Our roster of fun April events in Sarasota and Manatee counties kicks off this weekend with a winning mix of festivities. These include a free block party in downtown Sarasota and another one, with tickets starting at around $50, in the Rosemary District to celebrate the opening of the Sarasota Film Festival.

There’s also a food truck rally in Lakewood Ranch and opening weekend for The Bradenton Marauders minor league baseball team at their historic stadium found near the Village of the Arts. In addition to the five featured events, a beloved Bradenton hangout will bid farewell on Saturday.

Bunny & Pirates, a craft beer pub, wine bar and listening garden at 12404 Cortez Road W., Cortez, is holding a Grand Finale Celebration with live music and food trucks starting at 3 p.m. Saturday before permanently closing. For more information, visit facebook.com/bunnyandpirates.

Top 10 restaurants I recommend when asked ‘Where should I eat in Sarasota and Bradenton?’

10 best waterfront restaurants in Sarasota and Bradenton that I love to recommend

Who lives here? Most famous celebrities with homes in Sarasota and Bradenton area

Ticket Newsletter: Sign up to receive restaurant news and reviews plus info on things to do every Friday

1. Fresh Fridays is being held in new downtown Sarasota spot

Fresh Fridays, pictured here in 2023, is being held in a new downtown Sarasota spot this week.

Fresh Fridays, pictured here in 2023, is being held in a new downtown Sarasota spot this week.

Downtown Sarasota’s popular monthly block party series relocates this Friday from its usual State Street spot to lower Main Street, which is home to such restaurants as Cafe Epicure, Clasico, Selva, El Melvin, and Cafe Amici. “Dance Dance Downtown Sarasota” is the theme this Friday, with live music by Society Hill, a six-piece Fort Myers band that should turn the event “into the ultimate party.” 7-10 p.m. Friday; Main Street between North Palm and South Pineapple avenues, Sarasota; downtownsarasotadid.com/fresh-fridays

10 best restaurants in downtown Sarasota, from fancy to casual

2. Sarasota Film Festival opening night party to be held poolside

The Sarasota Modern hotel's pool.  [PROVIDED PHOTO]The Sarasota Modern hotel's pool.  [PROVIDED PHOTO]

The Sarasota Modern hotel’s pool. [PROVIDED PHOTO]

The 26th annual Sarasota Film Festival, which runs Friday (April 5) through April 14, will hold its opening night party at The Sarasota Modern hotel, which is located in the Rosemary District just north of downtown Sarasota. The festivities, featuring drinks and a DJ, will be held by the hotel’s hip pool area that includes the Wink Wink Pool Bar and adjacent Wink Wink Modern Lounge. 8 p.m. Friday; Sarasota Modern, 1290 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota; $53.59 (general admission), $79.88 (VIP); sarasotafilmfestival.com

10 best romantic restaurants for fine dining in Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice

3. Music in the Park concert series at Bradenton Riverwalk

Bradenton-based Americana band Have Gun, Will Travel is seen here performing in 2022 at the free Music in the Park concert series at Bradenton Riverwalk that continues every Friday through April 26.Bradenton-based Americana band Have Gun, Will Travel is seen here performing in 2022 at the free Music in the Park concert series at Bradenton Riverwalk that continues every Friday through April 26.

Bradenton-based Americana band Have Gun, Will Travel is seen here performing in 2022 at the free Music in the Park concert series at Bradenton Riverwalk that continues every Friday through April 26.

Realize Bradenton’s annual Music in the Park series continues its 2024 season on Friday with a performance by the wildly popular Beatles tribute act, The Glass Onion Band, at the Riverwalk’s main Pavilion stage, overlooking spacious Rossi Park and the Manatee River. Attendees are reminded to bring a chair or blanket to this free, dog-friendly music event featuring food and drinks for purchase. For as long as I can recall, this event has served beer and wine, but not last Friday. An organizer told me they elected not to because there wasn’t enough demand and they were short-staffed. The one food vendor I talked to, though, said there was indeed demand for beer and wine. 6-8 p.m. Friday; Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion at Rossi Park, 452 Third Ave. W., Bradenton; free; realizebradenton.com

10 best restaurants in Sarasota and Bradenton to impress out-of-town guests

4. Food truck rally at Big Top Brewers Collective in Lakewood Ranch

Big Top Brewers Collective, formerly known as Naughty Monk, is at 2507 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.Big Top Brewers Collective, formerly known as Naughty Monk, is at 2507 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

Big Top Brewers Collective, formerly known as Naughty Monk, is at 2507 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

Big Top Brewing, which recently announced the opening of its massive new facility in Fruitville Commons, is hosting a food truck rally on Saturday at its Lakewood Ranch location. Participating food trucks include Untamed Kitchen, Maryland Crab Grab, Currywurst and SRQ Eatz, with dessert by Jeremiah’s. 5-9 p.m. Saturday; Big Top Brewers Collective, 2507 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch; facebook.com/BigTopBrewersCollective

Big Top: New brewery, restaurant, full bar and beer garden is something ‘Sarasota has never seen’

5. The Bradenton Marauders opening weekend with T-shirt giveaway, fireworks

The Bradenton Marauders opening weekend features a T-shirt giveaway on Friday and post-game fireworks on Saturday.The Bradenton Marauders opening weekend features a T-shirt giveaway on Friday and post-game fireworks on Saturday.

The Bradenton Marauders opening weekend features a T-shirt giveaway on Friday and post-game fireworks on Saturday.

The Bradenton Marauders, the Single-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, kick off their season with opening weekend festivities including a T-shirt giveaway for the first 750 attendees on Friday and post-game fireworks on Saturday. Both games are against the Clearwater Thrashers, the Single-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. 5 p.m. gates, 6:30 p.m. first pitch Friday and Saturday; LECOM Park, 1611 Ninth St. W., Bradenton; $11-$15;  milb.com/bradenton

Best restaurants for pizza in Sarasota and Bradenton? Here are my favorites

Wade Tatangelo is Ticket Editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and Florida Regional Dining and Entertainment Editor for the USA TODAY Network. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. He can be reached by email at [email protected]. Support local journalism by subscribing.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Best things to do in Sarasota, Bradenton this weekend

Share.
2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.