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Happy New Year!

Ringing in 2017- Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice

| Sande Caplin |

As glasses are raised and good times with family and friends toasted, we look toward 2017 with gratitude for the possibilities that a new year holds. For all, it is a time of renewal, a clean slate to write your next year’s moments on. Some people like to keep calendars with well-kept notes of how days were spent attending kid’s events, traveling, making work contacts and so on. The time goes by in a blur so it is important to reflect upon the life you’ve lived, as much of our journey isn’t appreciated until later scrutinized.

As is often the case, the passing of loved one and famous actors and singers mark some years with tears and remembrance. For others, weddings, new babies in the family, reconciled relationships between family members and new friendships have added an additional level of fun and adventure to daily life. And for all who have made it without any major losses, sicknesses, or heart break during the year, a collective sigh of relief can be felt. May we all have empathy and understanding for those who have suffered this year or may not feel as joyful during these holidays.

We hope you are heading into 2017 with hope, a commitment to help others, and a can-do attitude to accomplish whatever desires live in your heart. There is a splendor of ways to celebrate the New Year’s coming and we are spotlighting some of the traditional, purely Sarasota, Florida-style events inviting you to step outside and ring in a Merry New Year under a palm tree or near the water. There’s nothing wrong with staying in either, as cooking tasty appetizers and enjoying drinks around a fire sounds wonderful. However you choose to celebrate, we hope you have a safe time full of joy and whatever makes you happy. Here’s to another wonder year!

Sarasota Pineapple Drop

Sarasota’s Pineapple Drop
Who needs to suffer cold feet and runny noses while waiting for a ball to drop? Sarasota’s tradition includes a beautiful pineapple descending over a balmy and beautiful Downtown to ring in the new. There will be something for everyone including a family carnival with midway beginning at 1:00 P.M. Live music and beer vendors will start at 8:00 P.M., with several restaurants featuring specials for the event. Get there early, crowd estimates are between 20,000 and 25,000.

Bradenton’s Main Street Live
Enjoy the beautiful weather and ambiance of Bradenton’s energetic downtown area with food and drink vendors, live music and entertainment. Rock the night away with several bands who will take the stage beginning at 5:00 P.M. Festivities happen on Old Main Street (12th Street West).

Bradenton’s Main Street Live

New Year’s Eve at Selby Gardens
The splendor of Selby Gardens peaks during the holidays when thousands of twinkling lights cast sparkles on rare flowers in bloom. This black-tie event includes an elegant dinner prepared by Michael’s on the Bay, intimate look at the dazzling holiday lights display, fireworks and dancing. Tickets are $250 per person. For more information, please visit their website at

New Year’s Eve Fireworks Celebration at Marina Jack
Head down to Marina Jack for a variety of dining and live music packages at their various on-site restaurants, including a 4-hour celebration cruise aboard the Marina Jack II. At midnight, enjoy the night air and dazzling fireworks over Sarasota Bay, hosted by Marina jack and Suncoast Charities for Children. Visit for more information.

Photos: New Year courtesy of Ryan Hyde on Flickr, commercial use allowed.
New Year’s Napkin courtesy of atl10trader on Flickr, commercial use allowed.
Happy New Year courtesy of BluEyedA73 on Flickr, commercial use allowed.

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