A Message From Our Chairman – May 2016

It’s hard to believe that ­summer is right around the corner, but the Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association (SDMA) and other area

organizations are planning ahead, hosting an ­array of ­exciting events that promise to bring thousands of locals and visitors to downtown in the weeks and months to come.

Mark your calendars for Father’s Day on Sunday, June 19, when the SDMA and Vintage Motors of Sarasota will be ­sponsoring the Fourth Annual Fathers & Fenders Car Show in Five Points Park. Held rain or shine, this popular event draws hundreds of vintage car owners and thousands of attendees ­eager to indulge Dad’s love of cars on his special day. A true family event, Fathers & Fenders will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and will feature live music, delicious food and a full bar!

Thanks to Suncoast Charities for Children and its executive director, Lucy Nicandri, the 32nd Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival—which has grown from a small boat race to a nine-day event—will be held once again from Saturday, June 25, through Monday, July 4, offering more than a dozen events for families to enjoy! Of special interest is the “Boats by the Bay Downtown Block Party” on Friday, July 1, and the “Fireworks Spectacular” that will light up the sky at the bayfront after nightfall on July 4.

I also would like to take this opportunity to remind you to submit a photo of your dog for the “Downtown Wag’s” 1st Cover Photo Contest! One lucky winner will be featured on the cover of the ­August/September issue of The VOICE and will win a gift basket filled with goodies! The contest is open to everyone who lives and works in downtown Sarasota. And there’s good news—the deadline has been ­extended to Friday, June 24, which gives you plenty of time to submit a photo online at www.sarasotadowntownmerchants.com.

Now, chances are your pup isn’t any cuter than my dog—JR, our mascot at Soto ­Opticians, who is pictured below—but enter your photos, anyway! Not to ­worry…JR isn’t eligible to enter, but he is wondering if he can be one of the contest’s judges!

Finally, we are running another contest in this issue of The VOICE to test how well you know downtown ­Sarasota: Can you identify the location of the waterfall featured on our cover? If so, enter the contest online at www.sarasotadowntownmerchants.com and become eligible to win a gift certificate that generously has been donated by Sully at Patricks 1481!

I hope to see all of our SDMA members at the monthly meeting on Thursday, May 12, when Captain Kevin Stiff of the ­Sarasota ­Police Department will be our guest speaker. See the SDMA ­website and watch your e-mail for all of the details!

JR, the mascot at Soto's Opticians

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