Weekend Planner

Your Top 8 Things to Do: June 27-July 4

Fireworks! Big racing boats! A kayak festival at Snook Haven! And much, much more.

By Ilene Denton June 27, 2019

Miss Geico is among the superboats competing in the Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix.

Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix 

July 3-7

The big annual summer boat races are set for July 7 along the Lido Beach shoreline, but start celebrating earlier with a kickoff party July 3, bayfront fireworks July 4, the “Boats on Main” block party July 5, and more, all to benefit Suncoast Charities for Children. Check it out at sarasotapowerboatgrandprix.org.

Myakka River Kayak Festival at Snook Haven

July 4

More boats, but much quieter. Live music, kayaking, craft beer and barbecue—what’s more all-American? This is the sixth annual Fourth of July kayak festival at Snook Haven, smack-dab on the wild and scenic Myakka River. Kayak rentals start at 8 a.m.; live music starts at 11. Free admission.

Fireworks on the Lake at Nathan Benderson Park

July 3

Get a jump on Fourth of July festivities when the Black Honkeys and the Greg Billings Band headline Nathan Benderson Park’s Fireworks on the Lake party Wednesday night, July 3. The fun starts at 4 p.m. and admission is free.

Choral Artists of Sarasota presents Sounds of Independence

July 4

Musical fireworks are promised when the choral ensemble presents its annual patriotic concert, so popular that it’s moved to the Sarasota Opera House. Joining in for the first time is the Sarasota Concert Band for lively Sousa marches and traditional songs like “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “America the Beautiful.”

Selby Gardens’ All-American Cookout/ Fireworks on Sarasota Bay

July 4

Selby Gardens provides a front-row seat to the July 4th fireworks at nearby Bayfront Park Thursday evening with its annual All-American Cookout: a family-friendly dance party, kids games and activities, and grilled goodies for purchase from Michael’s On East.

A Pioneer Fourth at Historic Spanish Point

July 4

Party like the pioneers did Thursday afternoon, with a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a sing-along of patriotic tunes and a bring-your-own picnic lunch on the Magnolia Lawn. Historic Spanish Point will spring for the watermelon and lemonade.

Classic Movies at the Opera House: An American in Paris

June 28

Next up in the Sarasota Opera’s summer classic film series is the glorious, Academy Award-winning Best Musical An American in Paris, starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, directed by Vincent Minnelli.

Last chance to see Gauguin: Voyage to Paradise at Selby Gardens

Thru June 30

Calling all procrastinators to head to Selby Gardens to see its wonderful exhibit of Polynesian artist Paul Gauguin’s woodcuts, set against the gardens’ lush green backdrop. The show closes Sunday. 

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