The 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic is This Weekend!

The 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic is This Weekend!

The 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic is This Weekend! Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

The 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic is This Weekend!

It’s that time of the year! Make sure to clear your schedules because the 8th Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic is back again this weekend and ready to wow you with amazing sand masterpieces!

Every year, professional sand sculptors from around the world come to Sarasota to participate in this international sandsculpting festival. Luckily, for us, the event is in our own stomping grounds, and we don’t have to travel too far to be a part of this exciting and unique annual event.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2017 Siesta Key Crystal Classic:

This year, artists hail from Canada, Czech Republic, Amsterdam, Lithuania, Singapore and various states in the U.S.

Kicking off this Friday, you can view and vote for the masterpieces crafted by master sand sculptors. For four days, there will be live music, a party tent and dining tent as well as shopping vendors. Looking to learn more about sandsculpting? There will be demonstrations and lessons for you to learn! Kids will also enjoy the Learning Curve, an art and science lab where they can expand their knowledge about Siesta Key’s own white quartz sand as well as other sand varieties from around the country.  Lastly, there will be fun competitions including a 10-minute quick sand competition and other amateur contests for your entertainment! See the full schedule here

On Sunday, the winner will be announced in an awards ceremony. Then, voting for the People’s Choice Award ends on Monday at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced via the event’s Facebook page and website on Tuesday, the 14th. 

When: Friday, Nov. 10–Monday, Nov. 13

Hours:

  • Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Sunday and Monday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Admission:

Admission prices are based on a daily basis.

  • Adults $10
  • Children ages 5–17 $5
  • Seniors ages 65+ and Active and Retired Military $8

To avoid the crowds when parking, hop aboard the Siesta Key Breeze Free Trolley Service!

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4 Events for Fall Fun in the Palmetto Area

4 Events for Fall Fun in the Palmetto Area

4 Events for Fall Fun in the Palmetto Area Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

4 Events for Fall Fun in the Palmetto Area

Now that it’s officially fall, make sure you clear your schedules for all of the fall fun our area has to offer!

From pumpkin festivals to art festivals, you’ll want to make sure you plan accordingly so that you don’t miss out.

2017 World Rowing Championships

When: Through Oct. 1.

Where: Nathan Benderson Park.

Admission: Starting at $10.

There’s still time to check out the World Rowing Championships! Representing more than 60 countries, around 1,700 athletes and coaches have travelled to Sarasota’s own Nathan Benderson Park for a thrilling international regatta! This weekend, you can expect expos on local attractions, boating and fishing and health and wellness. Though the races officially started last Saturday, Sept. 23, there’s still time to catch the closing ceremony as well as special events including Row for the Cure in honor of cancer fighters and survivors on Sunday, Oct. 1.

29th Annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival

When: Every weekend in October.

Where: Fruitville Grove.

Admission: Free.

Join in for the annual pumpkin festival held every weekend in October for ultimate fall fun! Once you pick your pumpkin, make sure you stop by the petting zoo, playground, bounce house, game booth and many more fun activities. There will also be live music as well as a rock wall and pony rides available for the little ones. If you visit on a Saturday, come dressed in your best costume for the weekly contest at 1 p.m. 

Ringling International Arts Festival

When: Oct. 18–21.

Where: Throughout The Ringling.

Admission: Varies depending on event.

Prepare for four days of innovative performance art ranging from dance performances to an African singing ensemble. Every year, the line-up includes exciting international performance artists, and this year is no different! This year, artists hail from Germany, Italy and Zimbabwe! The festival kicks off on Oct. 18 with a gala celebration and performance of eVenti Verticale’s WANTED. With performances being held throughout each day, festivalgoers can remain on-site as lunch and dinner are available. The full line-up of events can be found here

Sun Fiesta

When: Oct. 20–Oct. 22.

Where: Centennial Park. 

Admission: Free.

Head to Centennial Park in Venice for an action-packed, family-friendly event. The kids will enjoy crafts, contests, a bounce house and even facing their fears with bungee jumping. Other special events include a Miss Sun Fiesta pageant and a Young Marines Breakfast on Sunday morning. In addition, there will also be live entertainment, a beer and wine tent, a parade, a variety of food vendors and so much more.

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Three Underrated Theme Parks Near Bradenton FL

Three Underrated Theme Parks Near Bradenton FL

Three Underrated Theme Parks Near Bradenton FL Riviera Dunes Marina.jpg

3 Underrated Theme Parks Near Bradenton, FL

While it’s no doubt that you and your family will have a magical time at Universal Studios or Disney World, there are some wonderful underrated theme parks nearby that you do not want to miss!

The beauty of attending lesser-known theme parks near Bradenton is that there will likely be less lines and crowds for you to trek through. This of course means there will be more fun and more chances for you and your family to ride the roller coasters while on vacation! The best of all? These theme parks are located just a couple hours away from Bradenton making this a no-sweat day trip.

Here are three underrated theme parks to visit near Bradenton.

