LAKEWOOD RANCH -- It will be a big day for celebrating the arts and culture Saturday on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.
The sixth-annual Ovations event of live performances, demonstrations and informational booths will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and it is all for free.
"It's going to be hard to top this year's Ovations," said Linda Gross, co-manager of the event with Rachel Gray.
Gross, with the public relations company Advice, Inc., said they have been working hard all year booking the acts and contacting the organizations that will have booths along Main Street.
"It's so big this year we're going to set up a third stage," she said.
The acts performing in 20-minute segments all day will showcase area talents from singers to storytellers and actors to dancers, and more.
One of the entertainers will be Mindy Simmons, a folk and jazz singer from Sarasota.
"I've been performing at Ovations for a number of years and really enjoy it," said Simmons, who also is president of the Sarasota Folk Club. "Lakewood Ranch is a very friendly community, and it's good exposure for me, and it's a good way to get the word out about the folk club."
She will be singing about four or five songs as part of her solo act, then later in the day she will be performing with other members of the folk club.
On stage with Simmons
in an hourlong round-robin will be multi-instrumentalist Eileen Kozloss, traditional folk singer Jim Gromko, and guitarist Ishmael Katz.
Simmons said she knew she wanted to be an entertainer since she was 5 years old, and has been singing professionally for 30 years.
"What's special about Ovations is since Arts Day in downtown Sarasota has been eliminated this provides a great venue for the public to experience the arts and culture of the area," she said. "I applaud Lakewood Ranch for producing this event."
Also on the list of more than 20 acts is the Sarasota Ballet Company.
Dex Honea, education director of the dance company, said the visitors to Ovations will see part of a special and brand new production of the Margaret Barbieri repertory program.
"It'll be 20 minutes of variations on classical ballet," Honea said. "The dancers will be dressed in the traditional tutus."
He said the Sarasota Ballet Company has been participating in Ovations for the last couple of years.
"This is a chance for us to show what we can do," Honea said.
All of the dancers who will be preforming are in the advance program at the company's ballet school and range from 9 to 17 years old.
Visitors to the even also will have a chance to learn more about the 30 or so organizations that are involved with or support the arts.
Members of the South Florida Museum staff and volunteers will be in one of the booths that will line Main Street.
"We'll provide information about the museum, aquarium and planetarium," said spokeswoman Emmalee Legler. "We want people in the East County communities to learn about what we offer."
The South Florida Museum is located in downtown Bradenton, but offers something for everyone, Legler said.
The mascot Gilly the Shark from Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota also will be there all day Saturday, along with Mote's mobile lab.
The traveling exhibit is an aquarium on wheels and brings the wonders of the sea to the public, said Hayley Rutger, spokeswoman for Mote Marine.
It includes a touch pool, a 1,200-gallon tropical fish aquarium and informational displays on sharks, sea turtles and shells, Rutger said.
Gross said many of the shops and restaurants along Main Street will be offering specials all day.
For more information visit the web site at www.lakewoodranch.com.