Sarasota Events and Festivals

(Sarasota, Florida - FL, USA)

There are arts festivals, boating parades, sporting events and music concerts happening all over Sarasota throughout the year. Kicking off the calendar of festivals is the popular Annual Downtown Sarasota New Year Arts and Craft Show, while the Christmas Boat Parade at the other end of the calendar year is also a much loved event.

Other important festivals and things to do include the well-supported Jazz Festival in April and the Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix on July 4th.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Day
  • 12th February - Lincoln's Birthday
  • Third Monday in February - Washington's Birthday
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day
  • 4th July - Independence Day
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Columbus Day
  • 11th November - Veterans Day
  • 4th Thursday in November - Thanksgiving
  • 25th December - Christmas Day

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Annual Downtown Sarasota New Year Arts and Craft Show - early January, one of the largest and most popular shows in the year, the Annual Downtown New Year Arts and Craft Show never fails to impress with its many artists and craftsmen.
  • Native American Indian Festival - last Friday to Sunday of the month at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, a cultural celebration of the traditions and heritage of the Native American people.


  • Winterfest at the Mansion - mid-February, held at the Phillippi Estate Park, Winterfest at the Mansion is a craft show with a difference, held as it is in this stately old mansion.


  • Sarasota Comedy Festival - mid to late March, held at various locations around the city, the Comedy Festival features many events with comedians including the likes of Dick Smothers and Gary Gulman.


  • The Sarasota Jazz Festival - early April, having run every year since 1980, the Jazz Festival, held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, sees numerous top jazz musicians performing for sellout crowds.


  • Sky Pilots Open - late May, held at the North Water Tower Park and Sarasota Golf Club and featuring some of Florida's best disc golfers in the name of charity.


  • Sarasota Music Festival - late May to mid-June, the Music Fest has been going for decades and features a number of concerts from faculty artists and students.


  • Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix - July 4th, at Siesta Beach on beautiful Siesta Key, the Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix is a series of offshore boat races that finish on July 4 and also includes parades, bikini contests, baseball games, fishing tournaments, bed races and fireworks.


  • No significant festivals or events in Sarasota in August.


  • Gymboree Play and Music - late September, featuring a rotation of classes, free open play and door prizes.


  • Taste of Sarasota - late October, benefiting local children's charities, the Taste features food from 30 of the city's best restaurants, live music and much entertainment.
  • PrideFest - mid-October, annual lesbian and gay celebrations at Robarts Arena in the Sarasota Fair Grounds.


  • Season of Sculpture - November to late May, a free exhibition of sculptures from around the world is held at Sarasota Bayfront and is free for all.


  • Christmas Boat Parade - early to mid-December, taking in the Bayfront, Centennial Park and City Island, the Christmas Boat Parade is a Christmas parade with a tropical theme.