Weekend Planner

Your Top 7 Things to Do: Sept. 21-27

World Rowing Championship opening ceremonies, a Venice beach party, the Sarasota Orchestra season begins and more.

By Ilene Denton September 21, 2017

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The men's 8 rowing team.

Opening Ceremony at the 2017 World Rowing Championships

Sept. 23

Performances by the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Jah Movement reggae band and other musicians and dancers; an appearance by the award-winning Sarasota Ski-A-Rees ski show team; food trucks; fireworks and lots more—it’s all to welcome a thousand of the world’s top athletes to the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park on Saturday. Be part of the exciting, free opening ceremony. Gates open at 5:30; the ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Check out Sarasota Magazine’s indispensable guide to the rowing regatta here.

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The Ringling Museum's Ca d'Zan.

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live

Sept. 23

The Ringling Museum, Historic Spanish Point and South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium are among hundreds of nonprofit cultural institutions across the country offering free admission this Saturday through the annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live. Just one easy catch: You have to go to smithsonianmag.com/museumday/museum-day-live-2017/ and download your free ticket good for admission to one museum of your choice. What a deal!

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The entrance to Venice Beach.

Venice Beach Party

Sept. 23

How do you celebrate a city’s 90th birthday? The City of Venice is doing so with a free party at Venice Beach. The Sarasota Steel Pan Band, Kettle of Fish and Tropical Ave. will be performing music that will have you dancing in the sand. Free shuttles from downtown parking lots. Details here. Happy 90th birthday, Venice!

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Contestants at the 2016 inaugural iconcept jr.

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Sept. 24

Time for the junior creative set to shine in this fashion design competition sponsored by Art Center Sarasota. Young designers, ages 8-16, will strut their unconventional fashion creations down the runway in a benefit show for the art center’s youth scholarships and education programs.


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Flutist Betsy Traba.

Sarasota Orchestra’s new Discovery Series

Sept. 23

Something new from the Sarasota Orchestra: the Discovery series, three briskly paced 75-minute concerts comprised of shorter works designed to introduce classical music to people who’ve shied away from it before. The first is Saturday night at the Sarasota Opera House, with works by Respighi, Foss, Walker and Mozart; Betsy Traba is the flute soloist. Stay afterwards for a conversation with Traba and conductor Steven Jarvi if you wish. Tickets start at $25. 

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Hermitage Artist Retreat

Beach concert and open artist studios at the Hermitage Artist Retreat

Sept. 22

Artists from the Association of Florida Teaching Artists are in residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key, and you can experience all the fabulous things they’re creating at a free open studio tour and beach concert Friday evening. Details here.

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Snooty Memorial Open House

Sept. 24

Postponed from Sept. 10 because of Hurricane Irma, the South Florida Museum is inviting the public this Sunday afternoon to a memorial open house for its late, beloved Snooty the manatee, who died tragically this summer. There will be a video tribute in the Bishop Planetarium, as well as the opportunity to create memorial tributes, and a tour of the museum’s manatee rehabilitation center. Free, from noon to 5 p.m.

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Special Events

World Rowing Championships Opening Ceremony

Editor’s Pick Free Nathan Benderson Park

A free, non-ticketed kickoff event for the 2017 World Rowing Championship at Nathan Benderson Park.

Special Events

Venice Beach Party Music & Beer Festival

Free Venice Public Beach

Celebrating the city of Venice's 90th birthday.


iconcept jr.

Editor’s Pick $75 VIP front-row seating; $50 adult admission; $25 under 18. Buffet brunch included. Art Center Sarasota

A fashion design challenge for students 8-16 to raise funds for Art Center Sarasota's youth education programs.

Classical Music

Sarasota Orchestra Presents Renaissance

Sarasota Opera House

Sarasota Orchestra introduces its new 2017-2018 series, Discoveries.

Special Events

Beach concert and open studios at the Hermitage Artist Retreat

Editor’s Pick Free Hermitage Artist Retreat

Artists from the Association of Florida Teaching Artists will perform on the Hermitage's Manasota Key beachfront, and there will be open art studio tours.