What's up, Joey? Suncoast weekend wrap-up: February 10th

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SARASOTA, Fla. - How can you tell we’re in high season here on the Suncoast? The restaurants are fuller, traffic is slower, and our weekends are packed with galas, brunches, and celebrity sightings. This weekend, one of my celeb sightings turned a little personal.

But first, here’s a look at what was happening this weekend.

Circus Sarasota kicked off their Big Top show Friday night. It’s called Wonderstruck, and it left the crowds just that. The show runs for the next few weeks and is, in my opinion, the most thrilling time you can have under a tent and still talk about it.

Also Youth held their annual brunch at the Hyatt Regency this weekend. Supporters like Ken Shelin, Jim Jablonski, Jarred Wilson, and Kyla Weiner came out to support ALSO as they honored Greg Taylor as Person of the Year.

Main Street was closed off Saturday for Eco Fest, and the streets were filled with vendors and live performances ranging from young ballet dancers to the rock & roll of local singer Twinkle. The event had a decent turnout until the rain forced everyone inside.

And it was a huge weekend for celebrities …

Star of stage and screen Ben Vereen played to packed houses at Venice Theatre this weekend, delighting the crowds with his song & dance.

Meanwhile, Van Wezel was packed with a trio of stars, with two Kennys gracing the stage this weekend, Kenny Loggins and Kenny Rogers.

But the highlight was the Van Wezel's annual Gala Friday night which began with dinner in a tent on the bayfront and ended with the comedy of Jay Leno. And this is where this star sighting got a little personal …

Yours truly was featured on The Tonight Show’s headlines with my dog in November and got an opportunity to catch Leno in the meet & greet after his Friday night appearance. Jay was gracious and posed for a photo, but unfortunately my dog Lulu was left at home.

As always, if you spot any celebrities around town, send me a photo at pix@mysuncoast.com.