Top 10 Things To Do in Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, Jan. 31-Feb. 6 – News – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Fun events for Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties

1. Wings of Freedom Tour

The B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine,” B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” bombers and P-51 Mustang “Toulouse Nuts” fighter have flown into the Venice Municipal Airport for a visit as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour. Explore and learn more about these treasures of aviation history from World War II, with the B-17 one of only nine in flying condition in the country. 2-4:30 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday; Venice Municipal Airport, 150 Airport Ave. E., Venice; $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12; 800-568-8924;

2. St. Barbara Greek Festival

Greek food in all its glory will definitely be the main attraction at The St. Barbara 35th Annual Greek Festival (aka the “Greek Glendi”) with other highlights including live authentic Greek music and the church’s Hellenic Dancers celebrating Greek heritage with traditional and innovative dances as well as an array of vendors plus a kids’ adventure zone. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 7-9; 12-8 p.m. Feb. 10; St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, 7671 North Lockwood Ridge Road; Sarasota; $4 on Feb. 8 through Feb. 10 for adults and free for children under 12, (donation suggested for Feb. 7); 941-355-2616;

3. Cirque Italia Water Circus

Featuring a water curtain where words and patterns are synchronized with the human talent, Cirque Italia offers a sensory overload experience that melds a traditional big top circus feel with a modern sensibility. Also, in keeping with the contemporary approach, there are no live animal acts. 7:30 p.m. today and Friday; 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday; 102 Riviera Dunes Way, Palmetto; $10 (children) to $50 (adult level one); 941-704-8572;

4. Cirque Ma’Ceo at Big Cat Habitat

Recently extended through March 3 after opening the beginning of this month, the popular Cirque Ma’Ceo equestrian show that’s raising funds for the nonprofit Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary features the Zoppe family’s signature bareback riding, Cossack-style trick riding and dressage; with acrobats, aeralists and jugglers performing atop and alongside the moving horses. There’s also a a clown act for the youngsters. 6 p.m. Fridays; 3:30 and 6 p.m. Saturdays and 3:30 p.m. Sundays through March 3 in the big white tent in front of Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary, 7101 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota; $10-$45; 561-758-7851 or

5. Mr. Swindle’s Traveling Peculiarium

Following a successful run in Engelwood, Mr. Swindle’s talented troupe of acrobats, comedians and aerialists will be setting up a boutique big top at the Sarasota Fairgrounds. Attendees can expect a unique, old-style entertainment show featuring lots of comedy peppered with audience participation. Also, don’t forget that Dr. Elixir’s Drink-Ory Garden opens one hour prior to showtime. 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 4 and 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 10; Sarasota Fairgrounds; 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; $25-$45; 941-445-7309;

6. Music on Main

Lakewood Ranch’s popular monthly concert series and block party Music on Main features bustling streets filled with food vendors, beer trucks and sponsor booths plus rides and activities for the children. There’s also live entertainment, with the nationally acclaimed Betty Fox Band coming down from Tampa to play some high-energy blues and sweet soul music. 6-9 p.m. Friday; 8110 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch; free admission; 941-907-9243;

7. Music Half Marathon

Even if you’re not actually participating in the fifth annual Sarasota Music Half Marathon you can still have fun listening to the the live music and cheering for those dedicated joggers. The start and finish line is at the Van Wezel with live entertainment lining the course throughout the Bayfront, including the John Ringling Causeway. 6:30-10:30 a.m. Sunday; Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail; free; 941-809-8996;

8. Caroline Rhea at McCurdy’s

One of the top talents to emerge from the rich 1980s stand-up comedy scene, Caroline Rhea achieved a new level of fame as Hilda Spellman on the ABC show “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and as the host of “The Biggest Loser” on NBC. A popular attraction on the comedy club circuit these days, Rhea continues to appear on TV, landing a role in “Sydney to the Max,” the comedy series that premiered on Disney Channel this month. 6:30 and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre, 1923 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; $27; 941-925-3869;

9. Venice Orchid Show & Sale

The Venice Area Orchid Society’s 51st annual show and sale will feature 16 vendors exhibiting and selling thousands of blooming orchid plants; as well as orchid floral arrangements, artwork, jewelry, accessories and supplies. More than 20 American Orchid Society accredited judges travel from around the country to judge this event, which offers sash awards and trophies to the best exhibits and plants in each class. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; Venice Community Center, 326 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice; $5 (children under 10 free);

10. National Stamp Show

One of the best events of its kind in the country, this weekend’s annual Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition is presented by The Sarasota Philatelic Club founded by five collectors in late 1952. The show features free admission, free parking and free stamp appraisals with 40 national and international dealers. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday; Sarasota Municipal Auditorium; 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; free;

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