Island Chatter: November

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Red-tide warnings returned to Siesta Key on Oct. 8

Siesta Key’s Turtle Beach and Siesta Beach have joined the list of areas where elevated levels of red tide are present, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota announced Oct. 8. As a result, signage has been posted to warn the public of the situation.

On Sept. 29, the return of red tide had been discovered at Longboat Key, Bird Key Park/Ringling Causeway, North Lido, Lido Casino, South Lido, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty, Venice Beach, Service Club, Venice Fishing Pier, Brodhard Park, Caspersen, Manasota Key, and Blind Pass.

Earlier, on July 13, Siesta Key was among 16 county beaches designated with red tide conditions and was finally first dropped from warning status on Sept. 9.

Many county beaches, parks now close at 10 p.m.

Starting Oct. 1, park hours for many Sarasota County-owned public beaches and parks were changed to a 10 p.m. closing time. Previously, it was midnight.

Opening time remains 6 a.m.

The parks on and near Siesta Key that are impacted are Siesta Beach; public beach accesses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 12; Givens Street beach access; Turtle Beach; and Phillippi Estate Park.

According to the county, these changes are being implemented to improve the safety of park visitors, for maintenance considerations, and to reduce impacts on natural and cultural resources.

Sponsors sought for veterans camping weekend at Turtle Beach

Sarasota County is hosting a Veteran’s Day Camping Weekend at Turtle Beach Campground, 8862 Midnight Pass Rd., on Nov. 12 through 14.

Special activities will be planned for participants.

To sponsor a campsite for a veteran, or to make a campsite reservation, call (941) 861-2267. For more information, go to

Register now for Sandy Claws Beach Run

Early registration is underway for the Sandy Claws Beach Run, held Dec. 11 at Siesta Beach.

Those who register by Nov. 17 receive the best price, plus a long-sleeve performance event T-shirt and runner bag (no-shows forfeit these items).

To register, visit

Those who register after Nov. 17 receive an event shirt and runner bag while supplies last. 

The event features a 1-mile Hot Cocoa Run at 8 a.m. and the 5K race at 8:20 a.m.

An early-packet-pickup party is set for 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 9 at New Balance Sarasota, 1872 Stickney Point Rd.

the 5K race will is chip-timed and sanctioned by the Manasota Track Club. Medals will be given to 5K finishers and ribbons to 1-mile finishers. Custom awards will go out to first- through sixth-place finishers in all age categories.

Music, food and a raffle will highlight the event, along with a holiday-themed costume contest.

Proceeds benefit the “Summer in the Parks” Adopt-a-Camper Scholarship Fund.

For more information, call (941) 861-5000.

Our cameras are rolling

Did you know that the Siesta Sand has a YouTube channel? Currently, the channel has 19 videos posted and each one offers a snippet of life on Siesta Key.

The Siesta Sand also publishes a new video weekly in the Siesta Sand eNewsletter, along with the latest current news impacting life on Siesta Key and special offers from local businesses.

To subscribe to the Siesta Sand eNewsletter, simply go to our website ( and click on “subscribe” in the top right corner on the homepage and you will be directed to the subscription form.

You can also easily subscribe to our Siesta Sand YouTube channel. All you need is a YouTube account. Simply watch one of our videos on our website and you will be taken to YouTube and just click on “subscribe.”

Annual holiday parade is Nov. 27; participants, sponsors, volunteers sought

Nov. 27 is the big day for the 36th annual Light Up Siesta Key & Village Holiday Parade.

A festive decor and a holiday atmosphere will be on display, beginning at Avenida del Mare and Beach Road at 5:30 p.m., traveling north on Beach Road onto Ocean Boulevard into the Village.

Those looking to participate should visit for more information, including a required preregistration form. There is a $50 fee per entry; $35 for non-profit organizations).

Santa will arrive at the Siesta Center at 6:30 p.m. and will greet children and pose for pictures until 8:30 p.m. The first 250 kids who visit Santa will receive a gift bag, courtesy of Beach Bazaar.

Free transportation is provided by the Siesta Breeze Trolley, from Turtle Beach to the Village, with multiple stops in between.

Sponsorships are available, as are volunteer opportunities. Email or call (941) 349-3800.

Furniture being rented at public beach

Chairs, loungers, umbrellas, and cabanas are among the items now available for rent on Siesta Beach.

Boucher Brothers, a hospitality management firm doing business on both Florida coasts, is offering the rentals daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.  Set-up of all items is included.

Chamber holiday event is Dec. 2

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Reception is set for Dec. 2 at Marina Jack.

Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts will be served. Tickets are $65 each or $120 for two.

A gift raffle will be held.

RSVP is required. Visit 

Siesta Sand
Author: Siesta Sand

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