It’s your weekend: Here are some of the top events happening around Bradenton

See functioning, vintage World War II fighter planes up close and personal at Venice Municipal Airport this weekend. Photo courtesy of the Collings Foundation

Wings of Freedom

See some of the last functioning World War II fighter planes in the world up close and personal this weekend at the Venice Municipal Airport.

A B-17 Flying Fortress (“Nine O Nine”), a B-24 Liberator bomber (“Witchcraft”) and a P-51 Mustang fighter (“Toulouse Nuts”) will fly in for a visit.

For $15 ($5 for kids under 12), you will get a tour of the planes inside and out.

And if you’re really enamored with the aircraft, you can take a 30-minute flight in the B-17 or B-24 ($450 per person).

Details: The event starts at 2 p.m. Thursday and runs until 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Venice Municipal Airport, 150 Airport Ave. E., Venice. Tours: $5-$15 per person. Flights: $400-$450 per person. Flight training: $2,200-$3,200.

Info: Call 800-568-8924 for flight reservations. collingsfoundation.org.

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Civil rights activist Xernona Clayton.

Xernona Clayton: Living History

Manatee Performing Arts Center will host an afternoon with civil rights leader and broadcaster Xernora Clayton on Saturday.

Clayton worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement before going on to host a daily talk show on prime-time television. It was the first show of its kind to have a black host.

Clayton’s other achievements include leading an effort in the 1960s that successfully desegregated Atlanta’s hospitals and founding the Trumpet Awards, an annual televised ceremony that honors the work of African Americans in many industries.

Details: 2 p.m. Saturday. Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. $35-$45.

Info: manateeperformingartscenter.com.

Upscale sidewalk sale

The Sarasota non-profit consignment shop Designing Women Boutique will host a sidewalk sale with sophistication.

Shop vintage accessories, jewelry, handbags, fine art and furniture.

The event includes live entertainment, refreshments and a barbecue vendor, plus appraisers who will evaluate your family treasures — or any item, for that matter. Get one object appraised for $25 or two for $40.

Proceeds will support the boutique’s mission of funding local non-profits that promote arts and provide human services in the community.

Details: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Designing Women Boutique, 1226 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Free to attend.

Info: 941-366-5293. designingwomensrq.org.

Actor and comedian Caroline Rhea will perform at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre in Sarasota on Friday and Saturday. Photo courtesy of McCurdy's Comedy Theatre

Caroline Rhea at McCurdy’s

Actor and comedian Caroline Rhea brings her sharp sense of humor to every role she takes on — whether she’s the spellcasting aunt of a teenage witch, a cartoon mom or a game show host.

Rhea also has serious chops as a standup comic sharpened over her years performing at clubs, international comedy festivals and guest appearances on comedy shows.

Don’t miss a chance to see her in person this weekend at McCurdy’s.

Details: 6:30 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday. McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. Ages 18 and up. $26.

Info: mccurdyscomedy.com.

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Cirque Italia’s Water Circus, featuring a 35,000-gallon water stage and international artists, is coming to Palmetto this weekend. Photo courtesy of Cirque Italia

Cirque Italia’s Water Circus

Cirque Italia’s Water Circus features international performers interacting with a 35,000-gallon liquid stage, and it’s coming to Palmetto for one weekend only.

Dance, light manipulation, juggling, extreme acrobatics and feats of human strength are a few of the acts that will achieve fluid perfection under the big top.

Details: Thursday-Sunday. 102 Riviera Dunes Way, Palmetto. $10-$50. Reservations required for ADA seating.

Info: cirqueitalia.com.

James Baldwin’s unfinished “Remember This House” is at the center of “I Am Not Your Negro.” Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

African-American History Month at Manatee Libraries

The Manatee County Public Library System is honoring African-American history with a month full of special events.

The celebration will kick off this Saturday with presentations at two library branches.

Oscar-nominated documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” will play at the Downtown Library. The film is based on the works of author and playwright James Baldwin and explores the history of racism. Program coordinator Jyna Johnson will give an introduction before the film.

Details: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday. Downtown Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd. W., Bradenton. Free.

At the Rocky Bluff Library in Ellenton, local storyteller Tamara Green will tell tales of respect, success and generosity with an urban twist.

Details: 1 p.m. Saturday. Rocky Bluff Library, 6750 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton. Free.

Info: bit.ly/manaprblackhistory.

Artwalk Weekend in Village of the Arts

Village of the Arts’ popular monthly Artwalk event features open galleries, studios, specialty shops, healing arts, food, music and more.

There’s always something new to see in the village.

Details: 6-9:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. 1113 12th St. W., Bradenton. Free.

Info: villageofthearts.com.

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The Nelons, a southern gospel group from Atlanta, are one of many national acts heading to Palmetto for Bill Bailey’s 2019 Winter Gospel Music Convention, which takes place Feb. 4-9 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. Photo courtesy of Bill Bailey Concerts

Gospel music convention

Are you ready to sing?

We hope so, because one of the biggest gospel music conventions in the country is headed for Palmetto.

Bill Bailey’s 2019 Winter Gospel Music Convention will bring six days of uplifting and spiritual music to the Bradenton Area Convention Center.

Popular gospel acts from throughout the South will perform.

10 a.m. chapel services and 1:30 p.m. matinee shows are free to attend.

Purchase individual tickets for nightly shows or get a pass for the whole convention; group rates are also available.

Details: Feb. 4-9. Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto. $5-$145.

Info: billbaileyconcerts.com.