LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Seventh Annual Grand Ovation, still about a month and a half away, is already shaping up as one of the largest in the history of the free event.
"We're far ahead at this point compared to where we have been in the past," said Linda Gross of the street festival held on Lakewood Ranch Main Street.
To date, 12 arts or entertainment groups or performers have signed on for the fest, leaving only 11 spots to be filled.
The fest, sponsored by Lakewood Ranch Communities, is free to the public and participating arts and entertainment groups.
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Among those who have signed on: the Lakewood Ranch High School Silver Stars dance team, Manatee Concert Band, Goodtime Groove Band, Manatee Players, Let's Rock Sarasota, Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Dance Academy, Sarasota Opera, Florida Studio Theatre and The Players.
The event is set for noon-4 p.m. Feb. 1 on three stages.
"In the first year, we had one stage. In year two we had two stages, and by year four we had three stages," Gross said.
Lakewood Ranch Main Street is given over to chairs and pedestrians rather than cars during the fest.
Groups may apply to perform at Grand Ovation, previously know simply as Ovation, at Schroeder-Manatee Ranch headquarters, 14400 Covenant Way, Lakewood Ranch, or online at lakewoodranch.cpm/grandovation. Application deadline is Jan. 1.
Information: Call Rachel Gray at 941-757-1548 or Linda Gross at 941-907-9507.