There are a few standout events this Memorial Day weekend that Sarasota area residents may wish to attend.
Patriot Plaza in Sarasota — Saturday, Sarasota National Cemetery will host a Memorial Day ceremony with its tribute to patriotism today, Saturday, March 25, at 10 a.m.
The 295-acre cemetery is located in Sarasota County along State Road 72 (Clark Road) and approximately four miles east of I-75 at exit 205 and features a 2,800-seat partially covered ceremonial amphitheater called “Patriot Plaza.”
It’s surrounded by impressive works of art, including photographs of men and women in various wars. No need to bring chairs but a cushion may help. There are plenty of concrete benches throughout the amphitheater.
Patriot Park in Venice — Monday, the annual Venice-area Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, at Patriots Park, 800 Venetia Bay Blvd., Venice.
This year’s observances and activities will be hosted by American Legion NO-VEL Post 159. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the park’s monuments. Guest speakers include Venice Mayor John Holic, Sarasota County Commission Chair Charles Hines, retired U.S. Army Master Sgt. Gordon Sherven and retired U.S. Army Col. Norman MacLellan.
Patriotic music will be provided by the Sun Coast Wind Ensemble. The public is invited. Bring chairs.
Myakka River Blues Fest — Monday, don’t miss the 8th Annual Myakka River Blues Festival at Snook Haven in Venice on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. Music is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance, $25 at the door. Proceeds from the festival will be donated to Venice Challenger Baseball and Friends of Sarasota County Parks.
Parking is available off River Road and then take a one-minute bus ride into Snook Haven. There’s lots of seating under the big top, but you may want to bring a chair if you don’t arrive early.
Snook Haven is located at 5000 East Venice Avenue, Venice (River Road exit 193 on I-75).
Festival headliner, Bryan Lee, is a 2010 Grammy Nominee, 2011 BMA Recipient, and is referred to as a “Living Legend,” New Orleans Blues Institution,” and as your “Braille Blues Daddy.” Originally from Two Rivers, Wisconsin, Lee lost his eyesight and was legally blind by the age of eight. He has been playing the blues consistently for over 50 years. Kicking off this year’s festival is the Kat Crosby Band, described as sophisticated blues with a hint of jazz.