Welcome, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice!

Welcome, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice!

Venice MainStreet is delighted to have the Unitarian Universalist Congragation of Venice (UUCOV) join as a Nonprofit Partener this year. UUCOV is a welcoming, caring community encouraging spiritual growth, seeking meaning and pursuing justice. The UUCOV’s vision is to strengthen the UUCOV community, spread the message of Unitarian Universalism, develop greater intergenerational and cultural diversity, promote leadership for environmental stewardship, and promote a fair, just and peaceful world. 

In a climate of joy, goodwill and trust, this congregation covenants
– to treat one another with kindness and respect,
– to listen with openness and acceptance,
– to support and protect the environment of which we are all a part,
– to solve problems responsibly as we grow and change,
– to encourage learning and nurture the growth of diverse human spirits, and
– to dedicate time, talent and resources in an effort to make a difference in local and world communities.

I am so happy to be serving the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice as its first-ever settled minister. Previously, I served for ten years as minister to the First Unitarian Church of Alton, Illinois, and before that, ran a construction business while raising a family in St. Louis, Missouri.

Reared in Texas, I received engineering degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington, then moved to St. Louis where I got involved in business and the community as well as the local Unitarian Universalist church. My lay leadership in that church led me to enter the ministry and attend Eden Theological Seminary near my home in St Louis.

My wife Linda and I have seven children between us, spread all across the continent in CA, MI, MO, PA, and TX. Despite our geographical remoteness, we are a close-knit bunch and find the time to get together whenever we can. Linda and I have found the people of UUCOV to be as warm and welcoming a group of folks as there is. They are people who have decided to make this their spiritual home, and with good reason: there is evident in this place an openness to diversity coupled with a call to action to live out our liberal faith.

I hope you’ll come check us out. I believe you’ll be glad you did.

1971 Pinebrook Road, Venice, Florida 34292-1563

Photo credit: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice

Congratulations to the 2021 Holiday Window Decorating Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the 2021 Holiday Window Decorating Contest Winners!

Downtown Venice is aglow and full of holiday cheer thanks to the hard work and creativity of many of the shops and restaurants that decorated for this holiday season. Each year Venice MainStreet holds a Holiday Window Decorating Contest and invites its downtown Business Partners to participate. Venice MainStreet staff and its Design Committee voted for winners in six different categories. Visit downtown Venice this month and decide which windows are your favorites!

2021 Winners:

Most Creative Window
1st Place: Sunbug
2nd Place: Florida Violins

Most Elegant Window
1st Place: Venice Island Gallery
2nd Place: The Boutique by the Beach

Most Traditional Window
1st Place: Bodrum Restaurant
2nd Place: Heitel Jewelers

Most Creative Use of Merchandise
1st Place: Collectors Gallery & Framery
2nd Place: The Island Bookshop

Most Whimsical Window
1st Place: Croissant and Co.
2nd Place: Eyes on You

Best Use of Lights
1st Place: St. Marco Boutique
2nd Place: Venice Avenue Creamery

Explore Local History

There are so many fun ways to discover local Venice history! Here are some great options to explore.


Historic Downtown Venice Self-Guided Tour
Online map available HERE
Pick up a printed map at the Centennial Park Information Kiosk at 200 West Venice Avenue
or at the Venice MainStreet Office at 101 West Venice Ave. Suite 23.


Historic Venice Train Depot

Explore on your own or take a docent-led tour of the historic 1927 Venice Train Depot. Tours are offered by the Venice Area Historical Society (please check website for tour details). Explore the adjacent Rollins W. Coakley Railroad Park with its statue of the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus animal trainer, Gunther Gebel Williams; a restored caboose, donated by CSX Corporation; and restored Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train car installed in 2021. Located at 303 East Venice Ave., Venice FL 34285.

