The final weeks of season remind me of the grand finale in a fireworks show- all this frenetic energy going off at once before everything comes to an end.
Take this weekend in Venice – we’ve got Saturday's fourth annual Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. downtown. Writers and publishers will be giving free presentations all day at the Venice Theater and Venice Centre Mall while about 45 authors will be discussing and selling their books in Centennial Park along West Venice Avenue. I did not get my long simmering book project in presentable form as intended, but a handful of writers who did have a chance to pitch their book proposals to an agent and editor. You have to show up at 9 a.m. to sign up for a spot.
The book fair raises money for Venice Heritage Inc.
The Venice Farmers Market will be selling fresh flowers, fruit, vegetables and crafts on the Tampa side of Centennial park from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., as it does every Saturday morning.
In the evening, two of our best local charities host galas to raise much-needed funds to continue to do the good that they do. Instride Therapy, which provides invaluable services for special needs individuals by pairing them with therapy horses, holds its “Mane Event” beginning at 6 p.m. under its covered pavilion at 1629 Ranch Road. The event begins with a cocktail reception in the covered arena, followed by a silent and live auction, a sit-down dinner by Michael’s On East, live entertainment by The Venturas and special guest Twinkle, dancing and an inspirational presentation from InStride’s Rider of the Year. The event is sold out, but you can participate in the online auction for a 2014 Custom Sundowner 8011
Rancher Sport 2H GN LQ trailer. Or donate to the organization.
On the other side of town, supporters of Habitat for Humanity South Sarasota County will be dressed in Wizard of Oz or construction chic for the “There’s No Place Like Home” gala at 6 p.m. at the Plantation Golf and Country Club, 500 Rockley Blvd. The event includes dinner, dancing, silent and live auction. Tickets are $75. Can’t make it? Donate. Habitat is pretty much the only source of affordable housing in the area and we need more of it.
After a weekend of parties, you can burn it all off 7 a.m., Sunday at the Venice Area Young Professionals 5K March 29 Smoothie King Run, beginning at Maxine Barritt Park, 1800 S. Harbor Drive. If you haven’t registered, you need to be there at 6:30 a.m. $25.