2021 DSA Annual Party and Awards Celebration Press Release

The Downtown Sarasota Alliance announces their 2021 Awards for Pandemic Business Survivors and Thrivers

On Thursday June 24, 2021, the Downtown Sarasota Alliance, (DSA), held its annual party at Tamiami Tap.  Although the event was postponed several times due to pandemic precautions, the party enjoyed full attendance with members and friends of the DSA.

The DSA presented its 2021 Awards to businesses that emerged successful from the pandemic’s economic upheaval.  Organizations that made extraordinary contributions to the community during this difficult time, were also recognized.

The “2nd Annual Paul Thorpe ‘Mr. Downtown’ Award” went to Howard Alan Events.  This organization has been a staple in the Downtown Sarasota art scene for the last 34 years adding additional Craft Fairs to fill out the accompanying seasons throughout the year.  Howard Alan Events has generated millions of dollars for communities across the country – including Sarasota.  Downtown Sarasota enjoyed some of the first large scale events to be approved during the pandemic.  Howard Alan Events’ development of safety protocols for COVID and their tenacious planning and optimism were rewarded with thousands attending the 34th Annual Festival of the Arts in February 2021. Main Street in Downtown Sarasota, was transformed into a spectacular art festival experience.

The DSA awarded Visit Sarasota County the “Community Impact Award 2021” for their creative and quick response to assist local businesses and organizations in navigating the brand-new loan and grant processes that were offered as a response to economic challenges imposed by the pandemic.  Visit Sarasota County was also recognized for their steady optimism in continuing to aggressively market Sarasota as an excellent tourist destination.

The Salvation Army was awarded “Non-Profit of the Year Award 2021” by the DSA for their extraordinary work during the pandemic.  The Salvation Army has taken the reigns to help Sarasota’s most vulnerable citizens and continued to do so during persistently difficult times.  Their commitment to assist the homeless who visit their center, were invaluable.


The DSA recognized Rise and Nye’s as “Best New Business 2021”. Rise and Nye’s opened just six months ago and have already won the hearts of all who step into their coffee and ice cream shop.  Rise and Nye’s “inclusion revolution” has shown the wider public how productive and successful a business can be when including and considering employees with different abilities.

Lastly, Project Pride SRQ presented the “Young Professional of the Year 2021 Award” to Dylan Ulrich, small business owner of 10 Ten Fitness for his perseverance and creative business response during the pandemic.

Generous sponsors for the night’s events were DTC, Stark Tech Group, Project Pride SRQ, and The Meadows Country Club.

Food was provided by Tamiami Tap, Der Dutchman, Nothing Bundt Cakes, element.steak.seafood.past., Tsunami Hibachi, Rise and Nye’s and 1592 Wood Fired Kitchen & cocktails.

Donations were provided by: 10 Ten Fitness, 1592 Wood Fired Kitchen & Cocktails, 99 Bottles, ALOFT, Asolo Rep, Bird Key Yacht Club, Cinebistro, Der Dutchman, Discover Sarasota Tours, DuVal’s, element: steak. seafood. Pasta, Embassy Suites, Florida Everblades, Florida Studio Theatre, Hotel Indigo, Janet Arena, John San Vicente, Le Barge Sunset Cruise, Mattison’s, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Orioles, Patrick’s 1481, Plant Parents, Rise & Nye’s, Sarasota Art Museum, Sarasota Opera, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Senior Friendship Center, Serbin Printing, Siesta Key Rum, Tamiami Tap, The Meadows Country Club, Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi, and Urbanite Theatre Company




Thank you vendors and donors!