Paging Dr. Noah Drake for a case of heartbreak. Grammy Award-winning singer, actor and author Rick Springfield returns to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on Thursday.
Springfield starred as heartthrob Dr. Drake on “General Hospital” from 1981-83 and had several return stints throughout the years. But for all his accomplishments as an actor, Rick Springfield’s first love is music. He has sold 25 million records and has 17 top-40 hits, including “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody” and “Jessie’s Girl.”
Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $36-$76. VanWezel.org, 941-953-3368.
Manatee Pride Festival
The Manatee Pride Festival, the fifth annual, is noon to 5 p.m. Saturday in the pavilion area of the Bradenton Riverwalk. It’s free and open to the public. The event features live bands, health screenings, LGBTQ support, food, beer and fun.
Manatee Pride is a fundraiser for Prism Youth Initiative, a private, non-profit community organization that has been providing services and a supportive center for young LGBTQ people in Manatee County since 2010. Darwin Brewing Co. has once again brewed up a batch of “Manatee Pride Beer,” a light, crisp refreshing guava lager available exclusively at the festival. Food vendors include B’s Cool Treats, Joey D’s, B&R Lemonade and Barb-cue, TK Grill and Starbuck’s.
Scheduled live performers include Craig Singleton, Divine AF, Sandi Grecco and noted drag queens (and king) Beneva Fruitville, Johnny Sparks, Anita Liemont, Lexx DE Le Mar, Jocelyn Summers and more. Find more information at manateepride.com.
Sarasota Agricultural Fair
The Sarasota Agriculture Fair — the event most people call the Sarasota County Fair — begins on Friday at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. It runs through March 25.
The 82nd annual fair features an expansive midway, nonstop live entertainment and lots of livestock shows, lots of food and other traditional rural activities. Live music comes from Matt’s Family Jam, Rogue Brothers & Elvis, the Suncoast Mummers String Band and more. Animal lovers can take in the livestock shows that are happening through all 10 days of the fair, or catch Rosaire’s Racing Pigs, Kachunga & Alligator Show and a tiger encounter.
Admission is $8 adults, $4 active military, children 6-17 and senior citizens 55 and older. Children under 4 free. $1 gate entrance 5-10 p.m. Mondays and 2-5 p.m. Fridays. Hours: 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 2-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday. 941-365-0818, sarasotafair.com.
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 from Friday through Sunday.
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.
Music in the Park
The 2018 season of Music in the Park continues Friday night with a live performance from Bradenton-based Blue Mason Barter. 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.