2023 August Sarasota Events Calendar

The August Sarasota Events Calendar - A listing of fun, free or inexpensive, Sarasota happenings around the sun coast.

(*Every effort is made to provide as accurate of information as possible, however dates, times, places and event schedules are subject to change without notice due to weather conditions, last minute changes or cancellations made by event organizers, mistakes, misinformation from sources and/or events beyond anyone's control, etc.  Before making any major plans check with event organizers to confirm date of event. This Calendar is updated as information is made available.)

August 1 - 4 , 2023: It's the 2023 ACA Sprint Canoe National Championships. Hundreds of paddlers from across the country are coming to NBP to compete in the American Canoe Association (ACA) Sprint Canoe National Championships. Come watch sprint and paracanoe athletes - including possible future Olympians - race head-to-head on a nine-lane course in narrow, high-speed canoes and kayaks. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FL

August 1 - 12, 2023: The Ringling Museum presents their Summer Circus Spectacular. It's presented in collaboration with The Circus Arts Conservatory of Sarasota. The Summer Circus Spectacular highlights some of the finest circus acts from around the world .Show times are 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Tickets are $20 Adults/ $13 Children 12 and under. The Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL. 941-360-7399 August Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

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August 1 - 31, 2023: Throughout August, Manatee County Animal Welfare (MCAW) will once again participate in “Clear the Shelters,” the annual nationwide pet-adoption drive, which has helped more than 860,000 pets find new homes since its inception in 2015. MCAW is waiving adoption fees throughout the month, as well. This includes spay/neuter, microchip and rabies certificate—a value of over $300. Manatee County residents are required to license their new pet for an additional $20. “Manatee County Animal Welfare has 95 dogs and 34 cats ready for adoption in their facilities. For more information about Manatee County Government, visit mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501.

August 2 - 6, 2023:  It's the Florida State Dance Sport Championships' 51st Anniversary. Formerly known as  the "Brakers competition."  Every day and night is filled with dancers competing from all over the world. Traditionally morning and afternoons are dedicated for all level Pro/Am dancers and this year they expect biggest participation in 51 years. Evenings will be set for Professional Championships, and every night will have different divisions and styles where professionals will try to win and be crowned as the new 2023 Champions. Additional events include seminars with dancesport legends (open to public), gourmet dinners, general dancing and awards ceremony. Various sessions and ticket proices. The Ritz Carlton, 1111 Ritz Carlton Dr, Sarasota, FL.

August Sarasota Events

August 3 - 5, 2023: Break out the big hair and acid-washed denim, Laser Light Nights are back at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature! Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night from May 25 through September 2, we are rocking out to some of your favorite artists in the Planetarium! A variety of food options and drinks are available for purchase onsite with cash or card. Tickets for shows between May 25 and July 15 will go on sale at 12:00 PM EST on May 1, 2023. Tickets for shows between July 20 and September 2 will go on sale at 12:00 PM EST on June 1, 2023. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 20110th Street West, Bradenton, FL.

August 4, 2023: The Lakewood Ranch sponsored Music on Main Street free monthly street party is from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Silverback Rock N’ Roll Band will fill the air with songs from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s and the event will benefit the Bradenton Woman’s Club. The street is lined with food vendors, beer trucks, and sponsor booths, as well as rides and activities for the kids. Bring your chairs, but leave coolers at home. Dogs are welcome, but must be kept on a short leash. Overflow parking is available at the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. Lakewood Ranch is off University Parkway east of I-75.

August 4 - 12, 2023: The 2023 Sarasota Slam with Billfish, Offshore, Inshore and Junior Angler Divisions. The Weigh In is open to the general public on August 12th and will be from 11a.m. - 4 p.m. at Marina Jacks in downtown Sarasota, with a 3:00 p.m. Dockside BBQ & Party. Following the Weigh In and party will be the Awards Ceremony. Marina Jack is home base for the tournament, Bayfront, downtown Sarasota, FL. August Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

August 5, 2023: Kick off the new school year with a bang at The Mall at UTC's Annual Back to School Bash. They'll have all the best resources for families in the Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, University Town Center area to make sure your kids are set up for a successful year of education and growth. You'll have the chance to meet with community resources, after school programs, healthcare providers, pediatricians, optometrists, and tutors. And that's not all! Tampa Bay's favorite sports mascots and some of your favorite characters will also be on hand to help you celebrate the start of the school year! There will also be live entertainment, kids activities, face painting and more! They're giving away over 250 backpacks and thousands of school supplies through our interactive scavenger hunt. Parents must pre-register online to receive a backpack (limited to 4 backpacks per family) and children must be present to collect a backpack and participate in the scavenger hunt. However, the entire event is open to the public and anyone can attend to join in on the fun even if you do not need the free backpacks and school supplies. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. UTC Mal, The Mall at University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Drive, Sarasota FL

There are numerous recurring, fun things to do in Sarasota throughout the year. Click here for my list of recurring Events in Sarasota!

