Friday Night Concert Series

Friday Night Concert Series

Join the fun in historic downtown Venice for the bimonthly Friday Night Concert Series at the gazebo in Centennial Park! This event, hosted by Venice MainStreet and sponsored by Neal Communities, is held every second and fourth Friday of each month from 7pm-9pm and is free and open to the public. PLEASE NOTE: Attendees are asked to follow current CDC guidelines. Bring your own chairs or picnic blankets. No alcohol is permitted in Centennial Park.

To follow our events on Facebook CLICK HERE. Musicians and bands interested in being considered for future concert dates, please download and send in the following form: CLICK HERE.


November 11
Joe Mullan

November 25
Venice Vagabonds

December 9 
George Durham and Company Band

Please Note: There is NO CONCERT on December 23rd


January 13
Assisted Living Band

January 27
Patchouli & Terra Guitarra

February 10
Kit Jones

February 24
Steve Arvey

March 10
Harbor Drive

March 24
Doug Burns

April 14 Please Note: No concert due to another scheduled community event at the gazebo

April 28
Swinging Bridge

May 12
Tiki Vibe

More to be announced soon!

Events Update for Downtown Venice

Events Update for Downtown Venice

The City of Venice’s special event permit moratorium was reinstated on July 24, 2020. According to the City of Venice, “Consistent with current CDC guidelines on large gatherings and social distancing, as a protective measure against the spread of coronavirus, the City of Venice is reinstating its moratorium on the issuance of special event permits on public property within the City. This restriction will remain in effect until further notice.” Therefore, all of Venice MainStreet’s signature downtown events requiring permits are canceled until the moratorium ends.


ONGOING- Gazebo Starlight Cinema (Movies in the Park!)

ONGOING- Gazebo Starlight Cinema (Movies in the Park!)

FREE! Sponsored by Venice Institute for Performing Arts (VIPA). Bring your favorite lawn chair and enjoy FREE movies on the first Friday of each month! Movies start at sunset in Centennial Park. Shop local and support Venice businesses and restaurants by buying your movie snacks, dinner, ice cream or gelato downtown.

Check back here often for movie titles posted throughout the year or follow our events on Facebook or our online calendar. Learn more about the Gazebo Starlight Cinema program HEREPlease note this monthly event may be subject to change or cancellation due to the impact of COVID 19 and precautions for public health and safety.

January 3-   Percy Jackson and the Olympians
February 7-   X-Men
March 6-   The Sand Lot
August 7- CANCELED
September 4- CANCELED
October 2- TBD
November 6- TBD
December 4- TBD

FEBRUARY- Braves on Miami Avenue

FEBRUARY- Braves on Miami Avenue

Dust off your baseball caps and join the block party on Miami Avenue in downtown Venice on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 5 to 10 p.m. to kick off the beginning of spring training in Mardi Gras style. Hosted by Venice MainStreet in partnership with the Atlanta Braves Spring Training Organization, the evening will be filled with fun activities for the whole family.

Enjoy kids activities, a 50/50 raffle, food trucks from The Maine Menu, Shaky Dogs, Dirty Dogs Mini Donuts, Kona Ice and Budweiser beer. Mardi Gras merchandise will be available for purchase, so get those beads! The Grammy award winning Rebirth Brass Band, a New Orleans institution, will transport attendees to the streets of the French Quarter, with its combination of traditional instrumentation with funk, hip-hop, soul, and other modern elements. The band takes the stage at 6pm and its high energy will be sure to have everyone dancing in the streets. Mike Burnett and the Suns of Circumstance perform at 8pm.

Braves legends Rafael Furcal and Andruw Jones will be in attendance for a meet and greet from 5pm-8pm. Rafael is a three-time N.L. All-Star, including in 2003 while with the Braves, and has appeared in 59 career postseason games, and won the 2011 World Series with St. Louis. A career .281 (1817-for-6477) batter in 14 majors league seasons with Atlanta, Los Angeles (NL), St. Louis and Miami, he hit 113 home runs and stole 314 bases in 1,614 games. Rafael was a career .227 batter in the playoffs and was named the 2000 N.L. Rookie of the Year, after he batted .295/.394/.382 with 40 stolen bases and 87 runs in 131 games for Atlanta. Furcal owns the Atlanta franchise record (since 1966) with 189 stolen bases, and ranks second in triples (38) and seventh in runs (554).

Andruw Jones was signed by the Braves as an amateur free agent in 1993, Jones spent 14 years in the Atlanta organization, including 12 at the major league level. Jones spent time with five different Major League organizations and played two years with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japan Pacific League during his 21-year playing career (1994-2014.) A career .254 hitter in the majors, he totaled 434 home runs and 1,289 RBI in 2,196 games. He hit a franchise-record 51 home runs in 2005. Now Andruw is a special assistant to baseball operations, instructing and assisting minor-league outfielders during regular and spring seasons, and assists with major league workouts during the spring.

Michael Dunn, Vice President of Florida Operations for the Atlanta Braves, shared, “We are thrilled to be invited by Venice MainStreet to help celebrate the start of Atlanta Braves Spring Training. Atlanta Brave legend Andruw Jones and others will be on hand to help kick off the season!”