Fun Spot America

The name clearly says it all with a title like Fun Spot America. While this theme park is located quite close to Universal Studios, Fun Spot America offers a completely unique experience. At this theme park, visit Gatorland to see live alligators, crocodiles and other wildlife. But the fun doesn’t stop there! From thrill rides to roller coasters and kiddie rides, the theme park has something for everyone! Single day tickets are typically $40.95–$45.95. However, this Saturday, the theme park is celebrating their 19th anniversary and are offering tickets for just $19, which can be used the same day or another day. These special tickets go on sale online at 12:01 a.m. until 2 p.m. on June 10. You can also purchase these special tickets at the park from 10 a.m. to noon.

Old Town

Classic Florida comes alive at Old Town, a destination that offers shopping, dining and of course amusements that are perfect for the family. Though Old Town isn’t necessarily a theme park, you’ll find an assortment of classic amusement park rides here. Get an unforgettable view of of Orlando atop the ferris wheel. Play over 50 arcade games and win tickets to redeem them for prizes at the Happy Days Family Fun Center. Enter the Mortem Manor if you dare, a two-story haunted home featuring props and live actors! Then head to The Great Magic Hall to see the art of magic in action!

The Holy Land Experience

Combining religious education with good old-fashioned fun, The Holy Land Experience is yet another one of the wonderful underrated theme parks near Bradenton, Fl. Through theatre, music and more, visitors will get to traverse through a living museum that transports you to biblical times in Jerusalem. But, there’s more fun to be had here! Head to the Smile of a Child Advenuture Land for hours of endless hours of fun. From climbing the rock wall to playing rounds of mini golf and more, a visit to the Holy Land is an opportunity you do not want to miss!

Next: 5 Kid-Friendly Things to Do Near Palmetto, FL

Top 5 Places to Spend New Year’s Eve Near Bradenton

Top 5 Places to Spend New Year’s Eve Near Bradenton

top-5-places-to-spend-new-years-eve-near-bradenton-riviera-dunes-marina-blog

Top 5 Places to Spend New Year’s Eve Near Bradenton

Still looking for the most exciting place to spend New Year’s Eve that’s near Bradenton? We’ve got you covered here at Riviera Dunes Marina. Let’s ring in the New Year near Bradenton at one of these fabulous parties.

1. The Seafood Shack Marina Bar & Grill in Cortez

Head to the Neptune Room at The Seafood Shack Marina Bar & Grill for a New Year’s Eve party with country music performances and more! The Eric Von Band will be bringing the tunes. Opening for country music stars including Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert, Eric Von is also a native of Cortez. Other features of the party include cash bars, drink specials and a special menu.

  • Price: $15 (includes cover, fees and taxes).
  • Time: 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Band begins at 9 p.m.
  • Where: The Seafood Shack Marina Bar & Grill, Cortez.

2. Fishermen’s Village

For a family-friendly environment, head to Fisherman’s Village! Enjoy music and dancing with Gator DJ in Center Court as well as with singer and guitarist Michael Hirst. Visit with Pamela, the radio host of “Tropical Tarot & Beyond” for a tarot reading. Get festive with hair glitter designs from Brian and Lori. Then, the kids will enjoy magic shows, balloon art, face paintings by MaryRose, a photo booth and so much more.

  • Price: Free parking and admission.
  • Time: 5 p.m. to midnight; Michael Hirst at 7:30 p.m. to midnight.
  • Where: Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda.

3. Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town

New Year’s Eve is your last chance to galavant around Christmas Town at Busch Gardens. Though nearly an hour from Bradenton, Christmas town is the perfect place to end the year with a bang! Marvel at the two million festive lights and decorations and enjoy holiday entertainment that’s fit for all ages! Visit with Rudolph and Santa and hear live performances featuring holiday classics!

  • Price: $92.99 and up.
  • Time: 9:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Where: Busch Gardens, Tampa.

4. Sarasota Pineapple Drop

If you’re in Downtown Sarasota, head to their annual New Year’s Eve party, the Sarasota Pineapple Drop! Hear live music from Big Night Out on the Mattison’s Stage, beginning at 8 p.m. Jah Movement Reggae Band will be on the east stage near Evie’s at 8 p.m. Then, hear DJs on the Lemon Avenue stage. There’s also plenty of kids entertainment including carnival rides and games beginning at 1:30 p.m.! At midnight, head to the intersection of Lemon Avenue and Main Street for the Pineapple Drop countdown into 2017!

  • Price: Free admission.
  • Time: 1 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
  • Where: Downtown Sarasota.

5. Main Street Live in Downtown Bradenton

Our area’s most popular street party, you won’t want to miss Main Street Live for hours of live music. Bands include The Dram from 6–10 p.m. and Have Gun, Will Travel playing from 10 p.m.–midnight. You’ll also get to the opportunity to peruse a variety of vendors for a festive end to 2016!

  • Price: Free.
  • Time: 6 p.m. to midnight.
  • Where: Old Main Street, Bradenton.

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