World Rowing Championship opening ceremonies, a Venice beach party, the Sarasota Orchestra season begins and more.

Opening Ceremony at the 2017 World Rowing Championships
Sept. 23

Performances by the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Jah Movement reggae band and other musicians and dancers; an appearance by the award-winning Sarasota Ski-A-Rees ski show team; food trucks; fireworks and lots more—it’s all to welcome a thousand of the world’s top athletes to the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park on Saturday. Be part of the exciting, free opening ceremony. Gates open at 5:30; the ceremony begins at 7 p.m.

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live
Sept. 23

The Ringling Museum, Historic Spanish Point and South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium are among hundreds of nonprofit cultural institutions across the country offering free admission this Saturday through the annual Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live. Just one easy catch: You have to go to download your free ticket good for admission to one museum of your choice. What a deal!

Venice Beach Party
Sept. 23

How do you celebrate a city’s 90th birthday? The City of Venice is doing so with a free party at Venice Beach. The Sarasota Steel Pan Band, Kettle of Fish and Tropical Ave. will be performing music that will have you dancing in the sand. Free shuttles from downtown parking lots. Details here. Happy 90th birthday, Venice!

iconcept jr.
Sept. 24

Time for the junior creative set to shine in this fashion design competition sponsored by Art Center Sarasota. Young designers, ages 8-16, will strut their unconventional fashion creations down the runway in a benefit show for the art center’s youth scholarships and education programs.

Sarasota Orchestra’s new Discovery Series
Sept. 23

Something new from the Sarasota Orchestra: the Discovery series, three briskly paced 75-minute concerts comprised of shorter works designed to introduce classical music to people who’ve shied away from it before. The first is Saturday night at the Sarasota Opera House, with works by Respighi, Foss, Walker and Mozart; Betsy Traba is the flute soloist. Stay afterward for a conversation with Traba and conductor Steven Jarvi if you wish. Tickets start at $25.

Beach concert and open artist studios at the Hermitage Artist Retreat
Sept. 22

Artists from the Association of Florida Teaching Artists are in residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key, and you can experience all the fabulous things they’re creating at a free open studio tour and beach concert Friday evening.

Snooty Memorial Open House
Sept. 24

Postponed from Sept. 10 because of Hurricane Irma, the South Florida Museum is inviting the public this Sunday afternoon to a memorial open house for its late, beloved Snooty the manatee, who died tragically this summer. There will be a video tribute in the Bishop Planetarium, as well as the opportunity to create memorial tributes and a tour of the museum’s manatee rehabilitation center. Free, from noon to 5 p.m.

For more stories about all things Sarasota, simply sign-up for our enewsletter by clicking on the green button to your right.

Published by: Sarasota Magazine

Meet the nine women who will be representing the United States as they race in the women’s eight.

(c) Katelin Guregian, Sarah Dougherty, Grace Latz, Corinne “Coco” Schoeller, Sophia Vitas, Lauren Schmetterling, Kelly Pierce, Emily Regan, and Meghan Wheeler will race for a spot atop the medal stand.

Fast Facts:

What does it mean to you to be able to represent the U.S. at Worlds in your home country?

Meghan: Being able to represent the US on the national team is the cumulation of years of hard work, and for that reason it means a great deal. Worlds be ing the U.S. adds an additional level of pride, and I am excited that the U.S. can have more exposure to rowing.

Sophia: It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to race at home in my first senior team especially being able to have my friends and family there to support me means the world.

Katelin: I’m excited that my family and friends will be able to watch the races! I grew up in Florida and am proud to welcome the rowing world.

Grace: So awesome! I’m looking forward to having my extended family and friends can travel to watch me row!

Kelly: This is a unique opportunity – so many friends and family have followed and supported my rowing career for so long – it’s amazing that they’ll be able to come and watch me compete for my country at the highest level in this sport.

Sarah: Representing the US in my home country is an incredible opportunity. When I started rowing at University of Washington five years ago, I never would have thought I’d be where I am today. I’m so grateful for all my coaches and teammates, past and present, who have helped me get here. I’m so excited to race in Sarasota and make all those people proud.

Lauren: I’m excited to have Worlds in Florida – many of my friends and family are going to be able to spectate the competition.

Coco: I’m really excited! I’m from Florida so both of my parents will be able to make the trip and watch me race. It’s really special that the world of rowing will be coming to my home state, and I can’t wait to share this experience with all of my teammates!

What do you wish you would’ve known as a novice?

Meghan: I wish that I had known that time goes by really fast and that I should take time to remember each race and moment with my friends. Also, keeping a journal is very helpful and fun to look back on.

Sophia: don’t wear loose shorts erging/rowing

Katelin: HAVE FUN! Winning is not the most important thing. Also, don’t hide under orange trees when you are supposed to be running.

Grace: I think it’s better to not know too much and overthink things as a novice. It’s better to keep the beginner’s mind all the time.

