Weekend guide: Here are 20 fun things to do around Bradenton-Sarasota this weekend

Are you ready for the weekend? Us too.

If you don’t have plans yet, we’re here to help.

Here’s a hand-picked guide to fun times around Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa Bay and beyond.

Are we missing a big event? Drop us a line at rballogg@bradenton.com.

Fun for everyone

Village of the Arts Artwalk
The Village of the Arts monthly Artwalk features open galleries, live music and an abundance of food and local art. Herald file photo

October Artwalk: Interested in an eye-opening adventure? Get out and about in Village of the Arts this weekend.

There’s always something new to see in Bradenton’s most creative neighborhood.

The popular monthly Artwalk features open galleries, studios, specialty shops, healing arts, food, live music and more.

Whether you fancy folk art or fine art, creative cuisine, antiques, records, quilting or a psychic reading, Village of the Arts has a special offering for every visitor.

Music performances include multi-instrumentalist Undine Shorey at Ortygia Restaurant and local bluegrass act Sycamore Shade at Birdrock Taco Shack on Saturday.

One One Eleven Arts will donate all proceeds from select tattoos (real or temporary) to the Humane Society of Manatee County throughout October.

A mini art market will be held throughout the Artwalk at Art Junkies Studio, 1130 12th St. W., Bradenton.

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

Info: villageofthearts.com.

Fruitville Grove Farm Market’s 31st annual Pumpkin Festival opens this weekend in Sarasota and continues each Saturday and Sunday throughout October. Bradenton Herald file photo

Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival: Fruitville Grove Farm Market’s 31st annual Pumpkin Festival features a free petting zoo, playground, live music, decorated photo spots and pie-eating and costume contests. Parking and admission also are free.

Activities in the $1-$10 range include pony rides, carriage rides, a wildflower maze, a kids fun zone and pumpkin painting.

Food trucks and food vendors will be on site every day of the festival.

And next weekend, the Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival returns to Bradenton to double the fall fun.

Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in October. Fruitville Grove, 7410 Fruitville Road, Sarasota.

Info: fruitvillegrove.com.

Night out

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Ringling Underground is held on the first Thursday night of every month and features experimental music and art. Courtesy of The Ringling

Art after dark: The first Ringling Underground of the season is Thursday night. Explore the courtyard at The Ringling after hours with live music and experimental art.

This month’s music lineup features Sarasota psychedelic rockers Dreamthing, Orlando beachy groove band Gary Lazer Eyes and Athens, Ga., hip-hop artist Linqua Franqa.

Village of the Arts creator Alfredo Garcia of Arte Coyoacano gallery is one of two featured artists at the event; Garcia will exhibit a series of totems and oil paintings.

Select museum galleries will remain open until 11 p.m.

The event includes a cash bar, and it’s always free for college students with a valid ID.

Details: 8-11 p.m. Thursday. The Ringling, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. Adults: $15; Ages 6-17: $5; Students with I.D.: Free.

Info: ringling.org.

“Joker” in theaters: Todd Phillips’ highly anticipated comic book biopic hits theaters this weekend.

Method actor Joaquin Phoenix is sure to bring his intensity to the role of failed stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck as he descends into madness and dons the villainous persona of the Joker.

If the chilling trailers are any indication, “Joker” will be maniacally good drama. Zazie Beetz and Robert De Niro co-star.

Details: In theaters Thursday.

Info: joker.movie.

Bradenton bartenders compete in third annual Bar Wars competition

Bar Wars at Clancy’s: Who says the weekend has to end on Sunday? A group of local bartenders is going to make sure it doesn’t.

On Monday night, some of the best drink slingers in town will bring their A-game to Clancy’s Sports Bar and Grill in Bradenton for the annual Bar Wars competition.

Teams of bartenders from local businesses including Cork’s Cigar Bar, Swordfish Grill, Motorworks Brewing, RJ Gator’s and The Ugly Grouper will face off to see who can craft the most remarkable cocktail.

To make the results even more official, Bradenton mayor Wayne Poston will serve as one of the judges.

Details: 7-10 p.m. Monday. Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub, 6218 Cortez Road W., Bradenton.

Info: clancysirishsportspub.com.

Go outside

In Florida, the cooler months of fall are ideal planting time for many edible and decorative plants.

This weekend, there are two big plant sales happening in the Bradenton area with a lot to offer both amateur and experienced gardeners.

Palma Sola plant sale: At Palma Sola Botanical Park’s annual event, growers offer plants including orchids, bromeliads, plumerias and tropical species for sale.

Local vendors will also be on site selling homemade goods and crafts. Live music and food vendors are another reason to go.

Details: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Palma Sola Botanical Park, 9800 17th Ave. NW., Bradenton.

Info: 941-761-2866. palmasolabp.org.

