Thomas The Tank Engine steams into Parrish
Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to join him for a day of big adventures at Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour 2018. The No. 1 Engine pulls into Florida Railroad Museum on Saturday and Sunday and March 16-18.
Children and their families can take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, star of the popular “Thomas & Friends” series. In addition, they will meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas-themed activities including crafts, photo ops, and more.
Gates open 8:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. with train rides every hour starting at 9 a.m. at the Florida Railroad Museum, 12210 83rd St. E., Parrish; $19-$23 plus tax for ages 2 and up. 866-468-7630, www.ticketweb.com/dowt.
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Music in the Park
The 2018 season of Music in the Park starts Friday night with a live performance from Sarasota based blues artist Ari & The Alibis. This free, family friendly concert series is 6-8 p.m. Fridays through April 27 at the Riverwalk Amphitheater in along the Manatee River in downtown Bradenton. Local craft beer and other beverages and snacks will be available for purchase. Audience members are welcome to bring a picnic basket, blankets and chairs. Dogs on leashes are also welcome. realizebradenton.com.
Free outdoor concert at the Riverwalk Mosaic Amphitheater. Come support local music while watching the sun set over the Manatee River! Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Irish Celtic Festival
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early at the Irish Celtic Festival 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday at Greenbrook Adventure Park. The annual event features the Lucky Dog Parade, Irish Spirits Relay Race, and for the kids a “Pot of Gold” Scavenger Hunt and a live performance from Cahal Dunne, Ireland’s Piano Man. The free festival also featuers traditional Celtic food, craft beers, hard ciders and entertainment.
Sarasota Balloon Festival
Sarasota's biggest and best carnival, food trucks, retail vendors and more! For the first time in a number of years, Sarasota will have a hot air balloon festival featuring carnival rides, food trucks, a petting zoo, bounce houses, craft vendors and, of course, hot air balloons. The event, which is today through Sunday at Premier Sports Campus, 5895 Post Blvd., Sarasota, is a combination of mass balloon ascents, competition flying, static displays and tethered rides. Gates open at 4 p.m. daily. Tethered rides are $20 per person, full flights are $250 per person. Reserve your spot at sarasotaballoonfestival.com. Admission is free, but be forewarned, it is $20 to park your car each day or $30 for a weekend pass.
30th Annual Springfest Festival of Fine Arts & Fine Crafts
Multiple professional artist and crafts persons from across the United States will gather in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island Saturday and Sunday for the 30th annual Anna Maria Island Springfest, Festival of Fine Arts and Fine Crafts. Sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Art League, this juried show draws top quality art to City Hall Field, 501 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach. The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission and parking are free.
This family event features continuous live music on stage Saturday with “Koko Ray” and a large food court offering a variety of food and beverages. Also exhibiting will be community organizations that include various, historical, and environmental groups with information about these worthwhile causes.
A highlight of the festival is a gala raffle of art work donated by festival exhibitors. Proceeds benefit the League’s Scholarship Fund, which provides classes to children and adults. The raffle gives everyone a chance to collect great art for a small donation. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and winners need not be present to win. islandartleague.org/festivals.
Palmetto Heritage Festival
Palmetto will celebrate its history at their Heritage Festival 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Palmetto Historical Park & Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 515 10th Ave. W., Palmetto. This free event will feature a park open house, musical entertainment at 10:15 a.m. by Rowlett Academy for Arts & Communication, hands-on activities for all ages, and the special exhibits: “Beaches, Benches and Boycotts: The Civil Rights Movement in Tampa Bay,” “Florida’s Black Cowboys: Past and Present” and “The Art of the Florida Highwaymen.”
The Palmetto High School FFA will have small animals in the corral. The 1880 Post Office will be open for business featuring our 2018 cancellation designed by Manatee County artist, Cory Wright. Bring your mail to be posted. Guided tours of the park buildings will take place at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.
Word of Mouth BBQ and Kona Ice will be food vendors on hand and Alex’s Lemonade Stand will be raising funds to benefit childhood cancer research. The Woman’s Club of Palmetto will be holding its annual Chicken and Yellow Rice Luncheon for $12 and various Palmetto High School reunions will take place during the luncheon held at 910 Sixth St. W, Palmetto. The event is free.
The 90th annual Arcadia Rodeo is today through Sunday at the new Mosaic Arena, 2450 N.E. Roan St. Arcadia. Gates open at 11 a.m. Rodeo action starts at 2 p.m. Enjoy bucking horses, barrel racing, roping and bull riding. Shootout performs at 1 p.m. Kids ages 4 to 6 can compete in the Mutton Bustin. Kids ages 6 years and older can also participate in the calf scramble. It is fun for the whole family. Vendors and food will be available. Premium seating is $26-$31. General admission is $19 in advance. No coolers, outside food or drink or pets. For more information visit www.arcadiarodeo.com
The 2018 Naiditch Family Foundation Jewish Film Festival
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee presents the 2018 Naiditch Family Foundation Jewish Film Festival, today through March 18. The Federation’s ninth annual festival celebrates Israeli life, history and culture with 12 feature films, including the southwest Florida premiere of the documentary, “Ben-Gurion, Epilogue.” In response to last year’s unprecedented attendance, organizers have added more matinee and evening screenings, most of which are at Regal Hollywood 20, 1993 Main St., Sarasota. Tickets are $15 per film, except the opening night and closing events, which are $25 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at http://jfedsrq.org/events/jff18 or by calling 866-465-3995.