Manatee County Fair
Manatee County Fair season is winding down, but there’s still a lot of fun in store.
The fair offers lots of family-friendly entertainment, including live music, arts and crafts, agricultural exhibits, a petting zoo and a midway full of rides.
As the fair heads into its final weekend, don’t miss bluegrass legend Rhonda Vincent perform on Friday and the inaugural doughnut-eating contest on Saturday.
Details: Through Sunday. Manatee River Fairgrounds, 1402 14th Ave. W., Palmetto. Kids 5 and under: Free; Kids ages 6-12: $6; Ages 13 and up: $9; Active military with I.D.: $6; Ages 55 and up: $8.
Forks and Corks
The Sarasota-Manatee Originals’ annual Forks and Corks event brings fine food and wine experiences to restaurants and venues throughout the area.
The festival includes more than 25 tasting experiences, including winemaker dinners, tastings and educational sessions.
The highlight of Forks and Corks is a celebration called the Grand Tasting, where foodies can enjoy dishes from more than 50 area restaurants, plus international wine and local craft beer. The Grand Tasting will be held on on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. in the courtyard The Ringling in Sarasota; admission is $150.
Details: Thursday-Sunday. Admission and location vary by event.
SCF music showcase
State College of Florida music students will show off some of their talents on Thursday at the Neel Performing Arts Center in Bradenton.
Top students in SCF’s music program will perform pieces for voice, horn, trumpet, viola, cello piano and more.
The show is a warm up for a statewide scholarship competition the following week.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Neel Performing Arts Center, 26th St. W., Bradenton. $10. Students and staff: $5.
Info: 941-752-5252. scf.edu/neel.
Last weekend of ‘The Fence’
“The Fence” is the largest public photo exhibition in North America, and it stops in eight city parks every year.
Fortunately for us, Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota is one of them this time around.
This is the last weekend to enjoy the open-air exhibit, which features compelling photos from photographers of all skill levels. The pictures are arranged to tell stories.
“This is a great opportunity for our area to see some of the world’s best photography,” said Stephen Rodriguez, president of Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, which manages Nathan Benderson Park. “We’re proud to be one of the eight host venues.”
Details: Through Jan. 31. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. Free.
Englewood Seafood and Music Festival
Enjoy fresh local seafood, drinks, shopping and lots of live music at the three-day Englewood Seafood and Music Festival.
Friday night performers are Mike Tozier (country, folk and Delta blues), Sarasota Steel Pan Band (calypso, reggae, Latin and Brazilian) and the Kate Keys Band (blues, rock and variety).
Saturday performers are Kettle of Fish (rock), CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion (blues, soul and roots), Reverend Barry & The Funk (funk and soul), the Billy Rice Band (country rock) and the Bob Marley Tribute Band featuring Yvad (reggae).
Sunday performers are The New Rulers (ska, reggae and soul), The Whole Band featuring Callie Chappell (Americana, rock, bluegrass and R&B), Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio (rock and soul), and the Caribbean Chillers (a Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band).
Details: 4-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Pioneer Park, 300 W. Dearborn St., Englewood. Free.
Cirque Ma’Ceo at Big Cat Habitat
Horses and humans perform amazing feats in Cirque Ma’Ceo, an equestrian circus that will stable at Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary in Sarasota for a month.
The show blends acrobatics, aerial acts, dance and equestrian arts, and features more than 10 breeds of horses and multiple riding styles. There’s even a ballet dance atop galloping steeds.
The show will raise funds to support the work of the sanctuary in housing large exotic cats and other wildlife in need.
Ticket options include single-show admission, a combo ticket that includes entry to the sanctuary and VIP dinner packages.
Details: Fridays at 6 p.m., Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Feb. 3. Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. $10-$55.
Classic film showcase
Sarasota Film Festival is bringing classic and acclaimed films back to the big screen this month as part of its new program called “CINEMATHEQUE.”
“Andrei Rublev” will play on Saturday. This dark and atmospheric movie from Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky follows the life of a 15th century Russian painter and is known for its stunning visuals.
A local film expert will introduce the film, and snacks, beverages and T-shirts will be available for purchase at the theater.
Details: 6 p.m. Saturday. Sarasota Film Festival’s Cinematheque, 500 Tallevast Road #105, Sarasota. $10. Tickets available online and at the door.
Gasparilla Pirate Festival
The Tampa Bay area’s annual celebration of all things pirate happens on Saturday.
Venture to downtown Tampa if you dare and witness the buccaneers invade the waterfront city and parade down its streets.
Beads and booze will be plentiful, and live music will play all day long at multiple stages throughout downtown.
Details: Gasparilla Pirate Festival: 9 a.m.-midnight. Saturday. Parade of the Pirates: 2 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa. Free.