Don’t Miss These Holiday Events in Sarasota and AMI!

If you’re planning a Florida vacation this holiday season, then you’re going to want to hear about the incredible Anna Maria Island events happening this year! Staying on Anna Maria Island lets you relax and unwind, focusing on celebrating the holidays with the ones you love most.

While you’re here, you can also head to the mainland to experience unique events in Sarasota as well. Here are a few of our favorite local holiday happenings!

Tree Lighting (AMI and Sarasota)

No holiday celebration would be complete without a tree lighting, and you can find ceremonies in both Sarasota and Anna Maria Island!

The Sarasota tree lighting will be taking place on December 1, 2022, at Selby Five Points Park. The celebration will run from 6 to 8 p.m., but the tree itself will be lit at 7 p.m. While you’re here, you can indulge in refreshments, listen to incredible live music from local artists, and even get a photo with Santa himself!

The Anna Maria Island tree lighting is expected to take place on November 24, 2022, in Bradenton Beach. You can enjoy the sights and sounds of Bridge Street before or after the tree is lit at 6 p.m. Listen to the carolers, grab some candy for the kids, and enjoy activities like mini golf and live music. Use the Anna Maria Island Trolley to get there without having to worry about parking. 

Gingerbread Festival

Of all the fun Sarasota events, the Gingerbread Festival is one of the most beloved. This event is normally held at The Mall at UTC and typically runs for a week or more, giving you plenty of time to get involved in the festivities. 

Details are still being finalized for the 2022 celebration. However, in the past, more than 150 local schools, businesses, and organizations have created unique gingerbread houses to be put on display! Check out the fabulous creations and vote for your favorite. If you find one you really fall in love with, you may even be able to purchase it!

When you attend the Gingerbread Festival, you can rest assured that you’re supporting a good cause. This family-friendly event is presented by the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida.

Boat Parades (Bradenton Beach and Sarasota)

A parade is a quintessential part of the holiday season, but have you ever witnessed a boat parade? If you’re staying in one of our Sarasota vacation rentals this holiday, you can!

Sarasota will hold its 26th annual holiday parade on December 3rd, 2022. You’ll see incredible floats lit up with breathtaking Christmas lights; be sure to bring your camera to capture all the action! Kids and adults alike will love looking out for Santa and deciding which float is their favorite.

You can also experience a holiday parade in nearby Bradenton Beach. The Bradenton Beach Boat Parade has long been considered one of the best things to do in Anna Maria Island during holidays. 2022 marks the fourth annual event! You can attend the parade for free and enjoy an amazing view of the water while the lit-up boats travel along the water. 

AMI Privateers Christmas Parade

Guests in our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals have plenty of opportunities to mingle with the locals and enjoy the island’s traditions. Attending the AMI Privateers Christmas Parade is just one great example! The AMI Privateers is a nonprofit that’s been operating in the area since 1971. They work to support local youth and hold fun-filled events throughout the year, often collecting donations for their scholarship programs. 

The AMI Privateers Christmas Parade will take place on December 10, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will run the length of AMI, starting at the north entrance of Coquina Beach in the Bradenton Beach community and heading north, finishing at City Pier Park in Anna Maria. 

Be sure to stick around after the parade to attend the Christmas party with Santa! Kids of all ages are welcome to come out and enjoy the festivities to get in the holiday spirit. 

Christmas on Bridge Street

Bridge Street is one of the most popular hangout spots on Anna Maria Island, offering plenty of history, lots of shopping and dining options, and a fabulous pier. While you’re here, don’t miss Christmas on Bridge Street!

Plan Your Anna Maria Island Vacation!

Planning your dream vacation to Anna Maria Island doesn’t have to be complex! When you book with Mainsail Vacation Rentals, it’s simple! Just view our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, reserve your favorite, and prepare for your best getaway yet!

You can walk up and down Bridge Street and visit the local restaurants, which often offer special holiday menus and book fun holiday acts. As you explore, you can also enjoy various activities like face painting and sand art. Be sure to stop by the Christmas tree and get your picture taken with Santa Claus!

We’re still waiting on details for the date and time of the 2022 celebration, so keep your eyes peeled for more information! 

The holidays are filled with fun things to do in Sarasota and Anna Maria Island. To make the most of your time here, check out the vacation rentals available through Mainsail! We offer convenient rental properties in Sarasota and on Anna Maria Island, putting you near all your “can’t miss” attractions. Enjoy amenities like high-speed internet, fully stocked kitchens, and flat-screen TVs. 

This holiday season, your “White Christmas” could be spent on the white sand instead of the snow! Our team can help you plan your ultimate holiday getaway to the Florida shores. Contact Mainsail Vacation Rentals today to learn more.