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Dst In Sarasota Herald-Tribune 7-23-20

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Top 5 Things To Do This Weekend in Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice: July 23-26

Fun activities including free outdoor events in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

by Wade Tatangelo, Entertainment Editor — 7/23/2020 at 7:35 AM

1. Viewing parties at CoolToday Park

Celebrate the opening weekend of the (amended) MLB season by watching the Atlanta Braves on the big screen and enjoying some live entertainment at their North Port spring training stadium CoolToday Park. The ball games will be shown outdoors on the 80-by-40-foot scoreboard with full-service walk up bar and concessions available for purchase. The Braves play the New York Mets at 4:10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and there will also be a showing of the Sunday game against the Mets at 7:08 p.m.

Local music act John & Karla performs 1-4 p.m. Friday and Spare Partz will perform following the game on Saturday. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and socially distanced. Admission and parking are free. For more information, call 941-413-5000 or visit

2. National Hot Dog celebration at Hamlet’s Eatery

Looking for food and fun (and free beer!) in an outdoor setting? Visit the new Hamlet’s Eatery, in the courtyard of The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime, to celebrate National Hot Dog day. There will be free beer (while supplies last) from JDub’s plus they will be cooking up hot dogs — regular or vegan — in beer.

There will also be live music by Clint Justesen and Alyssa Martin in the afternoon, and hula hoop contests every hour with prizes. Plus, complimentary Boardwalk Food Co. Craft Beer Pretzel Bites with purchase. 11-7 p.m. Saturday; Hamlet’s Eatery at the outside courtyard of The Bazaar, 821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota; free;

3. NBP Rec Days is Saturday

Participants at Nathan Benderson Park “Rec Days” will have the opportunity to try stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, canoes, fishing and more. Fee is $10 per person for ages 7-18, free for their parents and siblings ages 1-6, and $10 per person for adults without children.

Attendees are to meet at the ground floor of the Benderson Family Finish Tower. Equipment is sanitized between uses and safety practices are enforced, and participants may come and go on their own schedules during the four-hour event. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota; 941-358-7275;

4. Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille Blues Brunch

Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille’s Blues Brunch for July features chef-created brunch specials and a performance by Tampa Bay blues band Dirty D and the Big Deal, which play original and cover dance rhythm and blues music plus funk and soul. Brunch items include stuffed French toast, a duck confit crepe with blueberry mascarpone, Niman Ranch steak and eggs, poached egg with avocado toast, the “Riverwalk Breakfast,” omelets and more. Brunch drink options include a build-your-own bloody mary menu and mimosas made with fresh, local orange juice.

Mattison’s Blues Brunch Sundays are held in conjunction with the Bradenton Blues Fest, hosted by Realize Bradenton. Reservations are suggested. (All tables and seating will be socially distanced; staff will be wearing masks and be following CDC protocols.) 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday; Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille, 101 Riverfront Blvd., Bradenton; 941-896-9660;

5. Discover Sarasota Trolley Tours

Discover Sarasota Tours is introducing small private tour options for its most popular 90-minute, summer air-conditioned trolley tours. “During these difficult times, we have been getting requests for more private tours so people can be with only their friends or family members,” said Tammy Hauser, CEO of Discover Sarasota Tours, in a statement. “So we decided to launch two small group tour options to accommodate these needs.”

Friends & Family Tours for up to 12 people cost $899 plus sales tax. Guests can book any summer tour on any day and at any time with family or friends. This option is available on all summer tours, including City Sightseeing Tours, Circus Tours, Haunted Sarasota Tours, Tiki Trivia Trolley Tours, and Infamous Sarasota Happy Hour Tours running weekends through September. There are also Half-Day Private Concierge Tours for up to 10 people at $179 per adult, $79 per child 6-12. For more information, visit