Opening Ceremony at the 2017 World Rowing Championships

SARASOTA-BRADENTON, FLA—Saturday, September 23, on the eve of the first day of competition at the 2017 World Rowing Championships, Sarasota-Bradenton residents and the international rowing community will celebrate the biggest event of the year, at Nathan Benderson Park.

Similar to the stunning spectacle that takes place before the Olympic Games, the Opening Ceremony at the World Rowing Championships commemorates the start of the marquee regatta, while paying homage to the nearly 2,000 participating rowers and the dozens of countries they represent.

The free, non-ticketed event will be emceed by a world-renowned NBA public address announcer, who has showcased his talents during NBA All-Star Weekend and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

In a stunning display of local talent, the Opening Ceremony will tell the story of Florida’s Suncoast and how it became the amazing coastal and cultural community it is today. Acts include:

  • Circus Sarasota (Circus Arts Conservatory and Sailor Circus)
  • Jah Movement Reggae Band
  • Sarasota Cuban Ballet School
  • Sarasota Pops Orchestra
  • Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team
  • Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe

At the end of the evening, Creative Pyrotechnics will light up the night sky with a dazzling firework show over Nathan Benderson Park. Spectators can also expect several surprises!

The event kicks-off at 5:30 p.m. with the incredible Fan Fest Presented by the Herald-Tribune experience that will invite guests from near and far to engage with Sarasota’s finest family-friendly activities. Come hungry because many of the area’s most talked about food trucks and restaurants will serve their most popular menu items.

“The Opening Ceremony is something not to be missed,” said Sue Brady, the director of production for the 2017 World Rowing Championships. “Guests will experience great entertainment, featuring so many of the amazing arts groups from the Sarasota-Bradenton area. It’s going to be a magical evening that will have everyone up and dancing.”

The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County has been instrumental in assisting the 2017 World Rowing Championships with securing the acts for the extravaganza.

“It’s not every day that a community gets an opportunity to have a showcase to the world,” said Jim Shirley, the executive director of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County. “The Arts and Cultural Alliance and our member organizations are very excited to take part in this historic event. The Sarasota/Bradenton area is well known as the cultural coast of Florida and we look forward to letting the world know what a great cultural gem they can experience when they visit here.”

The admission gate will open at 5:30 p.m. with the ceremony beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Additional details will be announced at a later date.