The season has kicked off with a bang in Sarasota. There’s always a lot going on here, but when the snowbirds start flocking back there are so many events in Sarasota that you have to pick and choose which to attend. This past week was the downtown Halloween celebration, where I captured these photos of kids (and adults) who had gone all out in the costume department:
Today I had to choose between the Sarasota Reading Festival and the Annual Blues Festival. Since I am trying hard to make myself into a writer, and the reading festival promotes literacy and provides a venue for authors to showcase their books, I decided that was where I belonged. The downtown streets were closed to all but pedestrian traffic and lined with booths manned by dozens of authors, publishers and printing firms.
Gene Wilder and Lou Dobbs both made appearances to promote their new books – Wilder for “My French Whore” and Dobbs for “Independence Day.” I did not attend Dobbs’ lecture on principle, since attendees were required to buy a copy of his book (and I might add that he was the only author who put such a stipulation on his presentation), however I did attend Wilder’s presentation. He’s as funny in person as he is in his movies and seems to be a genuinely warm and caring individual. Here my photos show him playing to a packed house and later, signing books for a long line of devotees.
Woven into all this were stage performances by local performing arts troupes; wandering actors from the various professional theaters in town, like this fella, who is currently starring as Charles Dickens in “Tale of Two Cities” at the Asolo Theater; LOTS of garbage food vendors; booths from all the non-profit, community service, and educational organizations in town; and most importantly for me, all the local magazines. I gave out my business cards with abandon (I had cards printed when I was in Thailand that say I am a writer/photographer – my belief being that saying it will make it so) and made quite a few good contacts.
Several publications told me they are actively seeking new writers and asked me to drop my resume off next week. So all in all, it was a most productive and enjoyable event for me. And from the looks of it, the other 49,999 people who attended had a pretty good time, too.