From fascinating talks by Gen. John Kelley to exquisite dance, music and art, this is one of those special weeks where you’re especially happy to be in Vero Beach. Plan this next week carefully and you will find yourself awash in wonderful cultural activities.
Art by the Sea, presented by the Vero Beach Art Club, will have its annual exhibit and sale this weekend in the Holmes Great Hall at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. More than 200 artists will have works for sale. It opens to the public with a cocktail reception 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. The exhibit continues 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Part of the sales goes to the Vero Beach Art Club scholarship fund. The Vero Beach Museum of Art is at 3001 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach. Visit VeroBeachArtClub.org.
The Indian River Symphonic Association presents the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Friday evening. The concert features virtuoso pianist Khatia Buniatishvili performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Also on the program will be W. Walton’s “Portsmouth Point Overture” and J. Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in D major. The concert begins 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Community Church of Vero Beach, 1901 23rd Street. Tickets range from $60 to $95. There are a limited number of $10 student tickets. Call 772-778-1070 or visit IRSymphonic.org.
Sebastian Riverfront Fine Art & Music Festival runs this weekend along what should be mostly the sunny banks of the Indian River. About 120 artists come in from around the country to show works at this annual event. You’ll also hear live bluegrass, country, soul, Island and rock music. There will also be food vendors. “We have several parking lots,” said organizer Richard Robinson, husband of the event’s late founder, Lisanne Robinson. “But we get close to 30,000 people, so parking does fill up pretty fast.” The Sebastian Riverfront Fine Art & Music Festival runs 10 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Riverview Park, U.S. 1 and County Road 512, Sebastian. For more information, visit SebastianArtShow.com.
Ballet Vero Beach opens its season with “Founding Fathers,” Friday and Saturday at the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center. Don’t expect an American history lesson set to dance. These founding fathers are the ones who created Ballet Vero Beach. There will be a world premiere, “Tunic and Tutus,” by principal dancer Camilo A. Rodriguez. It features three dancers and the music of Rossini. Rodriguez will also perform his solo piece, “Harlequin/Pierrot.” Also on the program is “Friends and Lovers,” by artistic director Adam Schnell, who created the piece when he was resident choreographer with the Sarasota Ballet. Set to the music of Bruch’s Concerto for Two Pianos, it was created after the September 11 attacks and explores the human need for love, companionship and hope. “Founding Fathers” performances begin 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center, 1707 16th St. Tickets are $10 to $75. Call 772-905-2651 or visit BalletVeroBeach.org.
Bring the whole family to the Fossil Discovery Hour Saturday afternoon at the McKee Botanical Garden. Children should delight in exploring Florida’s unusual fossils. The whole family can get their hands into fossiliferous gravel as they search for shark’s teeth, bones, shells, stingray spines and more. Fred Mazza, the president of Paleo Discoveries, will educate participants on their finds. Mazza has been a fossil hunter for more than 30 years and has contributed unusual finds to the Florida Museum of Natural History and to the New Jersey State Museum. And while you’re there, stroll through the gardens. There’s something fascinating and beautiful around every corner. The Fossil Discovery Hour begins 1 p.m. Saturday at McKee Botanical Garden, 350 U.S. 1, Vero Beach. Admission is $15 general, $13 seniors and $10 children 2 to 12 years of age. Admission is free for members. Call 772-794-0601 or visit McKeeGarden.org.
Gen. John Kelly speaks Monday for the Distinguished Lecturer Series at Riverside Theatre. Yes, this is the man who was in the headlines from 2017 to 2019 as the White House Chief of Staff. Before that, he was the Secretary of Homeland Security. He will lecture twice, at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday at Riverside Theatre, 3250 Riverside Dr. Tickets are sold out, but there’s always a possibility to pick up a ticket at the box office. Admission is general, at $100. You can also get on a waiting list by calling the box office at 772-231-6990 or, for more information, visit RiversideTheatre.com.