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 the second and fourth Friday of each month from 7pm-9pm and is free and open to the public. Bring your own chairs or picnic blankets. PLEASE NOTE: 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.


January 13
Assisted Living Band

January 27
Patchouli & Terra Guitarra

February 10
Rick Chapman

February 24
Steve Arvey

March 10
Harbor Drive

March 24
Doug Burns

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

April 28
Swinging Bridge

May 12
Nick Fiasco

May 26
Joe Mullan

June 9
Jane Bond

June 23
Shindig Band

July 14
Sara Nelms

July 28
Larry & Jeannie

August 11
George McVey River Road

August 25
Latitude 26

September 8
Robert Garcia

September 22
2 Peace

October 13
No concert due to another scheduled community event at the gazebo

October 27
The Seamus McCarthy Band

November 10
Rocky Rick

November 24
Paul Mezzanotte

December 8
Joshua Reilly Trio

December 22
The Venice Chorale

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

Use SeeClickFix to help keep Venice beautiful

Use SeeClickFix to help keep Venice beautiful

The City of Venice makes it easy for residents to report issues and help keep Venice beautiful. Use SeeClickFix Venice Connect (click here for link) to request assistance with City of Venice services or to report problems such as potholes, roadside junk, broken sidewalks, storm drain issues, traffic signal/sign problems, code violations, etc. Users can also submit photos of the issue to assist City staff. Venice Connect will acknowledge newly submitted issues and forward them to the appropriate departments to take care of the requests. Users will receive email updates and can return to the site to check the status of submitted issues. When the issue is resolved, the issue will be closed.

SeeClickFix is also available as an app for iPhone and Android. Select Venice Connect from the app store on your device. For more information about this app contact Shirley Gibson at 941-882-7439 or go to

Thank you, Nick Flerlage and Welcome, Ronnie Fernandez and 2020 Board!

Thank you, Nick Flerlage and Welcome, Ronnie Fernandez and 2020 Board!

Many thanks to Venice MainStreet’s outgoing 2019 Board President, Nick Flerlage! Nick served on all committees for MainStreet offering leadership and support. He devoted countless hours to our nonprofit organization and will continue to serve on the Board of Directors. Nick and his wife Beth are Realtors for The Flerlage Team for the RE/MAX Alliance Group.

We are excited to have Ronnie Fernandez as our new Venice MainStreet President for 2020! Ronnie is Assistant Bank Manager for CenterState Bank and works with his wife Tiffany at Venice Florida Tours, a business they started that offers walking tours of downtown Venice. Ronnie also serves the community as Board President of Venice Heritage, Inc. We look forward to his ideas and energy to support MainStreet’s mission to preserve, protect and promote historic downtown Venice.

2020 Board of Directors

Ronnie Fernandez, President
Sandra Di Pentima, Vice President
Patrick Carney, Secretary
Brad Patton, Treasurer
Andrew Britton
Kathy Crisman
Nick Flerlage
Jeannie Gomes
Rod Nafziger
Bill Willson

Exploring Venice’s Historic Heritage

Exploring Venice’s Historic Heritage

Photo above courtesy of Venice Florida Tours

What better way to start the new year than learning about the rich history of the Venice area. With all the activities and programs sponsored by Venice’s three local historical organizations—Venice Museum & Archives, Venice Area Historical Society, and Venice Heritage, Inc.—it is easy to immerse yourself in the city’s historical journey.

Take a guided, docent-led walking tour or pick up a self-guided tour map of historic downtown Venice, created in partnership with Venice Heritage, Inc., Venice Museum & Archives, and Venice MainStreet. They are available at the information kiosk in Centennial Park Mondays to Saturdays 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m; at the Venice MainStreet office downtown at 101 W. Venice Ave., Suite 23; and at the Venice Museum & Archives. So make a resolution today to explore our historic district and read the stories that bring our city’s history to life. You might discover something new!

Venice Museum & Archives
Venice Museum & Archives, housed in a 1927 building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, maintains a collection of more than 30,000 photographs, archives, objects, and publications pertaining to the area’s history. The museum engages visitors with permanent and changing exhibits; admission is free. Now through July 29, 2020, the museum is displaying a new exhibit—Playing in Paradise: The History of Venice Sports. The museum is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and first and third Saturdays now through April from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Architectural Walking Tours
Walking tours of the city, led by Architectural Historian Sebastian Liseo, are being offered by the Venice Museum & Archives on Tuesdays (Venezia Park Walking Tour) and Thursdays (Grand Homes Walking Tour) from January through mid-April 2020. 24 hour advance registration is required via email or (941) 486-2487. Tickets $20. More information at

Downtown Walking Tours
Guided walking tours, including haunted history tours, are available through Venice Florida Tours. Reservations can be made at, 817-793-8433.

Venice Area Historical Society
Venice Area Historical Society offers free tours of the Historic Venice Train Depot on Saturdays year-round from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and seasonally, now through April, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It also sponsors a lecture series, which is free and open to the public. This year’s theme is “Women Get the Vote.” Go to for the program schedule.

Venice Heritage, Inc.
Venice Heritage, Inc. is offering trolley tours of historic Venice on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at The group also is showing free monthly movies about Venice’s history at the William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Public Library. The next one—Reflections: A History of Sarasota County—is slated for Friday, January 17, 2020 at 2 p.m. in the library’s community room.

A Successful Year for MainStreet and Great Things to Come

A Successful Year for MainStreet and Great Things to Come

By Kara Morgan, Venice MainStreet CEO

What an incredible year! Venice MainStreet, a nonprofit 501(C)3 organization, works to make Venice better for everyone, an effort that would not be possible without your commitment and partnership. Thank you to the individuals, companies, and organizations who gave to our community this year. Thank you for caring, believing, and being a part of this amazing network of people and progress.

