Early 2020 Events in Sarasota, Bradenton & Venice

The Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice area is full of culture, fine dining & luxury homes. It is also a place that thrives on a unique vibe all its own. You might not think of south Florida when you think of the most “happening” places in the United States, but there’s more happening here than meets the eye. Just browse all these events, already scheduled to start off the new year.



Manatee County Fair, Jan. 16-26
The Manatee County fair is a wholesome community tradition packed with an endless variety of things to see, do and eat. The fair truly has something for everyone from your favorite midway action to livestock, and live music acts including Grammy-winning country and bluegrass stars. Info: manateecountyfair.com

Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival, Jan. 15-17
Bring family and friends to enjoy fresh seafood and outstanding live musical performances in downtown Sarasota’s J.D. Hamel Park, with vendors offering beer and other beverages. Info: seafoodfestivals.com

Embracing Our Differences, Jan. 18-April 5
Since 2004, Embracing Our Differences has featured 50 billboard-sized works of art, each accompanied by an inspirational quote, in downtown Sarasota’s Bayfront Park. Info: embracingourdifferences.org

Forks & Corks, Jan. 23-27
The Sarasota-Manatee Originals’ 13th annual event will feature numerous winemaker events ranging from upscale dinners to wine tastings and samplings in the spectacular courtyard of The Ringling Museum of Art. Info: eatlikealocal.com/forksandcorks



St. Barbara Greek Festival ‘Glendi,’ Feb. 6-9
St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church hosts this celebration of Greek culture, now in its 36th year. It includes authentic foods, folk dancing, crafts, live music and a Kids zone Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday. Info: stbarbarafestival.org

Circus Sarasota, Feb. 7-March 1
Circus Sarasota presents 33 performances under the Red and White Big Top full of elegance, excitement and unforgettable moments. The 2020 show will feature artistry on the flag pole and single trapeze, fast-paced Alanian riders on horseback, hand-to-hand acrobatics, juggling and much more. Info: circusarts.org

Bradenton Area River Regatta, Feb. 8
This annual free event featuring boat races and fireworks on the Manatee River, as well as live music and other family-friendly activities, has become one of the largest spectator events in Southwest Florida since 2014. Info: bradentonarearegatta.com

Thunder by the Bay, Feb. 14-16
The 22nd annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival will return to the Sarasota Fairgrounds with headlining pop-metal band Warrant performing such hits as “Cherry Pie”. Info: thunderbythebay.org

Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival, Feb. 15-16
Nestled along north Sarasota Bay, Cortez is one the few remaining commercial fishing villages in Florida and an excellent place to eat fresh seafood and hear local live music. Nearly 20,000 locals and vacationers attend this event each year. Info: cortez-fish.org

Venice Italian Feast & Carnival, Feb. 20-23
The 32nd Venice Italian Feast & Carnival at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds will feature four days of Italian food and family fun, including midway rides, games, and live music, in a city with strong ties to its Old World namesake. Info: italianamericanclubofvenice.com



ArtSlam, March 7
This free, family-friendly event features dozens of teams of students and creatives bringing art to downtown Bradenton’s Old Main Street. Attendees are also encouraged to engage in the creative process. Info: realizebradenton.com

Sarasota Jazz Festival, March 8-14
Expect a lineup of top-shelf national and regional acts at the Jazz Club of Sarasota’s 40th annual festival, with Grammy-winning jazz vocal group The Manhattan Transfer. Info: sarasotajazzfestival.org

Sarasota County Fair, March 13-22
The 84th annual Sarasota County Fair is a 10-day event each March and features Rides, Entertainment, Crafts, Horticulture, Science Fair, Livestock and Auction. Info: sarasotafair.com

Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash, March 27-28
The 11th annual barbecue and bluegrass festival returns to Venice Airport Festival Grounds with another world-class pairing of barbecue and bluegrass. Info: suncoastbbqbash.com

Sarasota Film Festival, March 27-April 5
The SFF is an international film festival, now in its 22nd year. It showcases the best in independent film, thought-provoking documentaries and youth programming. Tickets go on sale Thursday, March 21, for members and cinephiles and Saturday, March 23, to the public. Info: sarasotafilmfestival.com


If you already live or vacation in the area, we hope you’ll enjoy these events in the gorgeous, dry and breezy days of West Florida’s winter. If you or your friends are ready to consider building a home in Sarasota-Manatee please consider Sam Rodgers Homes.

Within Sarasota-Manatee, Sam Rodgers Homes builds its finest homes. With each and every home design, Sam Rodgers Homes considers the details, the long-term investment on the buyer’s end, and the elements that make Florida outdoor living truly enjoyable in one of the finest counties in the state.

Because every Sam Rodgers home can be customized exactly how you imagined it, there’s no better outdoor living experience in West Florida. When other builders say no to custom home features, Sam Says Yes.