Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Safety Reminders & Road Closures

SARASOTA, Fla. – June 26, 2015 – 9:30 a.m.

The 4th of July holiday is around the corner but planning a safe celebration for you, your family and friends is well underway. The Sarasota Police Department wants you to enjoy the holiday safely and as always, if you see something, say something. Please report any suspicious activity or behavior to law enforcement immediately.

The Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix (which is held June 27th – July 5th) is a large part of the 4th of July festivities each year and the Sarasota Police Department is committed to keeping our residents and visitors safe during this exciting and memorable time.

Unattended Personal Property

In addition to marine, foot, and vehicle patrols, the Sarasota Police Department will be protecting public safety during the July 4 weekend by posting signs prohibiting beachgoers from storing and leaving unattended personal property on Lido Beach. The newly enacted Sarasota City Code Sec. 21-44 regulates, among other things, the storage of unattended personal property on public property. City Code Sec. 21-44 will prohibit beachgoers from storing and leaving unattended any personal property on Lido Beach during the July 4 holiday weekend. This is for the protection of all beachgoers and their belongings, ensuring a safe, orderly and peaceful beach-going experience.

Plan Ahead: Have a Designated Driver BeMyDD: If you’re planning to enjoy alcohol during the holiday weekend, please have a plan in place to get home safely. BeMyDD offers two services: Designated Driver and Pick Up Service. With Designated Driver, you can reserve a driver for the day or evening and pay per hour. The Pick Up Service has a sober driver pick up you and your car and take you back home. You pay a pick up fee plus mileage. More information can be found at

AAA Tow To Go: AAA Tow to Go Program is offered to make sure those celebrating the holiday get home safely. The confidential, free, local ride is within a 10-mile radius to a safe location. This is offered July 3rd through 6 a.m. on July 6th in Florida, Georgia of Tennessee. Call 1-855-TOW-2-GO (1-855-286-9246) or visit for more information

Pets The Sarasota Police Department is encouraging spectators to leave their pets at home for the 4th of July and the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix festivities. Last year, several animals were lost because they were spooked during the festivities.

Parking & Free Transportation

The SRQ Trolley Group will have free shuttles to take beach and race spectators to Lido Beach to help with traffic and parking congestion. Those people planning to head to the beach or the races are encouraged to use the shuttles. The free trolley service is being funded via two generous donations to Suncoast Charities for Children from the Downtown Improvement District and A.D. Morgan.

The free shuttle service will be from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, July 4, 2015 and Sunday, July 5, 2015.

• The shuttles will run from the Palm Avenue Garage to the Lido Beach Pavilion

There will be NO PARKING allowed on the Bayfront on the south end of Island Park, between Ringling Boulevard south to the Selby Gardens property line, during the fireworks display on the 4th of July. This is a designated pedestrian viewing area only. No vehicles will be allowed to park on the grass in this area.

The holiday celebrations and parties bring street closures and traffic restrictions during the festivities. 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 941-365-7084. The road and parking lot closures are as follows:

THURSDAY, JULY 2, 2015 – POWER BOATS BY THE BAY SET UP Van Wezel Parking Lot CLOSED 7 a.m. July 2rd – 12:30 a.m. July 6th

10 a.m. – Midnight Lemon Avenue: First Street to State Street
2 p.m. – 8 p.m. East Avenue: Main Street to Fruitville Road
3 p.m. – 8 p.m. Main Street: US 301 to School Avenue
5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Main Street: Palm Avenue to Gulfstream Avenue
5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Main Street: US 301 to Orange Avenue
5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Gulfstream Ave: Main Street to Cocoanut Avenue
5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Cocoanut Ave: Gulfstream to Palm Avenue
5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Main Street: Pineapple to Palm Avenue
5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Main Street: Orange Avenue to Central Avenue
6 p.m. – 8 p.m. North & South Orange Avenue: Fruitville Rd to Ringling Blvd
6 p.m. – 8 p.m. North & South Osprey Avenue: Fruitville Rd to Ringling Blvd
6 p.m. – 8 p.m. North & South Links Avenue: Fruitville Rd to Ringling Blvd


Before and following the Parade of Boats, the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival Block Party will be held along Main Street in downtown Sarasota.

• 10 a.m. to Midnight on Friday, July 3rd, Lemon Avenue between 1st Street and State Street will be closed for the Block Party.

• Following the Parade of Boats (approximately 5 p.m.) until Midnight, Main Street from Orange Avenue to Central Avenue and Pineapple Avenue to Palm Avenue will be closed for the Block Party.

FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2015 – SUNDAY, JULY 5, 2015 Centennial Park / Boat Ramp CLOSED

Friday, July 3, 2015 at 11 p.m. through Sunday, July 5, 2015, at 6:00 p.m.

• This area will be utilized as the staging area for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix race boats

• Van Wezel Parking Lot – Entry by Permit Only – Boats on the Bay set-up period begins

• No boat ramp access during this period. A suggested alternative boat ramp for use during this period is located in Ken Thompson Park next to Mote Marine Laboratory, on City Island.

FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2015 – POWER BOATS BY THE BAY 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

• 10th Street and N. Tamiami Trail entry to the Van Wezel and Centennial Park is CLOSED to all traffic (open to pedestrian traffic from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, July 3rd)

• Van Wezel Way at Plaza Del Santo Domingo is closed – restricted entry for race participants, vendors, and sponsors. Vehicle issued entry pass required or entry denied.

FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2015 – SUNDAY, JULY 5, 2015 SOUTH LIDO PARKING LOT CLOSURE This is for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival South Lido Parking Lot closes at 3 p.m. on Fri., July 3, 2015 and reopens Sun., July 5, 2015 at 5 p.m.


• Saturday, July 4, 2015 - New Pass will be closed from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

• Sunday, July 5, 2015 - New Pass will be closed from 9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

No unauthorized vessel traffic in New Pass from Channel Marker #9 westward (seaward)


Bayfront Drive (US 41), from Gulfstream Avenue to Orange Avenue will close at 7:00 p.m. and will remain closed until approximately 11:00 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 – located on Palm Avenue, between Main Street and Cocoanut Avenue, 700 free parking spaces. Expect delays when exiting due to heavy traffic.

NOTE: Vehicle Traffic leaving the Bayfront/ Downtown area following the July 4th Fireworks 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.


SUNDAY, JULY 5, 2015:


Due to limited parking spaces, it is highly recommended to carpool.
Illegal Parking/Blocked driveways: Illegally parked vehicles are subjected to ticketing. Vehicles blocking private driveways are subjected to towing.
Anticipate long delays from the beach area at the conclusion of the race. Expect an exit time in excess of one hour when leaving the beach viewing area.
Officers and deputies will be on high alert for DUI drivers. Use a designated driver and report all suspected drivers driving under the influence to a law enforcement officer.