Smooth transition expected from Sarasota Farmers Market to downtown New Year’s Eve festivities, city staff says

Musical performances and carnival rides to begin at 1 p.m. on Dec. 31

Image courtesy City of Sarasota

Because New Year’s Eve is on a Saturday, the same day as the weekly Sarasota Farmers Market, City of Sarasota staff “has been coordinating with organizers of both events to help facilitate a smooth transition from one to the other,” City Manager Tom Barwin has announced.

While the market is open in its usual area, Barwin wrote in his Dec. 16 newsletter, “crews will be preparing in other parts of downtown for the New Year’s Eve bash.”

Two musical stages are planned this year for the Dec. 31 festivities, Barwin noted: one at the intersection of Lemon Avenue and First Street; the other, at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Main Street. The concession stands are expected to open at 1 p.m., with musical performances on the stages beginning at the same time on Dec. 31, he added. Carnival rides at Selby Five Points Park also are scheduled to start at 1 p.m., he noted.

On the bayfront on New Year’s Eve, Barwin continued, Marina Jack plans a fireworks display at midnight.

The Sarasota Police Department estimates 45,000 people attended last year’s New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Sarasota, he added. “We expect a similar size crowd this year.”

Barwin extended his thanks to Ron Soto and the Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association (SDMA) for sponsoring the festivities. “The pineapple drop has become a signature event for Sarasota and we appreciate the SDMA doing much of the heavy lifting, planning and organizing it,” Barwin wrote.