On Nov. 5, inaugural Fresh Fridays celebration planned from 8 to 11 p.m. in downtown Sarasota

Event to feature live entertainment, ‘dazzling light displays and plentiful food opportunities’

Image courtesy City of Sarasota

The inaugural Fresh Fridays celebration, “Best Night Ever,” will kick off on Friday, Nov. 5, from 8 to 11 p.m. “under the stars rain or shine in downtown Sarasota with live entertainment, dazzling light displays and plentiful food opportunities in a pedestrian-only area,” the City of Sarasota has announced.

The free event will take place along the Lemon Avenue corridor and on State Street, within the same footprint as the Downtown Farmers Market, a news release explains.

“City Commissioners Jen Ahearn-Koch, Liz Alpert, Erik Arroyo, Kyle Battie, and Hagen Brody will attend a brief ceremony at 8:30 p.m. located at the DJ stage on State Street and will recognize the collaboration between the City and Downtown Improvement District (DID) resulting in the new Fresh Fridays festivities,” the release adds.

The DID, established in 2008 to enhance the downtown Sarasota experience, is presenting Fresh Fridays, with the City Commission unanimously supporting the initiative through in-kind services, the release notes.

“We’re excited to bring free first Friday events we’re calling Fresh Fridays to downtown Sarasota thanks to the support of our City Commission and the Downtown Improvement District,” said Mayor Hagen Brody in the release. “This is a great, fresh way to bring our community back together as we come out of the pandemic and help support our local businesses that need it most.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Sarasota in bringing new energy to downtown Sarasota each month,” Chris Voelker, DID board member and State Street Eating House + Cocktails owner, added in the release.

Among the planned entertainment this Friday will be “a DJ spinning contemporary tunes on State Street, a live country band performing at Paul N. Thorpe Jr. Park and a jazz guitar duo strumming near the Lemon Avenue/State Street intersection,” the release points out.

“Attendees are encouraged to enjoy the night air, dine at one of the many local eateries and take in the diverse offerings of downtown Sarasota,” the release continues. “Courtesy food tastings will be offered by Cask & Ale, Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood., Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi, and Serenity Wellness & Smoothie Café.”

Additionally, “Fresh Fridays swag and party favors will be given to the first 500 attendees,” the release notes.

Public parking is available at the State Street garage, with the first two hours free, the release points out. Entrances to the Fresh Fridays pedestrian area will be located at both ends of State Street, including the breezeway at The Mark, the intersection of Lemon Avenue and Main Street, and the intersection of  Lemon Avenue and Pineapple Avenue, the release says.

“Upcoming Fresh Fridays are already in the works,” the release adds, with the Dec. 3 event to have a holiday theme.

For more information visit http://www.FreshFridaysSarasota.com and follow Fresh Fridays and the City of Sarasota on social media.