While warm and sunny year-round, the Gulf Coast of Florida has a full spectrum of summer fun throughout July. What better way to get into the patriotic spirit than showcase a sampling of the delightful festivities ahead.
Every Tuesday/Wednesday in July
FREE Kids Summer Beach Runs | Siesta Beach (Tuesday) and Brohard Beach (Wednesday) | 5:30 p.m.
Every Tuesday and Wednesday through July 31st, kids can stop by Siesta Beach and Brohard beach for a 1-mile beach run. Siesta Key’s runs will start near the pavilion every Tuesday, and the runs on Brohard beach take place every Wednesday starting next to the Venice Fishing Pier. For ages 1 – 17, participation ribbons are awarded along with a free ice pop. Registration at each location begins at 5:30 p.m. and the beach run starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. Complete four runs and earn a free custom T-shirt along with other prizes.
Every Saturday in July
Selby Gardens’ Splashin’ Saturdays | Selby Gardens | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fun water-themed activities, including water slides and games specifically geared for toddlers on up to age 10. Enjoy cool shade and Bay breezes under the banyans and around the lagoon and waterfall of the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden. Cost of admission depends on member status and age.
Ringling Museum’s Summer Circus Spectacular | Historic Asolo Theater | July 11 – August 3, 2019 | Showtimes
Presented in collaboration with The Circus Arts Conservatory of Sarasota, the Summer Circus Spectacular highlights some of the finest circus acts from around the world. Various show days and times. Tickets are $16 Adults/ $12 Children 12 and under.
Country Club Kids Summer Golf Camp | Lakewood Ranch Country Club | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Event details and registration
PGA Golf instruction for kids including full swing, short game, putting, etiquette, rules and play on golf course. Lunch, snacks and refreshments are provided daily. More advanced camps are available for those looking to take their game to next level.
Monday, July 1st
Red, White and Blue Lighthouse Climb Tour | Gasparilla Island Lighthouse | 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Discover the rich legacy of Gasparilla Island’s iconic lighthouses with a 20-minute climb tour. RSVP on the Barrier Island Parks Society website. Tickets are $15. All proceeds support the continuing restoration and preservation efforts of the lighthouses and area.
Wednesday, July 3rd
Bradenton Marauders vs. Jupiter Hammerheads | LECOM Field | 4:30 p.m. (gates); 6:30 p.m. (game)
Following the game, a fireworks show gets everyone in the patriotic spirit. The first 1,500 fans will receive free t-shirts. Tickets: $7 – $12.
Thursday, July 4th
Fireworks from the Selby Gardens | Sarasota | 6 p.m.
In lieu of a viewing spot around Bayfront Park, this secluded option from the Selby Gardens lawn is a delightful diversion from the ordinary with catering from Michael’s on East and family-friendly activities.
FourthFest 2019 | Punta Gorda | Laishley Park | 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
A full day festival with non-stop entertainment, this Charlotte County celebration is not to be missed. Suitable for all ages, enjoy live music, food and 12 giant waterslides available to the young and young at heart. Admission is $3 to help offset the cost of fireworks and a bracelet for unlimited waterslide use is available for $10.
5th annual Myakka River Kayak Festival and 4th of July Jam Blast | Snook Haven | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Kayaking, live music and craft beers. Performers include Treble Hook, Steve Arvey and Florida Boys and more. Kayak and canoe rentals will be available starting at 8 a.m. or you can bring your own. No cover charge for entrance.
Independence Day Buffet & Fireworks On The Manatee River | Pier 22 | 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
In a patriotic salute to the red, white and starry blue, PIER 22 celebrates America with an Independence Day pig roast and buffet, plus the rockets’ red glare with premium waterside viewing during the July 4th fireworks show on the Manatee River. Adults are $69.95 plus tax and gratuity and Children eight and under are $19.95 plus tax and gratuity.
Friday, July 5th
6th Annual Liberty Litter Cleanup | Sarasota County Beaches | 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. | Registration
Help keep the beach venues of our Fourth of July festivities beautiful for the rest of the summer by volunteering to clean up beaches hit hardest by the firework celebrations. Cleanup efforts will take place at Siesta Key, Lido Beach, South Lido Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty Park, Venice Beach and Blind Pass Beach & Park. All volunteers should report to the Site Captain at their cleaning location. Space is limited, so register early.
Gazebo Starlight Cinema Series | Centennial Park (Venice) | 8:10 p.m. – 11:10 p.m. | Full Movie Schedule
Grab your blankets, friends and family and enjoy this month’s Gazebo Starlight movie, Percy Jackson & The Olympians. These FREE monthly movies in the park are happening through October, so if this movie genre doesn’t sound appealing, make a date for next month’s.
Monday, July 8th
City of Venice Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Downtown Beautification Project | Centennial Park | 11 a.m.
A short ceremony in Centennial Park followed by a ribbon cutting on West Venice Avenue to officially present the downtown improvements to the citizens and visitors of the City of Venice. There will be speakers, music and light refreshments.
Friday, July 12th
11th Annual Sarasota Improv Festival | Florida Studio Theatre Campus | July 12-13 | Schedule
This year’s Festival will bring together over 20 of the top improv troupes from across the nation and as far as Canada and the UK to Florida’s Gulf Coast for a weekend of spontaneous comedy to take risks, get raw, and get real on stage in a variety of improv formats. Various ticket prices and packages.
Friday, July 19th
18th Annual Summer Music “Friday Fest” | The Van Wezel | 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
A free concert series featuring Rebel Heart and some of today’s most popular country songs, mixed with a healthy dose of hits from pop, rock, dance and the blues! Guest are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy food from food trucks and drinks from local vendors. Outside food and drink are prohibited. This event takes place rain or shine and moves indoors in case of inclement weather.
Christmas in July | Historic Downtown Venice | July 19-20 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Yearning for holiday cheer, but aren’t ready for the massive to-do list of shopping? You can catch Santa and Mrs. Claus riding the trolley and visiting the shops at this fun downtown festival. Ride the trolley for free on both days from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. There will also be a raffle for 4 large gift baskets. Pick up your free raffle tickets at many of the participating downtown businesses. The raffle will be done on Tuesday, July 23rd and winners will be contacted.
Saturday, July 27
9th Annual Mystic Faire | Sarasota Municipal Auditorium | July 27-28 | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Billed as the largest psychic fair in southwest Florida, this faire features over 75 exhibitors and more than 25 psychics. Hear free lecturers and see psychics, healers and vendors of many kinds. Admission: $7 for one day or $10 for both days. 12 & under are free.
To see more happenings in your area, check out the event calendars on your county’s website for a full list of events, fairs, festivals and meetups.