Weekend Planner

Your Top 6 Things to Do: May 11-17

Sarasota Orchestra plays at Ed Smith Stadium, the Harvey Milk Festival, Family Day at the Ringling and more.

By Ilene Denton May 11, 2017

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Fireworks over Ed Smith Stadium.

Sarasota Orchestra Outdoor Pops at Ed Smith Stadium

May 12-13

The Sarasota Orchestra—yes, we’ll say it—hits a home run when it gets out of the concert hall and out to Ed Smith Stadium for “Hits and Home Runs,” its annual outdoor pops concerts, this year featuring American Idol Season 14 runner-up Clark Beckham and the All-Star Singers. Two shows Friday and Saturday nights, each followed by fireworks. Tickets on sale at the Baltimore Orioles box office.  

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Magic Sword

Harvey Milk Festival

May 11-13

Over eight years, the Harvey Milk Festival has grown from a fun celebration of LGBT rights into a multifaceted event with films, visual and performing artists, speakers and more. It’s also become a major draw for bands on the cusp of the cusp of breaking through to the mainstream, like Magic Sword, above. Here’s a look at them from our own Cooper Levey-Baker.

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SCD's Melissa Coleman Sperber.

Sarasota Contemporary Dance: Evolving/Revolving

May 11-14

Restaged favorites and new works fill the FSU Center’s Cook Theatre when Sarasota Contemporary Dance presents its season-ending performances, “Evolving/Revolving,” including something special from local hip-hop sensation Kris “Tetris” Powell.

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Mote Aquarium's "The Teeth Beneath" exhibit.

Mother’s Day special at Mote Aquarium

May 14

Treat Mom to a visit to the Mote Aquarium this Sunday, Mother’s Day, free with the purchase of a children’s ticket. While you’re there, check out Mote’s—yes, we’ll say this, too—gripping “Teeth Beneath: The Wild World of Gators, Crocs and Caimans” special exhibit. 

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Ringling Museum Family Day.

The Ringling Family Day: Summer Kick-Off

May 13

Celebrate the start of summer at The Ringling with art-making and activity stations geared around the museum’s Art of Our Time exhibits. Free for Ringling members at the Family Level and above. 

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Maria Wirries

Hot 'n' Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration

May 14

Young Maria Wirries, a favorite community theater actor who’s now a junior in the Penn State musical theater program, returns to Sarasota with seven fellow acting students to present this musical salute to the genius of songwriter Cole Porter (“Night and Day,” “It’s Too Darn Hot”).  An Artist Series Concert production at the Sarasota Opera House.

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Concerts, Sports

Sarasota Orchestra Hits and Home Runs

$15 Ed Smith Stadium

Sarasota Orchestra: “Hits and Home Runs.” This year’s outdoor concerts, at the Orioles’ Ed Smith Stadium, feature American Idol runner-up Clark Beckham, sing...

Special Events

Harvey Milk Festival 2017

Editor’s Pick Five Points Park

A three-day festival paying tribute to the late activist.


Sarasota Contemporary Dance: Evolving/Revolving.

$46 Sarasota Contemporary Dance Company

Season-closing performances by the dance troupe.


Family Day at the Ringling Museum: Summer Kick-Off

Editor’s Pick Free with museum admission John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

A special family day at the museum to celebrate the start of summer.


“Hot ‘n’ Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration!” featuring Maria Wirries

$45; student tickets,$10, available at the door. Sarasota Opera House

A spirited concert featuring the best of Cole Porter.