There’s plenty to do this weekend

Thunder By The Bay Returns To Sarasota
Thunder By The Bay Returns To Sarasota
Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 1:39 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Sarasota and Manatee County will be full of festivals this weekend and in the upcoming months, below are a few...

This weekend

  • The 41st Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival will be held Saturday, Feb. 17 and Sunday, Feb. 18. The festival celebrates Cortez’s fishing heritage with a mix of live music, nautical arts and crafts, children’s activities, environmental exhibits and seafood. All of the proceeds benefit the FISH mission and the FISH Preserve. The admission is $5, kids under 12 are free. It will be held in front of Starfish Co. and A.P. Bell (between 123rd and 124th Street West) in Cortez.
  • Thunder By the Bay kicks off Friday. The event, which ABC7 is a sponsor, is a three-day festival with music and motorcycles at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Headlining performers include 38 Special and Colt Ford. The Festival also includes over 100 vendors, a 17-class bike show, freestyle motorcycle shows, a charity motorcycle ride, great food, on-site camping, and more. It is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Suncoast Charities for Children, who provides funding support to several local non-profits serving over 8,000 children, teens, and adults with special needs. Over the past 24 years, the Festival has raised over $2.3 million for charity. To see the calendar of events for the big event, click here.
  • FitFest will be held at Robinson Preserve in Bradenton Saturday, Feb. 18 from 7 a.m. to noon. It is an outdoor showcase of fitness and health businesses, with a 5k run, exercise and nutrition classes, music, food vendors and more, according to the Manatee County government website. The event is free, however the fee for participating in the 5k run/1k walk is $40 in advance and $45 the day of the run. The registration fee covers chip timing, a dry-fit T-shirt and medal, and a percentage goes to Operation Warrior Resolution. Those interested in the run or walk can sign up here.

Upcoming Events

  • The Brown Bag Concert Series will be held from February through March every Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. at Phillippi Estate Park. Participants are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket and their own lunch and enjoy new and local musicians. Admission is free.
  • The 33rd annual Florida WineFest and Auction has a “No Fooling” Champagne Reception, Wine Brunch and Charity Auction on April 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The event will benefit disadvantaged youth in Manatee and Sarasota counties. It will feature a brunch covered by Chef Paul Mattison. Since the first WineFest and Auction in 1991, the event has awarded over $9.3 million benefitting local children’s charities. The tickets are on sale now for $225 per person and tickets are expected to sell out quickly. You can purchase your tickets here or call 941-952-1109.