Block Party for the New Year
This Saturday, head downtown for Sarasota’s annual New Year’s Eve block party. The celebration, which runs from 1pm-1am and is free to the public, will feature an array of events including Sarasota’s signature Pineapple Drop when the clock strikes midnight, reigning in the new year. “The Pineapple Drop is the largest new year's eve celebration in southwest Florida,” says Laura Kresl of Pro It Out Marketing and Advertising, one of the organizers of the event. “It’ll feature carnival midway rides and games for all ages. There will be fair food favorites, live music and DJs, along with special offers and extended dining in the restaurants in downtown sarasota.”
Since 2000, the block party, which attracts around 35-40,000 people a year, has centered around the signature lowering of the lit up Pineapple as the clock ticks down to the New Year. “We put it on a crane and lower it at midnight. Following the pineapple drop, the marina lets off a beautiful fireworks show over the sarasota bay. It’s an awesome celebration, you have the carnival rides, the fireworks display, live music from national recording country artist Chas Collins, 22N – which is our local favorite dance band – and SRQ Beats who is a DJ,” says Kresl. “The party takes up about 8 blocks of the downtown area with three stages – one on Lemon Street, one on State Street, and one on Main Street. What’s really nice is that you can make a dinner reservation and have the beautiful Pineapple drop and the buzzing of the downtown all in the same night.”
Saturday, December 31st 1pm-1am, https://destinationdowntownsarasota.com/event/sarasota-new-years-eve-pineapple-drop-downtown/
Pictured: The annual Pineapple Drop--great way to ring in the new year. Photo courtesy of Norman Schimmel.
[Arts & Entertainment]
The PMP Winter Residency Returns with Toby and Itzhak Perlman!
Each December, students from the Perlman Music Program (PMP) Summer Music School, Israel Residency and Chamber Music Workshop reunite on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus for lessons, studio classes, works-in-progressrecitals, chorus and orchestra rehearsals and other activities. This year, 35 musically gifted students and Fellows (student mentors) from seven countries will participate in the program. Starting on December 29, the public is invited to watch free rehearsals and works-in-progress recitals under the baton of world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman and other esteemed faculty members. Audiences will also be able to watch Patrick Romano, choirmaster, rehearse with the PMP choir. Lisa Berger, executive director of The Perlman Music Program Suncoast (Perlman Suncoast), the locally based nonprofit that supports PMP and its alumni with programs throughout the year, explains that “The PMP Winter Residency provides valuable mentoring and performance opportunities for young, gifted musicians, ages 12 and up, who have a rare and special talent for classical string music”. “They’re back after a two-year hiatus and we can’t wait to welcome them.” Berger adds, “It’s also a treat for local audiences who can observe the mentoring process of musicians who will someday appear on stages around the world.” This year, audiences can attend 18 events held in a heated performance tent on the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. On January 5, PMP Winter Residency students and faculty present a“Celebration Concert,” featuring the PMP String Orchestra under the baton of Itzhak mPerlman, and the PMP Chorus, led by Patrick Romano, at the Sarasota Opera House. The “Celebration Dinner” follows the concert in the tent on the USF-Sarasota Manatee campus. “This is a lovely way to celebrate all of the faculty and students who worked hard during the preceding weeks,” says Berger. The event is attended by Toby and Itzhak Perlman, PMP students, faculty and staff, with fine food and beverages and entertainment by the students and faculty. For more information about The Perlman Music Program Suncoast, visit www.PerlmanSuncoast.org.
Winter Reading Challenge Returns to County Libraries in January
Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources is joining the annual Winter Reading Challenge for the sixth consecutive year. Sponsored by Beanstack, the challenge aims to encourage readers of all ages to look to the future while diving into how reading boosts our emotions. This year's theme, "All the Feels," focuses on the history of emojis and expressing yourself through fun activities, all while earning badges on a virtual bingo card. The county's goal is logging 50 thousand minutes of reading. Logging hours, and submitting book reviews, are among ways to participate. The sixth annual Winter Reading Challenge runs through Jan. 31. The program is free and open to all ages. Registration can be found by visiting Beanstack.For more information, call 311 or visit scgov.net.
[Board of Directors]
Tryon Joins Selby Foundation Board
The William G. and Marie Selby Foundation is pleased to announce that Tom Tryon, the former opinion editor and public engagement leader for the Sarasota Herald Tribune for 39 years, has joined its Board of Directors. Born and raised in Manatee County, Tryon is a member of Christ Episcopal Church and also serves on the board of Second Heart Homes, which houses and provides loving care for mentally ill homeless people. His past leadership includes serving as chairman of Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence (SCOPE) and Youth Leadership Sarasota County. Tom currently leads The Patterson Foundation’s Higher Waters: Suncoast Quality of Life initiative. He and his wife, Yvonne, reside in Ellenton. Tryon joins current board members who include: Barbara Zdravecky, Chair, E. Keith DuBose, Vice Chair, Carolyn Johnson, Secretary/Treasurer, Cathy Layton, Immediate Past Chair, Susan Hines. The Selby Foundation is a private foundation founded by William G. and Marie Selby in 1955. The Foundation supports Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties through capital grants and scholarships. Since its establishment, the Selby Foundation has provided more than $120 million to the community. For more information on the Foundation’s grant and scholarship application process visit www.selbyfdn.org.