Do you need some things to do this weekend in Sarasota and surrounding areas, for yourself or the entire family? If so, you’ve come to the right spot! Cooler autumn weather has finally set in, so you can enjoy lots of outdoor activities without worrying about unpleasant heat and humidity detracting from your good time.
Of course, Halloween is also right around the corner, so there are lots of pumpkin fests and holiday-related things to do this weekend in Sarasota, perfect for everyone in the family. Check out this quick guide of upcoming events in Sarasota you might enjoy and remember to bring masks for indoor venues, as some businesses still require or request them and so you know you’ll be safe no matter your plans.
Saturday, October 16th: 20th Annual BAYFEST
Bayfest is a family-friendly, daylong event held along Anna Maria Island just off the coast of Sarasota. This annual festival is a local favorite, providing lots of entertainment along the shore you’re sure to love.
Running from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., this year’s Bayfest will feature a host of local vendors showcasing a range of homemade crafts including jewelry and handmade artwork. There will also be food vendors offering all your festival favorites, from hot food items to icy cold treats sure to keep you cool and comfortable.
Bayfest also includes a car show, perfect for the vehicle lover in your family! You can chat with other enthusiasts or show off your own classic muscle car, antique ride, or other four-wheeled prized possession.
Some of the area’s best bands will also take the stage starting at 11 a.m., so be sure you’re there in time to check out Memphis Rub, Fuse Band, Dr. Dave Band, and many other performers this year. There will also be beer and wine vendors at the festival so you can enjoy a cold brew or a great vintage along with the shows!
Bayfest is free to attend for everyone and is sure to offer some great entertainment for all ages. For more information including a map to the island and other vital details, check out the Facebook events page:
Friday-Sunday, October 15-17th: Rocktoberfest
There is no better way to celebrate fall than with a classic Rocktoberfest! A combination of traditional Octoberfest activities and great rock music, this year’s event is an excellent choice for everyone in the family.
Rocktoberfest this year will feature lots of authentic German food including sausages, cabbage, pretzels, and of course cold beer! You can also enjoy hours of great live musical performances and dancing. The festival will also feature a visit from the Humane Society so you can sign up to adopt a new pet right on the spot. Admission is free, and to check out festival hours and directions, visit:
Friday-Sunday, October 15th-17th: Celtoberfest
Another great Octoberfest tradition is the Celtoberfest, hosted by Motorworks Brewing in Sarasota. This year’s festival combines both Irish and German fall traditions to create a rousing weekend of food, music, and of course cold beer!
Performers this year include Whiskey Dregs, Black Velvet Band, Dead Rabbits, and many others, as well as classic bagpipers. Ticket prices run from $5 to $45 and are available beforehand. For more information and to get your tickets in advance, visit:
Saturday, October 16th: Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival
It just wouldn’t be October without some great pumpkin festivals to enjoy! Not only do pumpkin festivals get you ready for Halloween and the month’s cooler weather, they’re also a great choice if you need things to do in Sarasota with the kids.
This weekend you can enjoy the Hunsader Farms pumpkin festival in nearby Bradenton. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature classic hayrides, craft vendors, a corn maze, a rock climbing wall, scarecrow displays, and much more.
There will also be lots of food vendors on hand so you can enjoy roasted sweet corn, homemade ice cream, and many other favorite treats. You can also enjoy their petting zoo, a train ride, and live music throughout the entire festival! For admission prices and other vital details, check out their website:
Saturday-Sunday, October 16th-17th: Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival
Fruitville Grove Farms in Sarasota is also offering a weekend pumpkin festival the family is sure to enjoy! Running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, the festival offers free admission and $5 parking. This weekend you and the family can check out their food truck rally, sure to offer all the great treats you love.
The festival will also feature live music, a craft show, pony rides, mini train rides for the kids, horse drawn carriage rides, a petting zoo, and a chance to hold a skunk! There will also be a children’s costume contest Saturday at 2 p.m. so be sure to have the kids dress up and be ready to show off. To find out more, visit their website:
Sunday, October 17th: Morton’s Firehouse Chili Cookoff
If you love chili, live music, and firefighters, you won’t want to miss this year’s Morton’s Firehouse Chili Cookoff! Hosted by the Sarasota Firemen’s Benevolent Fund, the cookoff is scheduled for Sunday, October 17th, from 2 to 5 p.m. There will be celebrity judges on hand to give everything a taste test and determine the winner!
All proceeds from the event will go to the Sarasota Firefighters benevolent fund, which serves firefighters and their families in times of need. For more information on the event and the fund it serves, check out:
Saturday-Sunday, October 16th-17th: American Vintage Markets
The American Vintage Markets is an excellent choice of upcoming events in Sarasota if you love all things vintage, handmade, upcycled, recycled, or otherwise unique! The market will feature a wide array of vendors offering homemade crafts including artwork and other décor, jewelry, and even clothing.
Along with new crafts, the market will showcase upcycled and recycled items, industrial salvage, and other repurposed products you’re sure to love. While all these items offer a unique and original flair, upcycling, recycling, and repurposing items keeps them out of landfills and reduces the need for new materials!
Whether you’re looking for something different and original for your home or are just very eco-conscious, the American Vintage Markets is the place to be. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are just $8 at the door. To find out more, visit the Facebook events page:
Hopefully this quick list of upcoming events in Sarasota gave you some great ideas on what to do this weekend! If you’re also thinking of heading out to the beach, remember to check red tide warnings and precautions before you go. Whatever your plans, be sure to stay safe and come back next week for another list of fun activities in and around Sarasota that you can enjoy with everyone in the family.