Weekend Planner

Your Top 10 Things to Do: Feb. 2-8

Sarasota Highland Games, Itzhak Perlman at the Van Wezel, Lakewood Ranch arts festival and lots more.

By Ilene Denton February 2, 2017

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A Feast for the Senses: Art and Experience in Medieval Europe at The Ringling 

Opening Feb. 4

More than 80 works of art and objects from the late medieval and early Renaissance period, many of them on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris, comprise this major new exhibit at The Ringling. On view through April 30. ringling.org  

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Itzhak Perlman 

Feb. 7

Act quick if you want to see legendary violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman in recital at the Van Wezel Tuesday evening; we hear it’s nearing sell-out, just like the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra’s tribute to the Beatles tonight at the Purple People Seater, and comic genius Lily Tomlin’s Feb. 8 show.  vanwezel.org 

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Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks: Tchaikovsky to Tüür

Feb. 2-5

An American premiere of a new symphony of Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring guest pianist Simon Trpčeski round out this Sarasota Orchestra Masterworks weekend of concerts, conducted by music director Anu Tali. sarasotaorchestra.org

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Jazzman Giacomo Gates

Feb. 7

Jazz vocalist Giacomo Gates visits the Glenridge PAC Saturday night with his trio for a fresh take on the old standards. The New York Times calls him “a jazz singer who applies his mellifluous baritone toward an old-school hipster’s nimble evasions.” 

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Sarasota Highland Games and Celtic Festival

Feb. 4

You don’t have to be Scottish to enjoy this annual daylong gathering of the clans at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, with feats of strength like the caber toss and stone throw, a shortbread contest, plenty of piping and drumming, and meat pies and sausage rolls. And Friday night, at the fairgrounds’ Potter Building, a traditional Ceilidh, or social gathering, kicks off festivities from 7 to 10 p.m. with music, raffles, dancing and food. Read about Sarasota’s Scottish heritage here.  

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Grand Ovation at Lakewood Ranch

Feb. 4

Lakewood Ranch Main Street turns into a pedestrian-only street fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for this 10th annual festival, with 16 local performing arts groups on two stages—everyone from the Curry Creek Cloggers to Florida Studio Theatre and members of the Sarasota Ballet.  lakewoodranch.com/event/grand-ovation-at-lakewood-ranch 

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Guitar Sarasota presents Thibault Garcia 

Feb. 4

Young French classical guitarist Thibault Garcia, winner of the 2015 Guitar Foundation of America International Classical Guitar Competition, opens GuitarSarasota’s season Saturday night at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Find the season lineup at guitarsarasota.org.

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WBTT presents Marvelette Brenda Watty


Feb. 5-6

Brenda Watty spent 15 years with the famed Motown girl group, The Marvelettes, and she shares her musical journey as part of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe’s Voices program.  westcoastblacktheatre.org

Bradenton Area River Regatta


Feb. 4

Powerboat races, the fastest jet skis in the world, nonstop live music and family activities and fireworks at night—that’s the Bradenton Area River Regatta, billed as Manatee County’s biggest free spectator event, along the mile-wide Manatee River Saturday. The complete schedule is at bradentonarearegatta.com

Sarasota Music Half-Marathon 

Feb. 5

What, you’re not running the Sarasota Music Half-Marathon Sunday morning? Get out to at least part of the 13.1-mile course anyway to enjoy the 20 musical groups stationed along the way, including the Lakewood Ranch Marching Mustang Band at the top of the Ringling Causeway and Mighty Mongo at the finish line after-party on the Van Wezel bayfront lawn. Visit sarasotahalf.com for details.

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