Big changes are happening in downtown Sarasota!
On July 22, 2015, at 5:00 p.m., after months upon months of construction, the State Street Parking
Garage officially opened for business! And by all counts, it was well worth the wait, bringing 400 additional parking spots to our downtown shopping and dining destinations.
In addition to easing congestion at the Palm Avenue Parking Garage, the convenient location of the new State Street facility now provides long-term parking in another area of our city, which should have a positive affect on the traffic flow in and out of downtown, while also opening up two-hour parking spots in front of shops on our streets and avenues.
The construction of another roundabout at the always congested intersection of Orange Avenue and Main Street is another boon for downtown’s future traffic flow. While the detours during the development of the roundabout may be exasperating, the project, which is headed by Swift Construction, is certain to be completed on time and, even more importantly, will keep traffic moving along Main Street as we, once again, approach season.
Speaking of season, the Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association (SDMA) is gearing up for numerous events that will take us through the end of the year and well into 2016!
First on the calendar is the brand new “Second Friday Cruise Night,” which will be held on Friday, September 11, in the Baptist Church parking lot on State Street. Engines will be revving when all kinds of cars—from antiques and classics to hot rods—will be lined up side by side for an evening of amazing auto show entertainment!
On Saturday, October 31, Five Points Park will be the frightfully fun setting for the Fourth Annual Dog-a-Ween, hosted by Wet Noses and the SDMA. Held from 9:00 a.m. to noon, there will be music and entertainment, as well as a costume parade with prizes in five categories. Registration is $5 for each dog and proceeds will benefit Royal Rescue, one of our local animal organizations. For details, please see the article on page 14.
In November, the SDMA is sponsoring the Sarasota Outdoor Living and Home Expo and the Sarasota Fall Fine Art Festival, two major events organized by Paragon Productions that bring thousands of people downtown.
And have I got exciting news for December! In addition to hosting our Annual Tree Lighting Party in Five Points Park on a new night of the week—Thursday, December 3—SDMA is honored to take over the reins of planning the Sarasota Downtown New Year’s Party 2015 from “Mr. Downtown,” Paul Thorpe!
If you are interested in helping to organize downtown Sarasota’s biggest event of the year that draws as many as 25,000 attendees to our city, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I challenge each and every one of you to support SDMA in its ongoing work to make downtown Sarasota a vibrant community with stellar entertainment opportunities for all!