There’s so much to do in Manatee! Here’s 12 fun things
Eddie Izzard at Van Wezel
British comedian, actor and aspiring politician Eddie Izzard is known for a surreal brand of comedy reminiscent of Monty Python. His Tursday stop at the Van Wezel is part of the “Believe Me” tour, which uses Izzard’s autobiography and a 2009 Emmy-nominated documentary about the comedian as source material.
Details: 8 p.m. Thursday. Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. $37-$62. Info: 941-953-3368. vanwezel.org.
Bradenton Symphony Orchestra goes global
You don’t have to drive to Sarasota to hear a good orchestra anymore.
The Bradenton Symphony Orchestra opens its third season this Thursday with a program called “Global Initiative.” Hear Jean Sibelius’ “Finlandia,” Richard Addinsell’s “Warsaw Concerto” and Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” performed by a talented ensemble of State College of Florida students and community members.
Guest solo pianist Aza Torshkoeva will join the orchestra for the first two pieces. A pre-concert reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the nearby art gallery.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Thursday. SCF Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton. $15. Info: 941-752-5252. scf.edu/neel.
Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival
Escape the city for a day of harvest-time fun at Hunsader Farms in east Bradenton.
Hunsader’s 27th annual Pumpkin Festival offers crafts, live music, hayrides, pumpkin games, a corn maze, scarecrow displays, a petting zoo, train rides and more family-friendly activities. There’s also a bounty of food and desserts to try, such as homemade ice cream and pumpkin pie.
Details: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday in October. Hunsader Farms, 5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton. Admission: $10. Children 10 and under free. Parking: $5. Info: 941-322-2168. hunsaderfarms.com.
Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival
The inaugural Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival will happen this weekend at Nathan Benderson Park.
The festival will bring international triathletes to Sarasota to compete in standard and distance swimming, biking and running courses. Collegiate-level and age-group based competitions will also run.
Details: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. Free. Info: nathanbendersonpark.org.
“Good’toberfest” at Good Liquid Brewing
The Good Liquid Brewing Company will host a night of German-inspired fun on Saturday for Good’toberfest.
The event includes a selection of German beer, food by The Schnitzel Trailer Authentic German Food Truck and live German music. $15 will get you a one liter boot glass and a fill up; after that refills are $10 on select beers.
Details: Noon-8 p.m. Saturday. The Good Liquid Brewing Company, 14th St. W. Bradenton. Info: thegoodliquidbrewing.com.
“Keltoberfest” at Motorworks
Motorworks Brewing is also offering a different twist on Oktoberfest celebrations.
Keltoberfest will combine Celtic and German music and fare. Kilts and lederhosen recommended.
Details: 4-11 p.m. Saturday. Motorworks Brewing, 1014 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Info: motorworksbrewing.com.
Thrift store grand opening
Loving Hands Thrift Store will hold a grand opening this Friday and Saturday. The store has been open since July, but will celebrate an official opening with a ribbon cutting, snacks and special deals.
All proceeds from the thrift store’s sales go to Loving Hands Ministries, a program that aids men with drug, alcohol and other life-controlling issues.
Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Loving Hands Thrift Store, 719 Manatee Ave. E. Bradenton. Info: facebook.com/LovingHandsThriftStore.
Howl-O-Ween at Ed Smith Stadium
Get into the Halloween spirit a little early with a night at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.
Howl-O-Ween includes Halloween-themed games for kids, a costume parade around the baseball diamond and a screening of “Hocus Pocus” on the the outfield video board. Concession stands will be open for the evening.
Details: 5-9:30 p.m. Saturday. Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota. Free. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Info: mlb.com/orioles/spring-training/howloween.