August Sarasota Events

August 5, 2023: The Bradenton Marauders host the Tampa Tarpons on Back to School Night. Head back to class in style! The first 500 kids ages 12 and under will receive a Marauders backpack. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets $10 - $14. 6:30 p.m. LECOM Park, 1611 Ninth St., W., Bradenton, FL.

August 5, 2023: It's Florida Penguin's Sarasota Back-to-School Bash at The Mall at University Town Center. 250 backpacks will be given away plus 50+ family and child related services will be onsite passing out school supplies. Services include tutoring, education, after school programs, pediatricians and more. We will also have stage performances, face painting, free child crafts, raffles and more. Parents must pre-register online to receive a Backpack, limited to 4 backpacks per family and children must be present to collect a backpack and scavenger hunt. However, the entire event is open to the public and anyone can attend to join in on the fun even if you do not need the free backpacks and school supplies. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. The Mall at University Town Center, 140 University Town Center Dr., Sarasota, FL.

August 5, 2023: Enjoy a short road trip and the 7th Annual Tiki Fest 2023. Enjoy authentic island music and dance presented in various locations around Fisherman's Village. Enjoy a fun day on Charlotte Harbor. Highlights include: The Hawaiian Band of Orlando: 12 noon, 1 and 2:30 p,m, Center Court, and live music continuing until 9 p.m. throughout Fisherman's Village along with Polynesian and Hawaiian dance. . Dine at waterfront restaurants, shop at independently owned boutiques and enjoy the day. Free admission / Free parking! Noon - 6 p.m. Fisherman's Village, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL.

August 5 - 6, 2023:  Here's your chance to audition for this year's Sarasota Medieval Fair. Auditions will be Saturday and Sunday at the Woods of Mallaranny The auditions will start promptly at 9 a.m. each audition day (you only need to come one day, not both), site of the Fair during November weekends. All ages welcome for General Cast and other categories of players but children 12 and under must have a parent present at the time of auditioning.. Woods of Mallaranny. 29847 FL-70 E, Myakka City, FL 34251.

August Sarasota Events

August 11, 2023: It's back! The Van Wezel's Friday Fest has returned this summer! This Friday Fest will feature TEN-76, a powerhouse high energy band that covers classic and modern rock. From the Lakewood Ranch home base, TEN-76 regularly plays many of the local venues and are expanding in the Southeast Region. They have volunteered their time and entertainment for charities (ex. Breast Cancer, Fire Victims, Veterans, First Responders, and Children in need) to help raise funds and awareness. Free admission. Bring blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverage from local vendors. Friday Fest takes place in “rain or shine.” In the event of inclement weather, the festival will move indoors to our grand foyer or main stage of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Bringing in food, beverages and coolers from outside Friday Fest is prohibited. 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall lawn, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. August Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

August 11, 2023: It's the Free Music Friday Night Concert. Enjoy the music of George McVey River Road in downtown's Centennial Park. Free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to follow current CDC guidelines. Bring your own chairs or picnic blankets. No alcohol is permitted in Centennial Park. Free. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.  Centennial Park, downtown Venice, FL.

August 12, 2023: It's the Big Art Blow Out at ArtCenter Manatee! Original art for your home or office by local artists at blowout prices. All local artists. All priced $100 or less. All media. One day only. All sales final. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. ArtCenter Manatee , 209 9th St W, Bradenton, FL

August 12, 2023: It's SarasotaCon - ComiCon. SarasotaCon is a collectors’ mecca convention striving to be Florida’s best and truest comic convention featuring fandoms of multiple genres. SarasotaCon will have exhibitors that cater to a wide-spectrum of interests including: comic books • magazines • toys • video games • movies • wrestling • sci-fi • sports cards •anime manga •cosplay • artwork sketches • apparel•gaming • sports cards • retro toys • horror. In addition, a roster of comic industry professionals and fandom-related celebrities are guaranteed in attendance for fans to meet and greet. This will be one show not to miss! General admission $20. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Carlisle Inn & Conference Center Sarasota 3727 Bahia Vista Street Sarasota, FL

Sarasota waterside dining

August Sarasota Events

August 18 - 19, 2023: It's the Special Olympics Florida Stand-Up Paddle Competition with competition among 150 athletes. Did you know Florida was the first state to declare standup paddling as an official competition sport for Special Olympics? Special Olympics athletes from all over Florida will show off their paddle power in a variety of SUP races Satrurday events: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday events: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FLNathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota FL

August 18 - 20, 2023: There's a Gem, Jewelry & Bead Show with lots on display to see from dealers from around the country selling gems, jewelry, beads, crystals and more. Adults $5. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL. August Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

