Festivals in Sarasota

Select Local Merchants

The Sarasota Film Society's two theaters—foreign-and-independent-film-spotlighting Burns Court Cinemas and mainstream-flick-running Lakewood Ranch Cinemas—function as a nonprofit organization dedicated to heightening film entertainment and education options in the area. A one-year single membership grants a free pass for one movie (an $8 value) and one popcorn (a $4 value), as well as $5 tickets and free popcorn refills (a $4 value each) at all regular screenings for the remainder of the year. Early access to tickets means members never have to feel the shame of being the last person they know to cry about a Pixar movie, and discounted tickets to all Film Society festivals and special events allows members to compare their Sergio Leone trivia thresholds. Alternatively, two movie tickets (a $16 value) and one large popcorn (a $4 value) valid at either theater rescue customers from another night of staying in to watch their DVR's directorial debut about the living room's seedy underbelly.

10715 Rodeo Dr
Lakewood Ranch,
FL
US

The Sunscreen Film Festival celebrates the celluloid efforts of the sunshine state, bolstering awareness and support of the invaluable asset of local filmmaking. The festival starts its sixth year with a slew of hand-picked flicks representing the works of local and international auteurs, along with informative workshops for future sun-stroked Speilbergs and panel discussions for fledgling Eberts. With two one-day passes, film fanatics can bask in the sunless glow of projectors as they cram a smorgasbord of short films, documentaries, music videos, and feature-lengths into their eyeholes. Day passes also grant access to panels and workshops. The passes may be used by one moviegoer for two days of the fest or split between friends for one day of movie gorging.

128 3rd Street South
St. Petersburg,
FL
US

The SPIFFS 39th Annual International Folk Fair brings all the world's cultures together for a three-day festival. On the general admission day (Saturday, November 2), the festival takes over the grounds at Vinoy Park with booths set up to honor the food, clothing, and culture of a variety of nations including Scotland, Taiwan, Ethiopia, and Ukraine. To keep visitors entertained—and to keep them from eating too much haggis—there will be folk dance groups performing and speakers giving talks on language, ethnic costumes, and more.

330 5th Street North
St. Petersburg,
FL
US

Reporters at this bimonthly lifestyle magazine sift through the local dining, art, and social scenes to present the gems to readers on glossy, colorful pages. Each issue carries an expansive dining guide that curates the city's culinary landscape, turning readers on to chic new bistros, hidden gems, and bars that have the most elegant spittoons.

4537 Lowell Road
Tampa,
FL
US

Located near I-75 at 11315 N. 46th St., the annual fair (now in its 32nd year) features 20 entertainment stages, plenty of food options, and a host of vendors in the merchant marketplace. Shop for old-fashioned wares including leather, metal, and musical instruments, or gorge on traditional turkey drumsticks, ye olde foot-long corn dogs, and roasted corn. This year's festival marks the introduction of the Medieval Monster Museum, where guests will come face to face with fairies, trolls, and vampires while marveling at archaic creature-fighting weaponry. Prolong merriment for an additional fee at the Pirates' Feast, offering a three-course meal and live entertainment, or head to the Royal Smoker for an early-evening, adults-only soirees with snacks, cigars, sips, belly dancing, limericks, comedy, and sounds.

4801 East Fowler Avenue
Tampa,
FL
US

The Fanboy Expo, like stepping through the screen of a blockbuster superhero movie, brings comic and movie fans face-to-face with their favorite characters, actors, and artists. For two days, costumed attendees hob-nob with the Highlander, talk shop with Jerry "The King" Lawler , or chat with Lorenzo Lamas about his much publicized transition from starring in Renegade to opening his petting zoo, Lorenzo Lamas' Llamas. In addition to meeting celebrities from silver and small screen sci-fi and fantasy hits, comic book fans can also pick their favorite artist and creator's brain, snagging an autograph in the process. Should they find themselves in need of a new action figure or collectable t-shirt, fans can make their way to a number of merchandise and memorabilia dealer booths throughout the event space.

2900 Bayport Drive
Tampa,
FL
US