There’s so much to do in Manatee! Here’s 12 fun things
Eat food and help the hungry
Food Bank of Manatee’s annual “Empty Bowls” events are a fun way to help the community and try some great food all at once.
Try soup from dozens of area restaurants, plus fresh-baked bread and dessert. Admission also includes a unique ceramic bowl that is yours to keep.
All proceeds from the events go directly to supporting the food bank’s mission of helping the hungry.
Details: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday at Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. $30 ($50 for VIP).
John Denver at the pops
The Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota is kicking off its 2018-2019 season with a salute to veterans on Sunday and Monday.
In addition to the orchestra performance, tribute artist Tom Becker will perform the hits of John Denver.
Discounted tickets are available for veterans and their families. Proceeds will benefit a local scholarship program for returning veterans attending school.
Details: 3 p.m. Sunday at Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota. 7:30 p.m. Monday at Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton. $20-$30 ($15 for veterans).
Info: 941-926-7677. thepopsorchestra.org.
Open streets Manatee
Open Streets Manatee is a free street festival celebrating pedestrian power.
On Saturday, 10th Avenue West (from Fourth Street West to Seventh Street West) in Palmetto will temporarily close to vehicle traffic. The street will instead be filled with community fun, including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, a kids bike rodeo, music, bike rides and sidewalk chalk art.
Food vendors will also be on site.
Details: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Sutton Park, 1036 Sixth St. W., Palmetto. Free.
Orchids for sale
Plantio La Orquidea is an orchid nursery in Manatee County, and this weekend the public will have a rare chance to visit.
Browse more than 10,000 square feet of orchids on display, including rare hybrids, and get advice on growing them from experts.
The nursery specializes in orchids that don’t require a lot of fuss in Florida’s climate, and the greenhouses are bursting with color and diverse plant forms. Good luck leaving without a new plant or three.
Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Plantio La Orquidea, 3480 Tallevast Road, Sarasota.
Bradenton Farmers’ Market
Stroll Old Main Street, stock up on fresh fruits and veggies, shop crafts, listen to local live music, check out cooking demonstrations and more, every Saturday at the Bradenton Farmers’ Market.
This week, the focus is on local agriculture with a Farm City Week celebration.
Details: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. 400 12th St. W., Bradenton. Free.
Siesta Key Sand Sculpting Festival
The Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival will offer four days of seaside fun this weekend in Sarasota.
See masterpieces created out of nothing but Siesta Key sand and enjoy live music and vendors.
Hang around after 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday evening to see the sand sculptures illuminated.
Sand sculpting lessons an amateur competition will also be offered on Saturday.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Monday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota. Adults: $10. Ages 5-17: $5. Ages 5 and under free.
Sarasota Medieval Fair
Step back into the Middle Ages and partake in a day of “medieval merriment” at the 15th annual Sarasota Medieval Fair.
Walk among peasants and royalty, peruse the offerings of ancient vendors and enjoy entertainment like jousting, comedy, period music and textile displays.
Details: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Nov. 10-11 and Nov. 17-18. $9.95-$18.95.
Info: 1-888-303-3247. sarasotamedievalfair.com.