Sarah: I wish I knew not to grip the oar too tight and give myself carpal tunnel.

Lauren: I think that it’s important for novice rowers to have fun and enjoy the sport.

Coco: I wish I had known that my best friends would come from this sport and that I was starting a lifelong journey.

Who inspires you?

Meghan: My current teammates at the training center as well as my past Princeton teammates inspire me every day. It’s an honor to be able to row in an eight with people who have been role models to me for so long, like Lauren and Katelin. My college coach, Lori, is a huge inspiration for me and has encouraged me to do all I can. My parents also inspire me every day. Batman, the dark night, is also a major inspiration.

Sophia: My parents. They’ve given me an incredible amount of support and they inspire me to put forward my best every day.

Katelin: My family— they value work ethic over everything else and inspire me to do the same

Grace: My teammates. I strive to reflect the best! See in my teammates everyday. It’s tough being at the training center between training, injuries, selection, and random life events and through it all I admire my teammates whether I race with them or not.

Kelly: My teammate Lauren Schmetterling. She’s a sterling testament to the mantra that hard work beats talent every time. She inspires me to push for more instead of accepting “good enough.”

Sarah: First and foremost, my parents inspire me. They are constantly loving and supporting me through this process. Secondly, my Washington teammates. The four years I spent there were the most incredible and memorable four years of my life. They shaped me into the person and athlete I am today and inspire me every day.

Lauren: I am inspired by Liane Malcos Keister. She was one of my coaches at Riverside and she truly has the spirit of a champion.

Coco: Michael Colella for his cooking skills and uplifting personality. Also, Tessa Gobbo and John and Phoebe Murphy for starting me on the National Team path and always supporting me.

What is your pre-race routine?

Meghan: The morning of a race I try to stay relaxed and not get too nervous. I eat candy and go for a jog to warm up. I also like to visualize the race, but only once.

Sophia: Listening to some music and reading the news to relax and distract me.

Katelin: Go over my race plan at least 5 times and VISUALIZE how to respond in the worst case scenario.

Grace: I make a point to not have a strict pre-race routine because every race is different and I wouldn’t want to get thrown if I have to scrap something if the schedule changes.

Kelly: In an ideal world I wake up really early, enjoy a coffee or three and putz around on the erg for about half an hour. Then I listen to some pre-race tunes, finish my coffee, and GO

Sarah: The night before the race. I watch the movie Chef. The morning of, I have a cup of coffee with my usual oatmeal breakfast. Spend some time thinking about the race plan and visualizing the race, then take my mind off of it and get warmed up.

Lauren: I try to keep my pre-race routine as consistent as possible with my routine at practice.

Coco: Starbucks, La Croix, beet juice. I go on a jog around the course just to check out the conditions then stretch.

What are you known for on the team?

Meghan: I’m known for being happy all the time and being the go-to person for recommendations and discussions on TV and movies.

Sophia: Having the longest femurs

Katelin: Crying too much

Grace: Being calm, level-headed, mentally tough. Boat whisperer and good at pinpointing technical changes. Always having ice cream in the fridge. Dresses like a real person.

Kelly: Showing up an hour early to practice every day, liking pictures of cats on social media, making divisive erg playlists, overthinking everything.

Sarah: Being “DJ Sarah D” and the one with the high heart rate.

Lauren: I am known for loving snacks and generally being a maniac.

Coco: My dry sense of humor and La Croix addiction.

BLVD Sarasota is excited to attend this weekend’s event and wish the women the best of luck.

Located at the corner of the Blvd of the Arts & the Tamiami Trail, BLVD Sarasota is a new boutique condo development offering only 49 luxury homes each providing spectacular views of the Sarasota Bay and the dazzling city lights. We will be attending the World Rowing Championship event so if you are interested in being one of the first to experience the most anticipated new downtown address, then stop by and take our Virtual Reality Tour.

Published by: Dan Brauchli

Only in Sarasota: Nathan Benderson Park, U.S. Rowing Youth National Championships

Long known for beaches and culture, Sarasota is also gaining a reputation for world-class sporting events, including the enormous World Rowing Championships that will bring athletes and fans from around the world to Nathan Benderson Park in September.

Tickets are going quickly for the 2017 World Rowing Championships to be held Sept. 23 to Oct. 1 at Nathan Benderson Park. The event is expected to attract 40,000 spectators throughout the week to cheer on the top rowing teams from the U.S. and around the world.

The options range from $10 a day for standing-room-only access to roam Regatta Island to $20,000 to rent a private luxury suite for the week. VIP passes for the finals during the Championship Weekend Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 are already sold out, said Max Winitz, media and public relations manager for the World Rowing Championships organization. Ticket sales are at 68 percent of the organizers’ goal and are expected to accelerate when participating countries select all their athletes.

To stay up to date with events and all things Sarasota, sign-up for our BLVD Sarasota enewsletter here.

Content courtesy of John Dowling Herald Tribune