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Sarasota Grand Prix

The 35th Annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival will be held June 29 – July 7, 2019 and will attract thousands of people to the City of Sarasota.

  • Date: -  
  • Location: Main St
    Van Wezel Way, Lido Beach
  • Introduction: July 3rd : Kickoff Party 6 p.m. -10 p.m. - Van Wezel Way Performing Arts Hall
    July 4th: Bayfront Island Fireworks 9 p.m. - Marina Jack
    July 5th: "Boats on Main" Block Party - 6 p.m. -10 p.m. - Main Street
    July 7th: Grand Prix Races 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Lido Beach

The Sarasota Police Department is committed to keeping our residents and visitors safe.  The Sarasota Police Department wants you to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday safely and always, if you SEE something, SAY something.  Report any suspicious activity or behavior to law enforcement immediately.  

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.  Pursuant 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 Grand Prix Festival events.  The Sarasota Police Department will be enforcing closure times to protect the safety of all beachgoers, including the marine turtle kind.  Due to beach erosion, spectators are being asked to stay off sand dunes along 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 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival 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 the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix are partnering to protect endangered marine turtles and ask for your help in making this a safe event for all.

Wildlife Protection

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 complimented by the work of the nonprofit Mote Marine Laboratory.  Marine Turtles, Black Skimmers, Least Terns and Snow 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 the birds to leave their eggs and chicks unattended, making them vulnerable to predators and overheating.  Sarasota Police officers will be patrolling nesting locations and volunteers from Audubon and Mote Marine will be working in collaboration with the Sarasota Police Department 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, 24-hour response program in Sarasota and Manatee counties, at 941-988-0212.

Race Day Information

Any race operations (including delays) will be announced on race control frequency only.  A live stream of the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix will be shown on Facebook Live at

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 to a safe location.  This is offered Tuesday, July 3rd until 6 a.m. on Friday, July 5th in Florida. Call 1-855-TOW-2-GO (1-855-286-9246) or visit 

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 8 p.m. Thursday, July 4, 2019 until 6 p.m. Sunday, July 7, 2019.   
  • South Lido Overflow Parking Lot 10 p.m. Saturday, July 6, 2019 until 5 p.m., Sunday, July 7, 2019.
  • Downtown Block Party (6 p.m. – 10 pm.) Street Closures on Friday, July 5, 2019:
    • 1:30 p.m. – Midnight:  Lemon Avenue closed from First Street to Main Street

    3:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

    • 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


    Due to limited parking spaces, it’s highly recommended 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 at the conclusion of the races on Sunday.  Expect an exit time in excess of one hour when leaving the beach viewing area.

    Centennial Park / Boat Ramp Closures

    11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 4, 2019 until 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 7, 2019.

    This area will be utilized as the staging area for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival.  There will be no boat ramp access during this time.  A suggested alternative boat ramp is located in Ken Thompson Park next to Mote Marine Laboratory on City Island. 

    New Pass Closure 

    New Pass will be closed Sunday, July 7, 2019 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.  The pass will be closed west of the New Pass Bridge.  Boaters will be able to access the cove.  

    Thursday, July 4, 2019 – Fireworks & Road Closures/Limited Parking 
    • Bayfront Drive (US 41), from Gulfstream Avenue to Orange Avenue will close at 7:00 p.m. and will remain closed until approximately 11:30 p.m. 
    • 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 south end of Bayfront. 
    • Palm Avenue Garage & State Street Garage – Additional parking will be available at both of these parking garages.  Expect delays when exiting due to heavy traffic.

    NOTE: Vehicle Traffic leaving the Bayfront/ Downtown area following the July 4th Fireworks on Thursday, July 4, 2019 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 upon exit from the event area.


    The Sarasota Police Department is encouraging race spectators to leave their pets at home for the Fourth of July and the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix festivities. During past events, several animals were lost because they were spooked during the events.  For additional information about the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix, visit 


Contact: Sarah Catell 941-706- 3685 /

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