Did you know that Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894? The first organized parade dates back a little earlier to New York City in 1882. The parade had such a following that the practice of celebrating workers spread all across the country and that is how it became a federal holiday. Today, we still see plenty of parades celebrating American workers and festivities too.
Labor Day is always observed on the first Monday in September, which means we have a nice long weekend to enjoy some time out and maybe do a few fun things with friends and family. If you are looking for something to do for Labor Day in the Sarasota area, you might want to check out some of these events. You will find live music, art festivals, a triathlon and brunch by the water on Sunday. So, relax and enjoy Labor Day, you earned it!
Sarasota Labor Day Events Sept 1st
September 1st-3rd: Labor Day Regatta in Sarasota: City Island, 1717 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, 5:30 PM (Sept 1st-4:00 PM Sept 3rd). Come and join in the fun of the 71st annual Labor Day Regatta. Hundreds of sailors from around the world compete in this 3-day event. This is a free event for spectators.
Music on Main Lakewood Ranch: Downtown Lakewood Ranch, 6 PM-9 PM. Listen to live music, and enjoy some great food too. Bring your chairs and be entertained. Dogs on leash welcome. No coolers.
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Labor Day Events Sarasota & Bradenton Sept 2nd
Jungle Gardens, Sept 2nd-4th, 3701 Bayshore Road, Sarasota. Kids get in for half price from the 2nd to the 4th. There is still some time for fun even though school has started. If you haven’t been to Jungles Gardens in awhile, this is a great time to come.
Blue Rooster, Sept 2nd, 1525 4th St, Sarasota, 8 PM: Live music: If you haven’t been to the Blue Rooster, this is a great time to go and hear some great music from Ship of Fools. This is a tribute band to music legends Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and the Grateful Dead. Music starts at 8 PM, but you’ll want to get there early and enjoy a cocktail beforehand.
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Summer of Rum Festival-Tampa-Curtis Nixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa. Rum fest and the singer Shaggy. What more could you want? Great drinks, plenty of rum and take an Uber home. Tickets are $15 Presale, and $25 Door.
September 3rd Labor Day Events Sarasota Area
Did someone say Bacon? Yes! Bacon, Beers & Bacon Fest: JDub’s Brewing Co, 1215 Mango Ave, Sarasota 3 PM- 8 PM. 941-955-2739, jdubsbrewing.com. Partake in the local food trucks best bacon cuisine. JDub’s will pair your bacon dish with their best brew! Bacon, music, and fun! Now that sounds like a good night. Entry is free. You pay for your food & drink.
Venice Triathlon: Get Going at 7:30 AM to watch these athletes swim, bike and run their way to victory. Venice hosts this for the 14th year. The race starts at Sharky’s On The Pier (1600 Harbor Dr. South, Venice). The race should end around 10:30 AM.
Venice 9th Annual Craft Festival, Miami Ave, Downtown Venice, Sept 2nd-3rd. 10 AM-4 PM. If you are looking for something fun and unique come check it out. Various vendors will be there selling metal works, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics and more.
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Ace’s Live Music, Sept 3rd, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd, Bradenton, 5 PM-9 PM, aceslivemusic.com: Randy Stevens & The Groove Makers: Come and hear Blues Music at its best with award winning guitarist Randy Stevens. There may be a small cover charge. At the time of this writing, Ace’s didn’t have it posted.
Sunday Jazz Brunch, Sept 3rd, 10 AM, Sand Bar Restaurant, Anna Maria Island. What could be better than good music, a beautiful ocean view, and great food? Sand Bar makes a killer bloody mary too. You may want to make reservations. This is a popular place.
Whatever you decide to do this Labor Day weekend in Sarasota and Bradenton, enjoy it. Hard work is what made this country strong. As Thomas Jefferson said, “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Be wise and drive safe.