August 19, 2023: Free and fun for the whole family, it's the family friendly Annual Back to School Bash at Music Compound for school age kids with live musical performances, a bounce house, food truck, beer samples, crafts. face painting and more. 941-379-9100 Free. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Between Bee Ridge and Fruitville: Music Compound, 1751 Cattlemen road , Sarasota, FL. 941-379-9100

August 20, 2022 - September 5, 2022: Canceled for 2023. They hope to be back in 2024. Click the link for more info on cancelation.The 66th annual Englewood Pioneer Festival is a family-friendly occasion filled with fun events. Here's the schedule and overview.  August 27, 2022: The Cardboard Boat Race happens at the San Casa Pool at Ann Dever Park from 8 a.m. - noon. August 28, 2022: Chalkfest 11 takes place at the Ann and Chuck Dever Park. Chalk will be provided. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. September 5, 2022: . Everything plus a parade that beings at 9 a.m. The Parade starts at 9:00 a.m. (rain or shine). Dearborn street will be closed ONLY for the Parade on Monday Labor Day, Sept. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 11a.m. On Labor Day, the Park will open at 8:00 a.m. and The days' festivities end at 3 p.m. Check their website for more details and the latest info updates.

August Sarasota Events

August 20, 2023: The Sarasota Garden Club Presents Music in the Gardens with the fabulous violinist Elijah Luzginov you're strolling through or sitting in a beautiful garden maintained by the members. Enjoy Wine refreshments and hors d'oeuvres, beautiful music, good friends, dancing and more. RSVP at klgbrg@me.com or 941-718-3359. 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. $30 per person. $25 for members. Sarasota Garden Club, 1131 Blvd. of the Arts, Sarasota, FL.


August 26, 2023: Cool Off And Try Your Luck At The Suncoast Summer Fest Casino Night! Enjoy Black Jack, Roulette, Poker, Craps, Slots, & Texas Hold’ Em! Prizes To Top Five Winners 50/50 Raffle – Music & Dancing. Casual Attire – Must Be 21 Years Of Age. Tickets: $75 per person/$125 per couple. Includes $1,000 in free chips, lite bites, and 2 drink tickets. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sarasota Event Center, 600 N. Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL.

August 25, 2023:  It's the Free Music Friday Night Concert. Enjoy the music of Latitude 26 in downtown's Centennial Park. Free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to follow current CDC guidelines. Bring your own chairs or picnic blankets. No alcohol is permitted in Centennial Park. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Centennial Park, downtown Venice, FL. August Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

August 26, 2023: It's the Beat the Heat Challenge with Camp Gladiator! A one-mile fitness race. Four challenge stations. Prove your fitness level among your age group (20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59) in Camp Gladiator's Beat the Heat Challenge. A sandbell challenge, a ruck-sack challenge, a body weight challenge and a 1000m row challenge await. Register here. 8 a.m. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FL

August Sarasota Events

August 26, 2023: Check out the inaugural Sarasota Shark Tooth Fesitval with vendors, activities and educational displays. $12 ages 12 and up, $8 ages 6 - 12. Free for 5 and under. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL.

August 26, 2023:  Up for Bluegrass anyone? The Heartland/Southwest Florida Bluegrass Association has performances generally on the last Saturday of the month. The Jam Band will kick things off at 1:00 p.m. The Jam Band is basically anyone who wants to play (ala open mike).  Also: Highlands Ridge Ramblers, James Rogers and Blue Cypress.  Admission is $7.00 for non-members, and free for members. Craig's RV Park, 7895 NE Cubitis Ave, Arcadia, FL.

August 27, 2020: Moved to October 18, 2023.  Check out the Business Showcase (formerly Consumer Expo) with more than 100 businesses participating along with door prizes, health screenings and more. Free admission and parking. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Venice Community Center, 326 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice. August Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

August 27 - 28, 2022:Canceled for 2023. They hope to be back in 2024. Click the link for more info on cancelation. The 66th annual Englewood Pioneer Festival is a family-friendly occasion filled with fun events. Saturday is The Cardboard Boat Race happening at the San Casa Pool at Ann Dever Park. Sunday is Chalkfest 11 which takes place at the Ann and Chuck Dever Park. Chalk will be provided. There will be food, vendors and music. The event runs from 9 am to 2 pm on Sunday, August 28.

August 29 – September 30, 2023: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will present its 43rd Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition. This year’s exhibition will again be conducted virtually, with digital photos entered through an online portal and all accepted submissions displayed in an online gallery for the duration of the show. The open call for submissions will run from August 7 through 14. Photographs that are entered for consideration for the show must have been taken at or of either Selby Gardens campus—Downtown Sarasota or Historic Spanish Point—within the past year. Last year’s photo exhibition garnered nearly 300 entries. “Best in Show” was awarded to Patricia Nebel for her black-and-white image titled The Bishop. August Sarasota Events on Escape-to-Sarasota.com

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