Kentucky Military Institute display at San Marco Building
Visitors to the historic San Marco on Tampa Avenue can enjoy a display honoring the legacy of the Kentucky Military Institute (KMI) in Venice. Funded by the KMI Alumni Association, in partnership with the Venice Centre Association and its collection, it includes memorabilia, photographs and a documentary on the fascinating history of the military school in Venice from 1933 to 1970. 
238 Tampa Avenue West, Venice, FL 34285
Learn more about the San Marco

Lord-Higel House
Constructed in 1896 by Joseph Lord, the Lord-Higel House is the second oldest house in Sarasota County.
409 Granada Ave., Venice, FL 34285


Sarasota County Auto Tours

The Sarasota County Centennial Committee is pleased to announce the release of its auto tours available on a free app. Explore Sarasota County’s notable landmarks and places of interest.
As you travel from place to place we’ll take you back in time. Hear the stories and see the sights that are part of the colorful history of Sarasota County, Florida. Audio narration and travel directions will trigger automatically as you drive (with GPS location services enabled on your phone). Auto Tours include the following: BAYFRONT, BEE RIDGE, COURTHOUSE AREA, DOWNTOWN/5 POINTS, ENGLEWOOD, 
Narrated history tour download available HERE

Venice Museum & Archives

Located in the historic Triangle Inn listed on National Register of Historic Places. Docent-led tours available.
Current Exhibits:
Woody Thayer: Venice’s Eyes and Ears of the 1950s, February 6, 2023 through January 17, 2024
Historic Homes of Venice: The Work of Artist Patricia Everson, Dec. 5, 2022 through July 26, 2023
351 Nassau Street South, Venice, FL 34285
(941) 486-2487


Venice Quest Scavenger Hunt

Presented by Venice Area Chamber of Commerce. Download free Scavify App at Google Play or AppStore.
– FantaSea Mermaids & Seahorses Quest
– History
– Arts & Culture
– Downtown/Venice Beach Walk
– Young at Heart
– Shark Spotting
– Search for Fairy Doors
– Venice Public Library Centennial Quest


Sarasota Suncoast Tours/ Key Culinary Tours
Offers Sarasota County area ghost tours, family adventure tours, private group sightseeing trolley or mini bus tours, and food tours. Venice tours include International Wine Walk Tour, Historic Venice Culinary Tour and Shark’s Teeth & More Family Adventure.




Architectural Walking Tours

Offered by Venice Museum & Archives
Seasonal walking tours (typically January through April) 

Explore historic neighborhoods and architecture on Venice island led by Architectural Historian, Sebastian Liseo.


Venice Florida Tours
Offers Venice history walking, bicycling, ghost tours, as well as tours by golf cart. Private tours are also available upon request.


Venice MainStreet Volunteer Strut 2021

Venice MainStreet Volunteer Strut 2021

We are so happy to welcome back our amazing group of Venice MainStreet Downtown Ambassadors with our 2021 Volunteer Strut (11/15/21). During the peak tourist season, they will be manning the information kiosk in Centennial Park, helping us distrubute event fliers to our downtown merchant partners and helping us staff our upcoming events. Venice MainStreet could not exist without their time, talents and dedication to our community. Thank you, “Downtowners!”

Attending the Volunteer Strut:
Joe & Pat Colonnese
Mikey Eberhart
Syd & Margo Emmons
Barbara Feltquate
Ronnie Fernandez
Arlene Ferrick
Jo Gruenwald
James Haas
Bill & Trish Harris
Larry & Tracy Ivey
Rod Nafziger
Linda Nelson
Ambrose Nolan
Shirley Pollack
Verna Silk
Harry & Gail Thompson
Dee Wright

Christmas Walk 2021

Christmas Walk 2021

December 2, 2021 from 5-8pm in Historic Downtown Venice
Free to the public!

Presented by Venice MainStreet, the downtown Venice Christmas Walk is a shopping and dining promotion to support local small businesses. Enjoy extended hours at local shops, treats, live music and the twinkle of lights on decorated trees along Miami, Tampa and West Venice avenues. Take a stroll and delight in the warm glow of decorated holiday storefront windows. Find out who won Venice MainStreet’s awards for Most Creative, Most Elegant, Most Traditional, Most Creative Use of Merchandise, Most Whimsical, and Best Use of Lights.

