Sarasota PD release security, parking tips for upcoming events


SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) – Sarasota Police are offering some advice as the city prepares to host several events in the coming weeks.

First up, the Suncoast Summer Fest will take place from June 24 to July 4 across the city of Sarasota. This will also include the 36th Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix on the weekend of June 26-27 along Lido Beach.

Police said the events would attract thousands of people. If you see any suspicious behavior, let them know.

The events will also affect parking and traffic downtown. Here is a full list of road closures and parking changes:

Road closures / Parking

Vehicles not collected at the time indicated will be towed at the owner’s expense. For more information on towed vehicles, please call Upman’s Towing at 941-364-7084.

  • Van Wezel Parkings / Van Wezel Way from East End to 10th Street
  • Closed from 11:59 p.m. on Thursday June 24 until 10 p.m. on Sunday June 27.
  • “Boats on the Block” neighborhood party downtown (6 pm to 10 pm) Street closures on Friday, June 25
  • 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, carpooling is strongly recommended for weekend events. Illegally parked vehicles are subject to a fine. Vehicles blocking private aisles are subject to towing. Expect long delays from the beach area after the races. Expect an exit time of over an hour when you exit the beach viewing area.

Closures of Centennial Park and the boat launch 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, June 24 until 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 27.

This area will be used as a staging area for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. There will be no boat launch access during this time Another suggested boat launch includes Ken Thompson Park on City Island and various boat launch ramps in Manatee and in southern Sarasota County.

Closure of the new pass On the water, the 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. The closures will be as follows:

  • from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday June 26
  • 9 am-5pm Sunday June 27

After the film festival, the city of Sarasota will also be preparing for its fireworks on July 4th.

Sunday July 4, 2021 – Fireworks and parade path 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 at Bayfront Park / Island Park will be closed when the car park has reached its maximum capacity. No parking will be permitted on the lawn at the south end of Bayfront Park.
  • Parking will be do not be authorized in the median of boulevard John Ringling. Vehicles will not be allowed to park there as in the past. Drivers must observe the “No Parking” signs.
  • Palm Avenue Garage & State Street Garage – Additional parking spaces will be available in these two car parks on July 4. Expect delays when exiting due to heavy traffic. There is no parking charge on Sundays and City holidays.

NOTE: Vehicle traffic leaving the Bayfront / Downtown area after the Sunday July 4th parade and fireworks will be subject to certain restricted traffic control measures as part of a comprehensive exit plan. Expect long traffic delays of up to an hour when leaving the event area.

Plan ahead: have a designated driver AAA Towing To Go: The AAA Tow to Go program will be offered to ensure those celebrating the holidays get home safely. The free, confidential and local ride is within a 10 mile radius of a safe location. This is offered from 6 p.m. on Friday, July 2 until 6 a.m. on Monday, July 5, in Florida. Call 1-855-TOW-2-GO (1-855-286-9246) or visit

Holiday hours at Lido beach: the Sarasota County Marine Turtle Protection Ordinance requires that all beach furniture and equipment be removed from the beach every evening, until sunrise the next morning. According to modified Sarasota City Code Sec. 22-4, Lido Key’s public beaches will be closed to beachgoers from 11 p.m. until sunrise. This means Lido Key Beach will be closed to all beach goers, race spectators, and beach gear until sunrise, approximately 6:30 a.m., during the Suncoast Summer Fest events. The Sarasota Police Department will enforce shutdown times to protect the safety of all beach goers, including sea turtles. To protect the environment, spectators are asked to stay away from the sand dunes along Lido beach. Please note: Dogs are not allowed on the Lido beach. Beach gear and marine turtle protection In addition to expanded maritime, foot and vehicle patrols, the Sarasota Police Department will protect public safety during Suncoast Summer Fest events by posting signs prohibiting beachgoers from storing and leaving personal property unattended on the Lido beach, in accordance with Sarasota City Code Sec. 21-44. This is intended for the protection of all beach goers and their personal belongings, to ensure a safe and orderly running and beach experience. Beach furniture and other beach equipment, toys or litter left on the beach overnight during sea turtle nesting season can pose a serious entanglement risk and a hindrance to sea turtles and their hatchlings.

the Sarasota County Marine Turtle Protection Ordinance requires that “temporary structures, including but not limited to beach chairs, umbrellas and cabanas, which could trap sea turtles and which could interfere with the use of the natural environment of the beach for nesting habitat, be removed from the beach every evening from sunset to sunrise. Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, Sarasota Police Department, Sarasota County Parks Department and Suncoast Summer Fest organizers are teaming up to protect endangered sea turtles and asking for the public’s help to make this event a safe event for all.

Wildlife protection The Sarasota Police Department is leading enhanced enforcement action to ensure the conservation and protection of several endangered species of Lido Key’s native wildlife, efforts complemented by the work of the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Sea turtles, black skimmers, small terns, and snow plovers all share Lido beach and are protected by federal and state laws. Beach goers should be aware of posted signage and fences and stay away from sea turtle nests and seabird nesting areas. It is important not to enter the marked areas and to avoid any behavior that could disturb the fauna.

Disturbance can cause birds to leave their eggs and chicks unattended, making them vulnerable to predators and overheating. Sarasota Police Officers will work with volunteers from Audubon and Mote Marine to patrol the nesting grounds to ensure the protection of Florida’s magnificent wildlife on Lido Key. If members of the public observe stranded, sick or injured sea 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 .

For more information on the Suncoast Summer Fest, visit

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