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What's On Suncoast

What’s On Suncoast? 2.16 – 2.23

| Angela Naff |

The Suncoast Post asks, “What’s On, Suncoast?” Here are some ideas for the area this week from February 16 – 23, 2024

Circus Sarasota 2024

Circus Sarasota

Circus Sarasota
Under the Big Top at Nathan Benderson Park – 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FL 34235

Sarasota’s hometown circus here on the Suncoast returns under a brand new, custom-designed Big Top for another year of high-flying action, heart-stopping thrills, laugh-out-loud comedic antics, and acts that defy both expectations and the boundaries of physical limitations, performed by artists from around the globe.

Friday, Feb 16 – Sunday, March 10, 2024
Under the Big Top at Nathan Benderson Park

$10 Parking
For the easiest access, please arrive 45 minutes prior to show time. 
Food, beverages, beer, and wine are available. 

Hours: Check hours HERE for times Friday, Feb 16 – Sunday, March 10, 2024

Donato's Italian Restaurant

Donato’s Italian Restaurant 

Donato’s Italian Restaurant
1900 Tamiami Trl, #117 Port Charlotte, FL 33948

Donato’s Italian Restaurant in North Port is a charming dining destination known for its authentic Italian cuisine and warm, inviting atmosphere. Established in 2005, this family-owned restaurant has been serving up delicious dishes made from scratch with the finest ingredients. From classic pasta dishes like spaghetti carbonara and lasagna to savory chicken and veal entrees, Donato’s offers a taste of Italy in the heart of Florida. The cozy dining room and friendly staff create a welcoming environment perfect for a casual meal or a special occasion. Whether you’re craving traditional Italian flavors or looking to try something new, Donato’s Italian Restaurant is sure to satisfy your appetite.

Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 12 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday/Saturday, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Gasparilla Music Festival

Gasparilla Music Festival 2024

Gasparilla Music Festival 2024
1001 North Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606

The 2024 festival takes place in Julian B Lane Riverfront Park on Feb 16-18, featuring musical acts from a wide variety of genres on several stages and cuisine from the region’s top restaurants. As part of its mission to support and promote music and education, the organization is involved throughout the year in several initiatives, including providing scholarships and instruments to music students.

The Gasparilla Music Foundation was founded in 2011 with financial support from several Tampa Bay area-based businesses and the organization’s founding members, The Ring of Fire.

The organization’s goals include:

  • Creating a long-term sustainable institution benefiting the Tampa Bay Area
  • Support and Promote local musicians and bands
  • Support and Promote local cuisine and beverages
  • Provide support and financial assistance for music education
  • Contribute to the economic development of the region
  • Contribute to the neighborhood rejuvenation of the city’s urban core
  • Promote the region’s cultural heritage
  • Minimize the environmental impacts of festival production
  • Promote public and alternative methods of transportation

Hours: February 16 – 18; see tickets HERE and times.

Ellenton Cafe on Suncoast

Ellenton Cafe

Ellenton Cafe
7044 US Hwy 301 N Ellenton, FL 34222

Ellenton Cafe, here on the Suncoast, is a local eatery offering a cozy and welcoming atmosphere along with delicious comfort food. Located near the Ellenton Premium Outlets, this charming cafe is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. Open for breakfast and lunch, Ellenton Cafe serves up a variety of classic American dishes, including fluffy pancakes, hearty omelets, and mouthwatering burgers. The friendly staff and homey ambiance make it the perfect place to start your day or grab a leisurely meal. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast or a satisfying lunch, Ellenton Cafe has something for everyone.

Hours: Closed Monday, Tuesday through Sunday, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Edison Festival of Light

Edison Festival of Light’s Crafts on the River in Fort Myers

Edison Festival of Light’s Crafts on the River in Fort Myers
5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FL 34235

The Edison Festival of Light is the largest & longest running festival in Southwest Florida. This 3 week festival is full of fun activities including parades, car shows, 2 day craft show, 5K run, Mutt Strut and so much more.

In 1885, Thomas Alva Edison built his winter home in Fort Myers, Florida on the Caloosahatchee River. Throughout the 50 years Edison wintered in Fort Myers, he dedicated time in support of local charities and projects. He died in 1931, having successfully received over 1,000 patents for his inventions.

The idea of a celebration to commemorate Edison’s life of achievement evolved into the Edison Pageant of Light in 1938, with a Coronation Ball, a parade, a band concert and a memorial service. The successful three-day event grew, and later increased to a week-long festival, and finally to two full weeks. In 1988, demand for more public events was great, but the Pageant membership struggled to provide enough volunteers to grow the event. The choices were to limit the growth of the public events, or create a new public corporation to assume the responsibility for all events and open them to the public.

In a unanimous vote, the Pageant board elected to turn over all the public events to a new non-profit corporation. This paved the road to the possibilities of civic celebrations in which the entire community could participate. In 1989, the new organization, the Edison Festival of Light, Inc. officially assumed responsibility for all public events celebrating Thomas Edison and the City of Fort Myers.

Hours: Saturday, February 12, 2024 – Sunday February 18, 2024, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily

Photos from the above business website or Facebook pages.

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