Master gardeners sale: The master gardeners of Manatee County’s Agriculture and Extension Service are hosting a plant fair on Saturday featuring good deals on Florida-friendly plants, including natives, shrubs, vines, herbs, orchids, butterfly plants, vegetables and more.

Details: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Manatee County Cooperative Extension Service, 1303 17th St. W., Palmetto. Cash and checks only.

Info: 941-722-4524. sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/manatee.

Theme park fun

WDW villains
The mischievous Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” throw an evil Halloween party that features appearances by Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent and other great Disney villains during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. Mariah Wild Walt Disney World

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Disney World celebrates the haunting season each year with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom.

The after-hours celebration includes trick-or-treating, spooky eats and a Halloween-themed parade and fireworks show.

If you go, make sure to arrive at 4 p.m. (three hours before the party starts) for early admittance to get the best bang for your buck.

Crowds are typically lighter during Disney’s holiday parties, so it’s a good chance to ride all the rides without the never-ending lines.

Details: 7 p.m.-midnight Friday. Magic Kingdom, 1180 Seven Seas Dr., Lake Buena Vista. $100-$135.

Info: disneyworld.disney.go.com.

Dining guide

Hawaiian grilled steak, teriyaki chicken with sweet potato noodles, sesame ginger broccoli, kale crunch salad and roasted mushrooms are among the offerings at Mahana Fresh in Bradenton. provided photo by Gary Jordan

NEW IN TOWN — Fantastically fresh: Healthy meets tasty at Mahana Fresh, a new restaurant company that recently opened its first franchise in Bradenton.

The menu is based on bowls that incorporate a variety of bases, veggies and proteins, as well as sauces and add-ons. All are gluten and antibiotic-free.

Mahana Fresh is at 4808 14th St. W. in Bradenton.

Info: mahanafresh.com.

Read Next

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Southern Sweet Tea Company grew out of Laura Jean’s love of auto racing. Her race car is used in demonstrations for the company’s sweetened and unsweetened teas at area markets. provided photo

DRINK THIS — Sweet and local: Iced tea is a Southern staple, and now you can get it straight from a local business.

Southern Sweet Tea Company was started in Bradenton by a father-and-daughter team inspired by hot days at DeSoto Speedway.

The tea comes in a sweet and unsweet variety — both are flavorful and refreshing.

Southern Sweet Tea Company products can be found at retailers including Publix, Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Detwiler’s Farm Market.

Info: southernsweetteacompany.com.

Read Next

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Ali and Mindy Converse, right, have a growing following for their hand-made ice cream, served from the American Honey Creamery truck. James A. Jones Jr. jajones1@bradenton.com

DON’T FORGET DESSERT — Ice cream dreams: The Converse sisters serve up small-batch, hand-made ice cream around Bradenton in their American Honey Creamery ice cream truck.

A weekly schedule is posted on the business’ Facebook page, but you can almost always catch the truck in the parking lot of the Home Depot at 5820 State Road 64 E. on Sundays from 12:30-4 p.m.

Info: americanhoneycreamery.com.

Read Next

Calling all amateur food photographers: Want us to feature your favorite dish at a local restaurant? Send a photo to rballogg@bradenton.com along with your name, hometown, the name of the dish and the name of the restaurant.

Live music highlights

Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling hit songwriter Eric Paslay will perform Friday at Joyland Country Music Night Club in Bradenton. Courtesy of Joyland Country Music Night Club

Dean Johanesen
Singer-songwriter and guitarist Dean Johanesen will perform this Friday at Cafe in the Park in Sarasota. Courtesy of Dean Johanesen

Ari and the Alibis at Blue Rooster: Ari and the Alibis have a funky fusion sound that combines jazz, blues, funk, soul and rock into a smooth sonic concoction.

Details: 8-11 p.m. Friday. Blue Rooster, 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota. $10.

Info: blueroostersrq.com.

Memphis Rub Band at Clancy’s: Memphis Rub Band is a four-piece specializing in blues, R&B and rock and roll.

Details: 7-11 p.m. Saturday. Clancy’s Irish Sports Pub, 6218 Cortez Road W., Bradenton. No cover.


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Country rockers Rye Road are a staple in the Bradenton-Sarasota music scene. Photo courtesy of Rye Road

Rye Road at Motorworks Brewing: These country rockers bring an energetic and danceable sound that’s made them a local and regional favorite.

Details: 7-11 p.m. Saturday. Motorworks Brewing, 1014 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. No cover.

Info: motorworksbrewing.com.

Blues to Blackstreet at Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille: Blues to Blackstreet plays blues featuring guitar, vocals and saxophone.

Details: 7-10 p.m. Saturday. Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille, Downtown Bradenton, 101 Riverwalk Blvd., Bradenton. No cover.

Info: mattisons.com.