Sarasota Annual Events: Where to Celebrate Coastal Living and Style

Sarasota ranks among Florida’s friendliest cities. People love coming here for both extended stays and last-minute getaways. Part of the draw is these Sarasota annual events that help locals share the best things about their community while showing visitors a great time. To learn more, find a favorite event below.

Sarasota Annual Events: Find Fun, Food and Friendly Faces

sarasota wine festival siesta key

Forks and Corks

Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival showcases local cuisine and winemakers. Each January, wine-mkaers from around the world come to Sarasota to share creative flavors paired with food made by Sarasota and Manatee County chefs.

The event takes place at The Ringling Museum of Art. Guests sample different foods and wines, and watch live demonstrations. Even better, attendees can purchase their favorites and bring them home to enjoy after the festival. The four-day event kicks off with a party and ends with a trade tasting.

Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts

Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts ranks among the top Sarasota annual events for its longtime reputation supporting the arts. The festival began more than 30 years ago. Today, it has grown into one of the top 100 art festivals in the U.S., according to Sunshine Artists magazine.

Spend the day — usually in February — browsing art created in various mediums. Walk among life-size sculptures and paintings. Then browse ceramics, jewelry, photography and handmade crafts. Whether looking for a new showpiece or gift, it’s easy to find something at this five-block event.

sarasota annual events family

Sarasota Film Festival

For over 20 years, Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) has supported and elevated the quality of cinema. The event runs about a week, in March or April, and showcases known and upcoming artists.

SFF begins with an opening night film. During the event, meet filmmakers and industry professionals, watch movies in different genres, attend presentations, and end with special showings. Additional movies are shown at venues in Sarasota, including local theaters. In total, Sarasota Film Festival shows more than 200 films with adult- and kid-friendly programs.

Sarasota Chalk Festival

Each spring and fall, thousands come to the area for Sarasota Chalk Festival. The 10-day event features art, amazing creations and supportive people. In April, Sarasota hosts the chalk festival on Orange Avenue, or attend the November event at Venice Airport.

Before the event, participate in artistic teams or take a class. During Sarasota Chalk Festival, visitors enjoy interacting with art, seeing 3D images, and admiring special exhibits. The main event features pavement paintings, a music festival, kids area, wonder maze, and local vendors. Sarasota Chalk Festival ends with a final viewing day where guests meet artists and buy memorabilia.

sarasota festival music


Sarasota Music Festival

As one of the top artsy cities in the U.S., it’s no surprise the city has a world-renown classical music event. Sarasota Music Festival ranks among the best Sarasota annual events and has entertained guests for more than 50 years.

Sarasota Music Festival features 60 rising stars in chamber music. The June event brings three weeks of classical music to Sarasota, with performances including Friday festivals, Saturday symphonies, master performances and upcoming musicians. Sarasota Music Festival draws students and alumni from all over the world to Sarasota Symphony Center and Sarasota Opera House.

Crystal Classic Sand Sculpting Competition

Held in Siesta Key each November, this top among the top Sarasota annual events welcomes sand-sculptures and guests. Crystal Classic Sand Sculpting Competition takes place on Siesta Beach, and welcomes individuals and groups who compete for prizes and serious bragging rights.

Crystal Classic last four days and hosts live demonstrations, music, master competitions, parties, kids activities and large sand sculptures. In addition, guests vote for their favorites, watch quick-sand challenges, take sand-sculpting lessons, and buy souvenirs.

Atomic Holiday Bazaar

In December, head to Sarasota Municipal Auditorium. Atomic Holiday Bazaar is an Indie street fair filled with colorful vendors a.k.a misfits. It serves as a alternative to Black Friday shopping and showcases local artisans, crafters and small businesses.

At Atomic Holiday Bazaar, browse booths in the main room. Then find dozens more in the bay-front room and outside. Hundreds of locally owned businesses and artists from Florida sell goodies here. Even better, everyone 12 and younger receive free admission, and adults enter for only $5.

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