Things to do around Bradenton and Sarasota this weekend

Table of Contents Bradenton Marauders home game Sarasota International Dragon Boat Festival Railroad adventure Farmers’


4/21/18–A dragon boat team paddles to the starting line during the 2018 Sarasota International Dragon Boat Festival.

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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 and Sarasota this weekend, July 9-11.

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A night at the ballpark is always fun, and the Florida State League’s Bradenton Marauders keep things interesting with special offers and events at home games. Provided Image Bradenton Marauders

Bradenton Marauders home game

The Florida State League’s Bradenton Marauders are home at LECOM Park this week for a six-game series with the Clearwater Threshers.

A mask requirement in place at the start of the season has been lifted in accordance with local and state guidelines.

The Marauders will host “Heroes vs. Villains” night on Saturday. Fans are encouraged to dress as their favorite characters, and there will also be special character appearances by The Gotham Underground and Anime Cars of the World.

Details: 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. LECOM Park, 1611 Ninth St. W., Bradenton. Tickets range from $7-$11.


sarasota international dragon boat festival
4/21/18–A dragon boat team paddles to the starting line during the 2018 Sarasota International Dragon Boat Festival. Ryan Callihan [email protected]

Sarasota International Dragon Boat Festival

A team paddling sport like no other is coming to Nathan Benderson Park this weekend.

Competitors of all skill levels will take to the water for races in colorfully decorated dragon boats in a tradition that dates back to early A.D. China.

There will be 200m and 500m races in the competitive and recreational classes. Another event, the 2k pursuit, will see competitive paddlers race the clock as they set off on a longer course at timed intervals.

The festival also comes with family fun on land, including a health and wellness village, food and drink vendors, a beer garden and a cultural expo.

Details: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. Free.


The South Florida Railroad Museum acquired the 1940s-era sleeper car Bradenton in 2003, after it was put up for sale in New Orleans. The passenger car, which was nearly lost to the scrapyard, was once part of the Silver Meteor Line, traveling from Venice to New York. Bradenton Herald file photo

Railroad adventure

The Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish takes visitors on a trip back in time to the days when locomotive transport was king.

Weekend rail rides through rural Manatee County make for a fun family adventure, and there’s also lots to explore in the history museum.

Details: Trains leave at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Ages 3-11: $10. Ages 12 and up: $14.

Info: 941-776-0906.

Head to Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch or Anna Maria Island for a farmers’ market this weekend. Bradenton Herald file photo [email protected]

Farmers’ Markets

The Beach Market at Coquina Beach offers fresh produce, arts and crafts, jewelry and apparel, health and beauty items, music and more. The fresh ocean air and sunshine on Anna Maria Island are free. The market will be held on Wednesdays and Fridays through November.

Details: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday. Coquina Beach, 2650 Gulf Dr. S., Bradenton Beach. Free.


Sarasota Farmers Market brings vendors selling arts and crafts, goods and services, produce, food, plants and more to downtown Sarasota. There’s also live music to enjoy.

Details: 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Lemon Avenue and Main Street, downtown Sarasota.


The Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch boasts more than 50 local vendors. Offerings include produce, prepared foods and breads, crafts, plants and pet treats. Local musicians are another regular feature at the market.

Details: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch. Free.


Oneco Farmers Market is open seven days a week. The permanent market boasts more than 100 vendors in one location, including meats and seafood, fresh produce, sweets and treats. There are also restaurants and arts and crafts vendors to check out, and the market frequently hosts free community events.

Details: Open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Oneco Farmers Market, 5108 15th St. E., Bradenton.


See a movie

Ruskin Family Drive-In: In operation since 1952, this drive-in plays classic flicks, family favorites and new movies with showings every day of the week. This weekend, the outdoor theater will screen new Marvel heroine film “Black Widow” as well as Disney’s new anti-heroine origin story, “Cruella.”

Bring a portable radio if you don’t want to leave your car turned on during the films. You can also bring folding chairs to set up outside of the vehicle (bug repellent is recommended if you go this route). Face masks are required to enter the snack bar or restrooms.

Black Widow (PG-13): 8:45 p.m. Fri.-Sun.

Cruella (PG-13): 11:15 p.m. p.m. Fri.-Sun.

Details: 5011 U.S. 41 N., Ruskin. Ages 9 and up: $6. Ages 5-8: $1. Cash only. $5 fee for bringing your own food. Alcohol not permitted.


Sarasota Film Society: Sarasota Film Society’s Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota theaters are a great place to catch a weekend flick. Screenings include independent and art films as well as blockbusters. Check the society’s website for the current lineup of movies. Masks are recommended for unvaccinated guests.

Cinema fans can also continue to stream SFM’s latest offerings in the world of independent and thought-provoking film from home with the purchase of a virtual movie experience.

Details: See movies in person Friday-Sunday at Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, 10715 Rodeo Drive #8, Sarasota or Burns Court Cinemas, 506 Burns Lane, Sarasota. Online streaming available any time.

Info: 941-955-3456.

Ryan Ballogg is a news reporter and features writer at the Bradenton Herald. Since joining the paper in 2018, he has received awards for features, art and environmental writing in the Florida Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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