on the Key
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Town Center Green, 600 Bay Isles Road, Longboat Key
Call 289-4141.

The Market on Longboat Key is back for the 2023-24 season. The Market String Band will be strolling the market. Follow The Market on Longboat Key or Markets by Nancy on Facebook and Instagram to see who will be there and what they will be bringing. Some food vendors let you preorder order pies, cakes and breads to be ready upon your arrival.

Sofia Philharmonic
7:30 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

The Sarasota Concert Association presents the acclaimed Sofia Philharmonic in its Sarasota debut. General director Nayden Todorov leads the orchestra in an all-Beethoven program with Egmont Overture, Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, featuring pianist Ivaylo Vassilev, and Symphony No. 7.

Wednesday, Jan. 17

Cavatina Duo
5:30 p.m. at Plantation Golf & Country Club, 500 Rockley Blvd., Venice

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents Eugenia Moliner on flute and Denis Azabagic on guitar followed by dinner Plantation Golf and Country Club.

‘Say a Little Prayer’ concert
6:30 p.m. at Historic Spanish Point, 401 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey
$35; members $20

The vocal ensemble Sweet Fleet will open the 2024 Selby Gardens’ Performances at the Point series at the Historic Spanish Point campus in Osprey. The one-hour program, “Say a Little Prayer,” features music originally composed by Fleetwood Mac. Doors open at 6 p.m., giving guests time to enjoy the grounds overlooking Little Sarasota Bay. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Michael’s On East. 

‘Ugly Lies the Bone’ 
7:30 p.m. at FST’s Bowne’s Lab Theatre, 1265 First St., Sarasota

Directed by Kristen Clippard, “Ugly Lies the Bone” stars Rachel Moulton as Jess, veteran who suffered severe burns during her combat duty in Afghanistan. In addition to physical wounds, Jess must heal from emotional trauma, which she tries to do through computer-simulated therapy. Runs through Feb. 9. 

Four former stars of "Phantom of the Opera" come to the Van Wezel on Jan. 17.
Courtesy image

The Four Phantoms in Concert
7:30 p.m. at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Four Phantoms who starred in the Tony Award-winning “The Phantom of the Opera” — Brent Barrett, John Cudia, Franc D’Ambrosio and Ciarán Sheehan — come together on stage for one night in Sarasota. 


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