SARASOTA, Fla. (August 16, 2013) – Relax in Sarasota County with family and friends this holiday season. With Sarasota Ballet’s circus-themed Nutcracker, hundreds of decorated boats trolling Sarasota’s waterways and shopping specials, there are many days and ways to celebrate the season in Sarasota.
35th Annual Holiday Night of Lights
St. Armands Circle Park
Friday, December 6, 2013
“Holiday Night of Lights” is St. Armands official “kick off” to the holiday season. The event begins with an annual Christmas Carol Sing-a-long, followed by the “Santa Parade” lead by the Wells Fargo Stage Coach, arrival of Santa in his spectacular sleigh and our tree lighting ceremony. Photos with Santa are available throughout the evening. Enjoy holiday entertainment, special store promotions and gracious hospitality provided by the many shops and restaurants. This is a special evening for the young and the “young at heart.” For more information visit starmandscircleassoc.com/
Venice Boat Parade
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Since 1989, festively decorated boats will leisurely meander along the Intracoastal Waterway, between Albee Farm Road Bridge and the Circus Bridge. This is the City of Venice’s holiday kick-off event. The rain date is the following day. For more information visit venicechristmasboatparade.com.
Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
December 14, 2013
First begun in 1986, the Annual Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights brings out thousands of spectators who line the shores of Sarasota Bay from Centennial Park to Bayfront Park every year. Pack a festive picnic and watch the boats as they parade along the Bayfront Park covered in bright and colorful lights with live bands on the decks playing Christmas tunes.
The Players Theatre
Thursday, December 5, 2013-Saturday, December 7, 2013
Based on the beloved film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features 17 classic Irving Berlin songs including “Blue Skies”, “I Love a Piano”, and the perennial favorite “White Christmas”. Single tickets $25 Adults, $12 children. For more information visit theplayers.org
John Ringling’s Circus Nutcracker
Friday, December 20, 2013-Saturday, December 21, 2013
2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
Follow Clara’s dream as she runs away with the circus in a production of Sarasota Ballet’s own The Nutcracker produced by international choreographer Matthew Hart and award-winning designer Peter Docherty. Set to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s festive music and accompanied by The Sarasota Orchestra, The Sarasota Ballet entwines Hoffmann’s original story with Sarasota’s own hometown classic-the circus. For more information visit sarasotaballet.org.
Moscow Ballet – Great Russian Nutcracker
Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
December 29, 2013
Celebrate this Christmas with Moscow Ballet’s world famous production of the Great Russian Nutcracker! Bring the whole family for the quintessential Holiday experience. Forty star-studded Russian artists perform Olympian feats in the Holiday classic seen by millions. For more information visit www.vanwezel.org
Holly Days and Mangrove Lights
Historic Spanish Point
Thanksgiving –January 1, 2014
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Historic Spanish Point decorates their 30 acres of homestead buildings, adding color to their gardens, and lighting up the day and night in style to celebrate 5,000 years of history. historicspanishpoint.org/hollydays
Atomic Holiday Bazaar
December 14-15, 2013
This indie craft fare enters its 8th season in 2013 at Sarasota’s historic art deco gem, the Municipal Auditorium. This wonderful community building, built in 1938, has been the Atomic venue since the show’s inception. Find, one-of-kind, handmade wares just in time for the giving season. For more information visit atomicholidaybazaar.com
For more information on activities in Sarasota County throughout the year visit www.visitsarasota.org/events.
About Sarasota County
Located on Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, Sarasota County offers a vibrant arts and cultural scene, a diverse array of culinary experiences and a variety of opportunities to take advantage of the clear waters and the great outdoors. Sarasota County provides the quintessential, laid-back beach getaway with numerous sprawling, white-sand beaches, including Siesta Key Beach, named “America’s Best Beach” in 2011 by Stephen Leatherman, aka, Dr. Beach. Dubbed “Home of the American Circus,” Sarasota County served as the headquarters for the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus for 75 years, and visitors can experience its unique circus heritage first-hand by following the circus trail or catching a performance by one of two local circus companies. For more information on visiting Sarasota County, visit www.visitsarasota.org or call (800) 522-9799.