All of us at Wittmer & Linehan PLLC are excited to again be stage sponsors for the Thunder By The Bay Festival this year. Not only do we get to connect with thousands of people in the community, but the event also raises funds and awareness for the Suncoast Charities for Children. After a rather rainy outing last year at the Premier Sports Complex in Lakewood Ranch, this year’s event returns to Sarasota, with one night downtown and the majority of the festival at the Sarasota Fairgrounds.

The first official event starts on February 2. Registration for the Sporting Clay Tournament at Knight’s Trail Range begins at 11:30 a.m., and the event actually kicks off at 1 p.m. with a BBQ following the tournament.

To get the festival fully underway, the “Born To Be Wild” Kickoff Party will return to the Michaels On East Ballroom on Thursday, February 15, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $150 per person, which includes an open bar, plenty of food, and a silent auction. Have a fun time getting dressed up in your best “biker chic.”

On Friday, February 16, Thunder By The Bay makes its long-awaited return to Downtown Sarasota from 7 p.m. to midnight. The “Light Up The Night” Bike Show will be lighting up Main Street and Sarasota favorites Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio will be performing at 7:30 p.m., followed by the Billy Rice Band at 9:30 p.m.

On Saturday, February 17, things will be kicking into higher gear. The festival makes its move to the Sarasota County Fairgrounds for two days of performances, live music, vendors, and celebration of all things with an engine and two wheels. Flat Out Freestyle will be performing motorcycle stunt shows throughout the day, and you won’t want to miss the motorcycle rodeo. The “Old Iron” Bike Show will celebrate the older bikes, with trophies given out at 4 p.m., and a fireworks display is set for 9:30 p.m.

The festivities continue through Sunday, February 18 at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, with a “Cruise for Cash” Charity Ride starting at 9:30 a.m. at Sarasota Ford, the “Miss Thunder By The Bay” Contest Preliminaries starting at 2:45 p.m.

While this year doesn’t boast a classic rock headline like last year’s Blue Oyster Cult, along with a number of celebrated local bands, there are plenty of tribute bands playing the music you love. The theme this year is “The Festival Where Rock Meets Country”, and that is very appropriate considering the musical lineup. Saturday’s bands include The Boss Hawg Band at noon, Tobacco Road at 2 p.m., China Grove (a Doobie Brothers tribute band) at 4 p.m., Diary of an Ozzman (an Ozzy Osbourne tribute band) at 6 p.m., and Vegas McGraw (a Tim McGraw tribute) at 8 p.m. Sunday has the Soul Circus Cowboys kicking off at 11:15 a.m., the Alter Eagles (an Eagles tribute band) at 12:45 p.m., and The Bobby Friss Band at 3:30 p.m.

We are very excited to experience the next stage of the Thunder By The Bay festival and look forward to seeing many of you there. Check out our Thunder By The Bay event page and if you go to the festival, be sure to stop by our booth to say hello.