1. Before Nik Wallenda walks by the Sarasota Bayfront, he'll start to command the Big Top off of 12th Street for his Circus Sarasota show.
The show runs from Friday, Jan. 25 to Friday, Feb. 15 under the Big Top across from Ed Smith Stadium.
The show includes Wallenda's family performing trademark Wallenda acts, legendary aerialist Dolly Jacobs, a juggling married couple and a ventriloquist.
For more information, visit circussarasota.org.
2. The Big Cat Habitat Animal Extravaganza features more than lions and tigers.
Come out for a petting zoo or hop on an elephant, came or pony for a ride. The annual fundraiser runs each weekend through Feb. 24 with gates opening at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. with two-hour animal demonstrations starting at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets are $18 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under.
3. The Tampa Bay Lightning Rolling Thunder van will be at the Lakewood Ranch Golf Club Friday, but you're not there really for the van. Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman and Lighting CEO Tod Leiweke will be on hand at noon for a special announcement with Lakewood Ranch development officials for a special announcement. The Lightning Girls and ThunderBug will be there, too.
4. Pie conquers all in Pinecraft. The second annual Pinecraft Pie Contest returns Friday from 10:30 to 12:30 p.m., where Pinecraft community members put their baking skills to the test. It will be held at the Everence Federal Credit Union, 3407 Bahia Vista St. Your friendly Patch Editor Charles Schelle will be one of the guest judges for this year's contest.
5. The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is packed with shows this weekend. It kicks off with Natalie Cole on Thursday, group Doo Wop! stops by on Friday, Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill is here Saturday then Monty Python's Spamalot finishes off the weekend on Sunday. Visit VanWezel.org for tickets and showtimes.