Holmes Beach downtown art walks: various locations, Holmes Beach
Holmes Beach art walks are 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 14 and April 11. Eleven participating galleries, and dozens of artists, include Island Gallery West, Arts for the Earth, Fukinsei Art Lab, SteamDesigns, Libby's Island Jewelry, Beach Life AMI, Anna Maria Island Art League, Artists' Guild Gallery, Restless Natives, and The Sidebar Gallery and Island Tattoo. Information: 941-779-9108 or Melissa@SteamDesigns.com.
Sarasota County Agricultural Fair: Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
Find crafts and enjoy entertainment and agricultural exhibits, steer and swine shows and sales, carnival rides for all ages and more 2-11 p.m. Fridays, noon-11 p.m. Saturdays, noon-10 p.m. Sundays amd 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, March 14-23. Admission: $8 adults, $4 seniors ages 55 and over, military, and childrena ges 6-17, children ages 5 and younger are admitted free. Information: 941-365-0818 or www.sarasotafair.com.
Bradenton Riverwalk "Music in the Park": Mosaic Amphitheater at Riverwalk, 452 Third Ave. W., Bradenton
Realize Bradenton's popular "Music in the Park" series returns with Scot Blum and Friends, 6-8 p.m. March 14. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Information: 941-840-0013.
Sham Rockin' Festival: Holmes Beach City Hall, 5810 Marina Drive, Anna Maria
The "Sham Rockin" festival runs from 5 to 10 p.m. March 15 and from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. March 16. There's live music, green beer and a kid's area at Homes Beach City Field, 5801 Marina Drive.
Saturday's music lineup includes Rick Quimby (5:15-6:15 p.m.), Jesse Sliger (6:30-7:30 p.m.) and Shotgun Justice (8-10 p.m.) On Sunday, it's Trevor Bystrom (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) Scott Pritchard (1-2:30 p.m.) and Kettle of Fish (3-6 p.m.). Details are on the Island Festivals, Inc. Facebook page or call 941-536-4257.
Main Street Live street party/Shamrock 5K: Old Main Street, Bradenton
Main Street Live, the monthly street party on Old Main Street, is moving to March 15 to celebrate the day. There's live music from Big Daddy and food and crafts vendors. It runs from 5 to 10 p.m.
Also in downtown Bradenton on Saturday is the Shamrock 5K and Pub Crawl. A timed 5K race starts at 4:30 p.m.; shorter races for kids start at 3:30 p.m. There's a post-race party with green beer, food and refreshments for all registered runners. The Pub Crawl, for people who aren't inclined to run 5 kilometers, offers a commemorative glass and a free shots at several participating downtown bars. To register for the race or the crawl, go to www.active.com/bradenton-fl/running/distance-running-races/shamrock-5k-and-pub-crawl-2014. Registration closes today.
LWR Irish Celtic Festival: Central Park, Lakewood Ranch
Lakewood Ranch hosts its annual Irish Celtic Festival is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. March 15 in Central Park on Malachite Drive. Live entertainment is from the Celtic Misfit Band, Mountain Brew, the Braden River Pipers, the Drake School of Dance and New World Celtic Dance teams. The free festival offers tons of activities for kids including a scavenger hunt, face painting and potato decorating. There are also contests for adults, and vendors offering crafts, jewelry food and beverages. Parking is free at Guillett Elementary School, 12125 44th Ave. E., with a free shuttle to the festival. Go to www.lwrcac.com/irish-celtic-festival or call 941-757-1530 for information.
Dog Day at De Soto: DeSoto National Memorial, 8300 DeSoto Memorial Highway, Bradenton
Visitors are encouraged to leash up their dogs and join the DeSoto National Memorial "Dog Day at DeSoto" 10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 15. Enjoy a day filled with activities, demonstrations and information promoting safe and healthy dogs. There will be free face painting and balloon animals for kids and the Garbage Men band will perform 12:30-2 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. All events and activities are free. Information: 941-792-0458 www.nps.gov/deso.
Anna Maria Island Tour of Homes: various locations, Anna Maria Island
Glimpse into island living 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 15 at the 21st annual Anna Maria Island Tour of Homes which will include select island properties in Holmes Beach and reflect various styles of island living. One of the homes will host a boutique, which will offer original arts and crafts and culinary delights. Tour tickets: $20. Proceeds will benefit the Anna Maria Island Community Center. Information: 941-778-1908, ext. 0 or www.islandcommunitycenter.com.
Stories of Valor: A Salute to Heroes: Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton
As part of the Legacy of Valor, a campaign honoring the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families "Stories of Valor: A Salute to Heroes," will be 11 a.m.-4 p.m. March 15 featuring special military exhibits, patriotic entertainment, speakers and veteran service organizations. There will be heritage artisans, arts, crafts, hands-on activities, and music by Scot Blum and Friends. Information: 941-741-4076 or www.manateeclerk.com/historical/manateevillage.aspx.
Lakewood Ranch Fine Art Festival: Main Street at Lakewood Ranch
The 14th annual Lakewood Ranch Fine Art Festival will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 15 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 16. The event will feature prominent regional, national and international award-winning artists, artist demos, shopping, great food and more. Admission and parking are free. Information: www.artcentermanatee.org.
Thomas the Tank Engine: Florida Railroad Museum, 2210 83rd St. E., Parrish
For two back-to-back weekends, little engineers and their families are invited to take a 25-minutee ride on their favorite engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway, and enjoy a day of Thomas and Friends-themed activities, including arts and craft, storytelling and more 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. March 15-16 and 22-23. Thomas the Tank Engine rides depart every 45 minutes, beginning at 8:30 a.m. through 3:45 p.m. each day. Tickets: $18, ages 2 and older. Information: 941-776-0906 or www.frrm.org.
Beach Bistro's St. Patrick's Day Parade: Holmes Beach City Hall, 5810 Marina Drive, Anna Maria
The Beach Bistro's 16th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade is set for 4 p.m. March 16 in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island. The parade assembles at Holmes Beach City Hall at 5801 Marina Drive. It heads north along Marina Drive to Palm Drive, and then north on Palm to the corner of 78th Street. The parade will celebrate with the usual dignitaries, cyclists, floats, dancers, high school bands and floats garnished with greenery. But any group that wants to join in is welcome. The parade assembles at 2 p.m. at City Hall. Anyone interested in participating should contact the Beach Bistro for information at 941-778-6444.
Clancy's St. Paddy's Day Bash: Clancy's Irish Sports Pug, 6218 Cortez Road, Bradenton
The 14th annual St. Paddy's Day Bash gets going at noon March 17 and run deep into the night. The music lineup includes Jack Tamburin (noon-2:30 p.m.), Mark Anthony (3-5:30 p.m.), bagpipers (5-8 p.m.), Billy Rice (6-8:30 p.m.) and Bus Fulla Monkeys (8:30-11 p.m.). Traditional Irish food -- corned beef and cabbage, shepherds pie and the like -- will be available all day, along with burgers and dogs and other fare. The bash is free but it's only for adults (21 and over). Call 941-794-2489 or go to www.clancysirishsportspub.com.