Bradenton Blues Festival
Who would have thought that once-sleepy little Bradenton would become such a home for the blues? Then again, the Riverwalk, on the banks of the mile-wide Manatee River, is a great setting to listen to the likes of this year’s line-up: headliner Chicago blues and soul guitarist, singer and songwriter Ronnie Baker Brooks; the Golden State/Lone Star Revue; Victor Wainwright & the Wildroots; Jason Ricci; Larry McCray; Sugar Ray and the Bluetones; the Slam Allen Band; and Ilana Katz Katz (no, that’s not a typo). bradentonbluesfestival.org
Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and Saturday night’s holiday parade down Main Street in downtown Sarasota is a sure way to get in the mood. This year’s parade, in honor of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, is a Salute to Veterans, who are all invited to join the parade line.
Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks: The New World
Renowned violinist Vadim Gluzman performs Prokofiev’s ethereal Violin Concerto No. 1 as part of the orchestra’s Masterworks series conducted by Anu Tali this weekend at the Van Wezel. Also on the program are Aaron Copland’s glorious Appalachian Spring Suite and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (From the New World). sarasotaorchestra.org
Inaugural Siesta Beach Seafood & Music Festival
A brand-new reason to head to America’s best beach this weekend: the Siesta Beach Seafood & Music Festival will feature samples from some of the area’s best restaurants plus live music from the Sarasota Jazz Project, Ari & the Alibis, Jah Movement and Kettle of Fish, natch. Free admission; open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. both days along the Esplanade at Siesta Public Beach.
Piano Men at FST Cabaret
Next up at Florida Studio Theatre is a musical tribute to the Piano Men who created some of pop culture’s most enduring songs, among them Elton John, Barry Manilow and, of course, Billy Joel. Through March 31 in Court Cabaret. Shown here, FST’s own piano men, Brian Walters and John Grieco. floridastudiotheatre.org
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Black Nativity
Poet-playwright Langston Hughes’ retelling of the biblical nativity story comes to life in WBTT’s joyous, gospel-filled musical. Through Dec. 23. westcoastblacktheatre.org
American Fine Craft Show Sarasota
More than 100 of the nation’s finest craft artists converge on Robarts Arena for this 8th annual craft show, exhibiting one-of-a-kind works in ceramics, decorative fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed-media, paper, wearable art, wood, painting, photography and sculpture—something for everyone on your holiday list. sarasotacraftshow.com
Voices of Sarasota Contemporary Dance
Emerging choreographers take center stage in SCD’s annual holiday performances at the FSU Center’s Cook Theatre. sarasotacontemporarydance.org
Art Battle Sarasota
Twelve local artists will compete for bragging rights in this first-time live painting competition at Payne Park. The winner will represent Sarasota at the Florida State Finals, and have a chance to compete at the 2017 US National Art Battle Championship. artbattle.com/ab/ab1602-sarasota
Holiday Night on St. Armands
Head out to St. Armands Friday evening for the annual lighting of the 51-foot holiday tree, a carol sing-along led by local choirs and an appearance by Old You-Know-Who. More than 40,000 lights will illuminate the famous shopping circle. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m.