Proceeds from this event go to two local nonprofit organizations: Venice Challenger Baseball and Venice MainStreet. Admission is $5 and kids under 12 are free. Parking is within comfortable walking distance. Don’t miss out on this wonderful community event. For more information, go to or contact Venice MainStreet at 941-484-6722.
Purchase tickets: HERE 

FEBRUARY- Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Crawl

FEBRUARY- Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Crawl

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Come parade with our second line band in Historic Downtown Venice! The after-party to follow will be at Daiquiri Deck Raw Bar and Made in Italy.
Music stops include the following locations:
Café Venice
Ciao Gelato
Crate and Marrow
Dick’s Shoes
Mother’s Cupboard Spice Shoppe
TJ Carney’s
Venice Avenue Creamery
Venice In Vogue
Venice Wine and Coffee

MARCH- Annual Downtown Venice Art Classic

MARCH- Annual Downtown Venice Art Classic

March 7th-8th


Vibrant downtown Venice will transform into an art-lover’s Mecca during the 19th Annual Downtown Venice Art Classic. Over 200 of the nation’s top artists will set up booths, gallery-style along West Venice Avenue on Saturday and Sunday, March 7th & 8th from 10 am to 5 pm. Residents and visitors are invited to stroll amidst life-size sculptures, spectacular paintings, one-of-a-kind jewels, photography, ceramics and more during the free, outdoor event.

To apply for upcoming arts and crafts festivals organized by Howard Alan Events, click here.

New MainStreet Business Partner Artisan SignMasters: A Full Service Sign Company

New MainStreet Business Partner Artisan SignMasters: A Full Service Sign Company

Artisan SignMasters, a division of Lykins Signtek, is a one-stop shop for all your signage needs, servicing the local community in Nokomis, Venice, Siesta Key, and Sarasota County for more than 30 years. From simple vinyl lettering and graphics, including vehicle wraps to ADA signage to full-size monument signs, they do it all.

Most recently, Artisan SignMasters has expanded its product offerings to include electrical signs, pylon signs, street signs, and residential and commercial mailboxes. Artisan SignMasters is located at 580 Central Avenue, Nokomis; 941-484-9169; Hours of operation—Monday-Thursday 8-4 and Friday 8-4:30. For more information visit

Cleaning Out Your Pantry: Think Food Bank

Cleaning Out Your Pantry: Think Food Bank

As spring cleaning begins and the snowbirds prepare to head north, remember to gather up your unwanted non-perishable food items and drop them off at the local food bank. Any Goodwill location in Venice will accept food donations on behalf of All Faiths Food Bank. And if you can, support All Faith’s Campaign Against Summer Hunger.

In Sarasota County, nearly half of children participate in the free and reduced meal programs at school. So when school ends for the summer, many of these children are at risk of hunger. Last year, the campaign enabled the distribution of 3.3 million meals to more than 38,000 children.

Together we can make a real difference in ending hunger in our community. To learn more, contact All Faiths Food Bank at 941-379-6333 or log on to

A Book Lover’s Event:  Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival

A Book Lover’s Event: Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival

Bringing together the people who create books with the people who love to read them is at the heart of this two-day event. On Friday, March 20, 2020, an array of lectures and panel discussions will take place during the Writers Festival at the William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Public Library from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The festival is a special opportunity to chat with journalists, publishers, and authors, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Festival Schedule Overview- March 20th 
10:30-11:30 Writing about Family with Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, Writer-in-Residence at the Hermitage Artist Retreat.

1:30-2:30 Raising a Writer: A Conversation with a Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist and Her Author-Mom. Lane DeGregory, a Pulitzer Prize recipient, and her mother, Clarissa Thomasson, will offer insights on raising readers, kids who write, write well and win awards. Maria Carrillo, Deputy Editor of the Tampa Bay Times, will moderate.

3:00-4:00 How to Turn Your Expertise into a Book, panel discussion moderated by Venice High School teacher, Beth Donofrio. Panel members include Craig Faulkner and Ray Sinibaldi, authors of 61 Motivational Stories for Every Coach of Every Sport, along with Dr. Christopher Cortman, author of Your Mind: An Owner’s Manual for a Better Life.

4:30-5:30 So, You Wanna Write a Book? is a panel discussion on finding and maximizing literary representation, editing, publicizing, marketing, and selling your book. Panel members include Turtle Tales author Kim Cool, Shark Fin Soup author Susan Klaus, literary agent Amanda Leuck, and Venice Books-A-Million store manager Myra Turley. Camille Cline, Literary Spa Editor, will moderate.

Registration is required for the Writers Festival and should be done via the book fair website, A donation of $25 is requested to attend and must be made via the website.

Book Fair- March 21st
The Writers Festival will be followed by a book fair on Saturday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Monty Andrews Arboretum in West Blalock Park. The book fair, which is free to the public, will feature more than 50 authors and vendors to satisfy all your literary interests. You will be delighted with the variety of genres from children’s literature to science fiction. Authors of every genre are looking forward to chatting with you and your children.

Take a moment while visiting the many writers and educational vendors to enjoy the arboretum, home to more than 80 species of trees and palms identified with information signs, along with a Florida-friendly native shrub area, butterfly garden, and four life-size animal sculptures. Enjoy lunch in the park from one of the food trucks that will be parked on Nassau Street between Milan and Turin Streets.

Come celebrate the art of the written word at this fun, cultural, community event. All proceeds from the Book Fair and Writers Festival go to Venice Heritage, Inc., the 501c3 fundraising arm of two historic sites in Venice—the Lord-Higel House, currently under restoration, and the Venice Museum and Archives. For more information on this literary event, visit