Our priority has always been to establish meaningful relationships in the community. All year long we welcomed new businesses, new residents, and new visitors to Venice. We achieved exciting milestones including growing to over 400 partners and welcoming over 100,000 people to 37 MainStreet events.

Most visibly, we created a public art mural on Celebration Corner at Nassau Street and Venice Avenue. We collaborated with the Venice Institute of Performing Arts for the family-friendly Gazebo Starlight Cinema program, which will continue in 2020.

For 2020, we are excited to continue to bring 24 concerts to the Centennial Park Gazebo, 5 downtown art and craft festivals, along with our Wine Walks, Oktoberfest, Christmas in July, Barstool Open, Venice Beach Party and Christmas Walk, among other fun community events. From the board of directors, staff, and volunteers of Venice MainStreet, Inc. we wish you a Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year!

The Beautification of Historic Downtown Venice is Complete!

The Beautification of Historic Downtown Venice is Complete!

The beautification of historic downtown Venice is complete. The roads are paved and open. The sidewalks are wide and inviting. New trees, potted plants and hanging flower baskets adorn the avenues adding charm and a pop of color.

Venice MainStreet, Inc. is lucky to have a home in the 100 block of West Venice Avenue and the staff has the pleasure to be a part of historic downtown interacting with visitors. The month of June has been a wonderful rejuvenation and we have seen an increase in foot traffic. This past weekend, June 15 and 16, the craft festival and farmers market saw an increase in attendance of 30%, stated by Lee Perron with the Venice Farmers Market. Venice MainStreet CEO, Kara Morgan, encourages everyone to come and see the improvements and spend the day in Venice. “There is something for everyone here; varieties of restaurants, stores and services,” said Morgan. “There is also the opportunity to spend time outdoors with family and children in Centennial Park, the Intergenerational Children’s Fountain and of course our brand new interactive art mural on the corner of Nassau St and W Venice Ave.”

City Engineer Kathleen Weeden added, “We want to thank the voters who passed the road bond referendum in 2016, as well as the Florida Department of Transportation and the state Legislature, which provided funds along with the 1-cent sales tax to complete this important project. This combined funding effort allowed us to do major improvements. We worked hard to keep the charm of downtown while rehabilitating the infrastructure so it will last for decades. Come see this beautiful gem!”

The City of Venice is celebrating all of the accomplishments of the beautification on July 8th at 11am with a short ceremony in Centennial Park, followed by a ribbon cutting on West Venice Avenue to officially present the downtown improvements to the citizens and visitors of the city. The City of Venice welcomes the public to be a part of the celebration. We can’t wait to see you in Venice!

Greetings from New CEO, Kara Morgan

Greetings from New CEO, Kara Morgan

Dear Friends,

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I extend this greeting to you and recognized the privilege I have been given to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Venice MainStreet. MainStreet is proud to have served our community since 1987, and has rapidly met the growing needs of the community through high quality marketing, special projects, and preservation efforts. It has become a leader in the State of Florida Main Street Districts. For these reasons, and my passion for Venice as a resident for four years, I am thrilled to be joining this team.

The work done by Venice MainStreet, its partners, and friends has impact. As we get to know one another, I will demonstrate that the work we now share is not only professional, but also personal. Preservation and beautification of historic downtown Venice are critical to the character and vitality of this area. These assets, which lie at the heart of our mission are critical tools for remaining a destination, place of business, and home.  

As part of our commitment to our community, and with the help and support of our staff, board of directors and volunteers, we continue to expand our services, receive numerous accolades and recognitions. Although Venice MainStreet appreciates these awards, we are most honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve the community.

Our focus now is to continue to distinguish historic downtown Venice as a leader in the MainStreet community. We’re committed to continuously search for new ways to improve our quality and make Venice the best place for visitors, residents, and business owners to live, work and play. On behalf of your Venice MainStreet staff, I extend our sincere thanks for all your support. This is a proud day for me and I look forward to learning from all of you and working alongside you.


Kara Morgan
Chief Executive Officer
Venice MainStreet, Inc.

Loveland Center Expands ADT Program

Loveland Center Expands ADT Program

Almost 60 years ago in 1962, a group of parents in the Venice area sought to be the voice for children with disabilities and advocate for educational and community services. That was the beginning the organization known as the Loveland Center. Today, the Loveland Center, located at 157 S Havana Road, includes a planned residential community tailored specifically for adults with developmental disabilities and programs such as The Supported Employment and Adult Day Training.

A major program of the Loveland center, the Adult Day Training, has expanded tremendously and now offers 31 unique classes for individuals to choose from, including gardening, news and cooking. The goal of the ADT Program is to strengthen the participants’ daily life in ways including communication and social skills. The program also strives to improve independence, decision making and self-advocacy. Participants are able to fully customize their schedules by choosing classes and experiential learning opportunities that interest them and help to achieve their personal goals. To further enhance the learning experience, each class has unique community integration opportunities.

One of the opportunities offered by Loveland’s Adult Day Training Program is a cooking class. Participants begin by browsing through grocery store circulars to see what items are on sale that week. They make their shopping lists based off the sale items and the amount of money they have to spend. The community integration opportunity in this class comes when the group actually takes a trip to Publix to shop for their ingredients before coming back to the Loveland campus to further learn about the cooking process.

To learn more about Loveland Center and their Adult Day Training Program, please visit or call 941-493-0016. Stay up-to-date with the Loveland Center by following them on