Soon we will be celebrating our 1-year anniversary as Sarasota residents. We arrived here within a few days of Halloween, and managed to quickly get costumes and celebrate it. But we missed most of the month of October, and, it turns out, a whole slew of festivals that are not even Halloween or fall related (to read about those, check out this other blog). It seems to be that things really start kicking off around here in October for outdoor events! We love going to festivals, whether they are date nights for craft beer festivals or family-friendly events with bounce houses and food trucks.
Coming up this month you can choose from (or why choose – hit as many as you can!) festivals and events that revolve around live music, specialty food like ribs and BBQ, Hungarian culture, Florida craft beer, kids entertainment, vintage cars, BMX racing, rowing lessons, international arts and more.
Here is a list of some of the coolest festivals and special events in October. Let us know which ones you plan on attending! Or check back in after and share your experience and photos on the Sarasota Moms Blog Facebook page.
SRQ Festivals October 2016
Beer, Bands & BBQ
October 1, noon to 7pm. Sarasota Polo Club at Lakewood Ranch, 8201 Polo Club Lane, Lakewood Ranch.
At least eight top local bands will take the stage for 45 minute sets while visitors also enjoy BBQ inspired dishes prepared by local restaurants and local craft and domestic beers. Music Compound students will open the event. Dogs on leashes are welcome.
Cost: General admission/$15; VIP/$125, which includes preferred parking and seating, open bar, unlimited food and more.
More info: http://www.musiccompound.com/beer-bands-and-bbq
Beer, Boats and Bacon
October 8, noon to 7pm. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota.
Brewed Life presents the 6th annual Beer, Boats and Bacon festival, which features bacon-centric food from local restaurants and caterers, samples of more than 60 craft beers, rowing classes for the whole family, live music and more. Wine, draft beer and food will be available to purchase. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center, Inc.
Cost: General admission: $10 presale/$15 day of. Ages 3-12, $5. Ages 2 and under, free. Does not include beer or food. Beer sampling (Ages 21+, 3-7pm) admission: $30 presale/$35 day of. Parking/$5.
More info: http://www.beerboatsandbacon.com/index.html
UCI BMX Supercross World Cup
October 8-9. Sarasota BMX Track, 1590 N Tuttle Ave, Sarasota.
While this isn’t a festival, it is a pretty neat global event taking place right here in Sarasota. The world’s best BMX racers, including the newly crowned Olympic champions, will be racing for the World Cup title in Sarasota at the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup finals. Come watch as riders battle it out as they race along a 1,500-foot track, reaching speeds of 45 mph in less than 35 seconds, at one of the oldest (but newly renovated) tracks in the USA. Day 1 will consist of qualifying rounds; Day 2 will be the main event, which will feature 64 men and 32 women. The world cup, which includes five events on three continents, is the main qualification event for the Olympics.
Cost: $15-$135. Free for kids ages 5 and under.
More info: http://sarasotabmxsx.com/uci/
Ringling International Arts Festival
October 13-16, performance times vary. Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota.
Performers from across America and around the world are coming to Sarasota for the 8th annual RIAF. From the opening night celebration focusing on Brazilian music, to the “down under” antics of Australian acrobats, and the brilliance of internationally-acclaimed musicians, actors, and dancers, the 2016 Ringling International Arts Festival is an opportunity to experience the outrageously sublime, the profoundly surreal, and even the hilariously catastrophic.
Cost: Prices vary per performance
More info: https://www.ringling.org/events/series/ringling-international-arts-festival?page=1
Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribs Music Fest
October 14, 5pm to 10pm; Oct. 15, 11am to 10pm; Oct. 16, noon to 8pm. DeSoto Square Mall, 303 301 Blvd. W, Bradenton.
The live music and ribs are the main attraction at this event which will be taking place for the 10th year. But, there will be plenty of other food and drinks for sale, as well as arts and crafts, and a kid zone that will feature video games, bounce houses, youth bands, hay rides and more. Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribs Music Fest is a major annual fundraising event benefiting United Community Centers, Inc.
Cost: Variety of tickets with wide range of prices, starting at $10. Children 10 and under are free with a ticket-holding adult.
More info: http://gulfcoastribfest.com/
10th Annual Hungarian Festival
October 15, 10am to 10pm and October 16, noon to 8pm. Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.
The Global Friendship Foundation is hosting a celebration of Hungarian culture and heritage with a family friendly festival. Entertainment includes live music by artists coming straight from Hungary, archery demonstrations, folk dance performances, a goulash cooking competition, traditional arts and crafts, authentic cuisine and more. The kids corner includes carnival games, crafts, pony rides, a theater performance and more.
Cost: $10/person. Children under 12, free. Free parking.
More Info: Hungarian Festival Facebook page
Sip the Sunshine – All Florida Craft Beer Festival
October 29, noon to 9pm. Admission hours vary depending on tickets. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota.
Sip the Sunshine will feature more than 50 Florida craft breweries. The event will highlight the beer, the people and the stories that make up the craft beer community in the Sunshine State. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Beer Science Course at the University of South Florida – Sarasota Manatee’s Food & Beverage Science Program.
The Sip the Sunshine craft beer festival goes from noon to 4pm and is for ages 21 and older. It will be followed by Sundown Session — a twilight concert that is open to kids as well.
Cost: Tickets range from $45-$125. Kids under 12 get free admission to the concert.
More info: http://sipthesunshine.com/
Main Street Live Downtown Street Party
October 29, 5pm to midnight. Old Main Street (12th Street West), between Manatee and 3rd avenues, Bradenton.
So I know I said this list didn’t include Halloween events, but I had to include one. This was the first festival we attended last year as new Sarasota residents! Bradenton’s new street party season will kick off with its annual Halloween party. Wear your favorite costume and bring the kids early or stay late with friends who want to dance. Live music, and food, drink and arts and craft vendors. Music until 10pm, but the street is closed to traffic for the party until midnight.
Cost: Free admission, music and drinks for sale
More info: http://www.realizebradenton.com/main_street_live_2016_2017
Giving Hunger the Blues Music Festival
October 30, noon to 9pm. Van Wezel Performing Arts Center outdoor grounds, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.
Giving Hunger the Blues is an annual, one-day music festival featuring three stages of live music, including a youth stage, dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and food and beverage vendors. Each year, this family-friendly festival raises money to feed, protect and nurture the children and families of our community.
Cost: $10 advance/$15 at the door. Kids 12 and under, free.
More info: http://givinghungertheblues.org/