Weekend Planner

Your Top 7 Things to Do: May 25-31

Idina Menzel at the Van Wezel, Memorial Day parade and concerts, Myakka River Blues Fest and more.

By Ilene Denton May 25, 2017

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Idina Menzel makes her Van Wezel debut.

Idina Menzel

May 27 

An end-of-season treat from the good folks at the Van Wezel: Tony winner Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked, If/Then and on TV, Glee) makes her Sarasota debut at the Purple Palace, delivering songs from her recent solo album, Idina. We’re betting the powerhouse voice behind Frozen’s Queen Elsa (“Let it Go…”) and the witch Elphaba (“Defying Gravity”) will render a few of her stage and screen hits as well. 

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Myakka River Blues Festival at Snook Haven

May 29

A big weekend for blues fans, too, at Snook Haven, on the banks of the wild and scenic Myakka River, for the Myakka River Blues Festival, a day of soul, funk and blues with Biscuit Miller, Ben Prestage (shown here), Kellie Rucker, the All Veterans Blues Band, the Mark Telesca Band and Souliz. Proceeds benefit Loveland Center and the Suncoast Blues Society.


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Venice Brew Fest

Venice Brew Bash

May 27

And if you love beer, this is your weekend; you can sample more than 60 imported, domestic and craft brews; talk to the brewers; and enjoy the music by Jah Movement Reggae Band at this sixth annual event in downtown Venice. It all takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. at Centennial Park.


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Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day Parade

May 29

Honor our military servicemen and women at the annual Memorial Day parade, kicking off at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Main Street and Osprey Avenue and ending up at J.D. Hamel Park at Gulfstream and Main.


Sarasota Concert Band Memorial Day Outdoor Concert

May 29   

A musical salute to the Armed Forces from this 50-member symphonic band, with plenty of patriotic music as well as jazz pieces and Broadway tunes,  in this annual outdoor concert at Phillippi Estate Park. Bring a picnic, or purchase food from area vendors—and don’t forget your lawn chair.



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The Jacobites.

10th annual Jacobite pipe band Memorial Day concert

May 27-28

It’s a decade-long tradition, when the First Brass, Jacobites pipe band and Riverview High School Highland Dancers join up for a concert of rousing patriotic music. Special guest is vocalist Sharon Scott. The Saturday concert is at Bradenton’s Palma Sola Presbyterian Church; the Sunday concert is at Sarasota’s St. James Methodist Church. 

Memorial Day at Sarasota Jungle Gardens

May 27-29

Active military, veterans and their families can enjoy buy-one-get-one-free admission to Sarasota Jungle Gardens Memorial Day weekend. A valid military ID is required.

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Idina Menzel at the Van Wezel

Editor’s Pick Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

A Sarasota debut for the Broadway star.


Myakka River Blues Festival 2017

Editor’s Pick $14.99 - $20 Snook Haven

With headliner Biscuit Miller, Ben Prestage and Kellie Rucker.

Food & Drink

Venice Brew Bash VI

Craft beer sampling tickets are $35 advance purchase; $45 day of event. Centennial Park in downtown Venice

A craft beer and live music festival in downtown Venice's Centennial Park.


Sarasota Concert Band Memorial Day Concert

Editor’s Pick $5 for adults; free for youth 16 and under Phillippi Estate Park

Annual concert saluting our military at Phillippi Estate Park.


First Brass, Jacobites, Riverview High School Highland Dancers Memorial Day Concerts

$20 St. James Methodist Church

The Jacobites are Florida's premier performance pipe band.