Safety Reminders and Road Closures
The Suncoast Summer Fest festivities will be happening from June 24, 2021, through July 4, 2021, throughout the City of Sarasota. This will include the 36th Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix the weekend of June 26-27, 2021 along Lido Beach.
Races and festivities will attract thousands of people to the City of Sarasota. The Sarasota Police Department is committed to keeping residents and visitors safe. The Sarasota Police Department wants you and your family to enjoy Suncoast Summer Fest safely and always remember that if you SEE something, SAY something. Report any suspicious activity or behavior to law enforcement immediately.
Road Closures / Parking
Vehicles not removed by the posted time will be towed at the owner’s expense. For information on towed vehicles, please call Upman’s Towing at 941-364-7084.
- Van Wezel Parking Lots / Van Wezel Way from East End to 10th Street
- Closed from 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 24, 2021, until 10 p.m. Sunday, June 27, 2021.
- “Boats on the Block” Downtown Block Party (6 p.m. – 10 pm.) Street Closures on Friday, June 25, 2021
- 1:30 p.m. – Midnight: Lemon Avenue closed from First Street to Main Street
- 3:30 p.m. – Midnight:
- Main Street closed from Orange Avenue to Gulfstream Avenue
- Central Avenue closed from First Street to Main Street
- Pineapple Avenue closed from First Street to Main Street
- South Palm Avenue closed from Main Street to McAnsh Square
- North Palm Avenue closed from Main Street to Alley Way
- First Street closed from Central Avenue to Pineapple Avenue
NOTE: Due to limited parking spaces, it is highly encouraged to carpool to weekend events. Illegally parked vehicles are subject to ticketing. Vehicles blocking private driveways are subject to towing. Anticipate long delays from the beach area after the races. Expect an exit time of over one hour when leaving the beach viewing area.
Centennial Park / Boat Ramp Closures
11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 24, 2021, until 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 27, 2021.
This area will be utilized as the staging area for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. There will be no boat ramp access during this time. A suggested alternative boat ramp includes Ken Thompson Park on City Island and various boat ramps in Manatee and southern Sarasota County.
New Pass Closure
On the water, New Pass will be closed during the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. The pass will be closed west of the New Pass bridge. Boaters will still be able to access the cove. Closures will be as follows:
- 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, 2021
- 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, June 27, 2021
Sunday, July 4, 2021 – Fireworks & Parade Road Closures/Limited Parking
- 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Orange Avenue will be closed from Oak Street to Mound Street for the parade staging area.
- 7 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.: Bayfront Drive (US 41) will be closed from Osprey Avenue to Gulfstream Avenue for the parade and fireworks.
- Parking Lot at Bayfront Park/ Island Park will be closed when the parking lot has reached maximum capacity. No parking will be permitted on the grass area on the south end of Bayfront Park.
- Parking will not be allowed in the median on John Ringling Boulevard. Vehicles will not be allowed to park there as in years past. Drivers should observe the ‘No Parking’ signs.
- Palm Avenue Garage & State Street Garage – Additional parking will be available at both of these parking garages on the Fourth of July. Expect delays when exiting due to heavy traffic. There are no parking fees on Sundays and City observed holidays.
NOTE: Vehicle traffic leaving the Bayfront/Downtown area following the parade and fireworks on Sunday, July 4, 2021, will be subject to certain restricted traffic control measures as part of a comprehensive exit plan. Expect long traffic delays of up to one hour when exiting the event area.
Plan Ahead: Have a Designated Driver
AAA Tow To Go: AAA Tow to Go Program will be offered to make sure those who are celebrating the holiday get home safely. The free, confidential, local ride is within a 10-mile radius of a safe location. This is offered beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, July 2, 2021, until 6 a.m. on Monday, July 5, 2021, in Florida. Call 1-855-TOW-2-GO (1-855-286-9246) or visit https://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/safety/tow_to_go.aspx
Race Day Information
A live stream of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix will be shown live on the following channels:
Facebook Page: P1 Offshore www.facebook.com/p1offshore
YouTube Channel: Powerboat P1 https://www.youtube.com/c/powerboatp1
Lido Beach Holiday Hours
The Sarasota County Sea Turtle Protection Ordinance requires that all beach furniture and equipment be removed from the beach nightly, until sunrise the following morning. According to amended Sarasota City Code Sec. 22-4, Lido Key public beaches will be closed to beachgoers from 11 p.m. until sunrise. This means Lido Key beach will be closed to all beachgoers, race spectators, and beach equipment until sunrise, which is approximately 6:30 a.m., during Suncoast Summer Fest events. The Sarasota Police Department will be enforcing closure times to protect the safety of all beachgoers, including the marine turtle kind. To protect the environment, spectators are being asked to stay off sand dunes along Lido Beach. Please note: Dogs are not allowed on Lido Beach.
Beach Equipment & Marine Turtle Protection
In addition to expanded marine, foot, and vehicle patrols, the Sarasota Police Department will be protecting public safety during the Suncoast Summer Fest events by posting signs prohibiting beachgoers from storing and leaving unattended personal property on Lido Beach, pursuant to Sarasota City Code Sec. 21-44. This is for the protection of all beachgoers and their belongings, to help ensure a safe and orderly race and beach-going experience. Beach furniture and other beach equipment, toys or trash, left on the beach overnight during marine turtle nesting season can pose a serious entanglement hazard and obstacle for marine turtles and their hatchlings.
The Sarasota County Sea Turtle Protection Ordinance requires any “temporary structures, including but not limited to beach chairs, umbrellas and cabanas, which have the potential for entrapment of marine turtles and which may interfere with the use of the natural beach environment for nesting habitat, be removed from the beach nightly, from sunset to sunrise.” Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, the Sarasota Police Department, Sarasota County Parks Department, and Suncoast Summer Fest organizers are partnering to protect endangered marine turtles and ask for the public’s help in making this a safe event for all.
The Sarasota Police Department is conducting enhanced enforcement measures to ensure the conservation and protection of several threatened species of native wildlife of Lido Key, efforts complemented by the work of Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Marine Turtles, Black Skimmers, Least Terns, and Snowy Plovers all share Lido Beach and are protected under state and federal law. Beachgoers should be aware of posted signage and fencing and stay away from marine turtle nests and seabird nesting zones. It is important to not enter any posted areas and to avoid any behaviors that may disturb the wildlife.
Disturbances can cause birds to leave their eggs and chicks unattended, making them vulnerable to predators and overheating. Sarasota Police officers will be working in collaboration with volunteers from Audubon and Mote Marine to patrol nesting locations to ensure the protection of the beautiful Florida wildlife on Lido Key. If members of the public observe any stranded, sick, or injured marine turtles or mammals, they can contact Mote’s Stranding Investigations Program, a 24-hour response program in Sarasota and Manatee counties, at 941-988-0212.