5-6 pm- Tangi & Jess, 310 West Venice Avenue
6-7pm- Fountain Park at intersection of Miami Avenue West and Nokomis Ave/Ponce de Leon
7-7:30pm- Roaming Miami Ave. West
7:30-8pm- Bodrum Restaurant, 225 Miami Ave. West

Venetian Harmony Chorus
The Venice Chorale Holiday Singers
Lion Rampant Pipe and Drum

Bain– Daiquiri Deck, 300 W Venice Ave.
George DeJong– Gulf Shores Realty, 351 W Venice Ave.
Kenny Moolenaar (steel drums)– Burgundy Square Cafe and Bodrum, 225-227 Miami Ave. W
Nick Sperry– Venice Wine and Coffee Co., 201 W Venice Ave.
Sam Domicolo– Cafe Venice, 101 W Venice Ave.
Swinging Bridge– Venice Avenue Creamery, 249 W Venice Ave.


Abby’s on Miami
Bodrum Restaurant
Burgundy Square Cafe
Crate & Marrow
Deb Peter’s Coaching
Down Island Way Boutique
Earth Treasures
Fifi’s of Venice
Gulf Soles
Island Organics
Mothers Cupboard Spice Shoppe
Nest Venice
The Island Bookshop
Venice Locale

Collectors Gallery & Framery
Horse & Chaise Rentals & Property Management
Michael Saunders & Co.

Door Belle Dinners

Aqua Silks Studio
B & B Bootery
Bonnell’s Boutique & Winery
Cafe Venice
Captain’s Landing
Cassariano Italian Eatery
Celebration Corner
Century 21 Schmidt Real Estate
Ciao Gelato
Coldwell Banker Realty
Croissant & Co.
Daiquiri Deck
Deborah’s Quilt Basket
Dick’s Shoes of Venice
DKE, Inc.
ERA Preferred Properties of Venice
Eyes on You
Florida Oil & Vinegar Company
Florida Violins
Gulf Shores Realty
Heitel Jewelers
Island Gift Nook
Island Life Hammock Co.
Laurie Jean & Co.
Lisa’s Classic Rose
Kristine Grace Resort Wear
Kyrstyna’s Designs
Made in Italy
Old Venice Pub
RE/MAX Platinum Realty
Ristorante San Marco
Rose & Leo
Scarlet Macaw Resort Wear
Sea Pleasures & Treasures
Seed & Bean Market
Shirt Stop
Smoky Mountain Handmade Candles
St. Marco Boutique
Tangi & Jess
The Boutique by the Beach
The Soda Fountain/Vinnie’s Pizzeria
Things I Like
Trattoria da Mino
Twist Boutique
Venice Avenue Creamery
Venice Island Gallery
Venice Olive Oil Company
Venice Wine & Coffee Co.
Waves of Light

Venice MainStreet featured on Suncoast View

Venice MainStreet featured on Suncoast View

Venice MainStreet’s CEO, Kara Morgan, made her tenth appearance on ABC7’s Suncoast View on 11/11/21 to promote historic downtown Venice. The segment featured Venice Olive Oil Company and its recent expansion; Nest Venice’s ethically sourced global goods; and handcrafted, local works at Venice Locale. Downtown Venice is the perfect place for your holiday shopping at these and other Venice MainStreet partner stores! 

To watch video CLICK HERE

Nest Venice
223 A Miami Ave West

Venice Locale
121 Miami Ave West

Venice Olive Oil Company
101 West Venice Avenue Suite 5

Photo credit: ABC7 WWSB

Congrats to Mary Erickson, poster contest winner!

Congrats to Mary Erickson, poster contest winner!

Mary’s lovely “Venice Path” painting was selected by the panel of judges on the Venice MainStreet Design Committee, Venice MainStreet Board of Directors, and Howard Alan of Howard Alan Events (the organizer of the art festival). This is Mary’s fifth winning painting over the festival’s 25+ year history of holding poster contests. Her artwork was also featured during the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th annual festivals.

Posters of Mary’s painting will be available for sale at the upcoming art festival on November 6th-7th at the Venice MainStreet booth. Mary will be there to sign posters. Artist Heather McCullough, winner of the 2020 poster contest, will also be at the booth promoting her artwork, which is featured on beach totes newly offered this year.

Thank you to Leah Sherman at Collectors Gallery & Framery for hosting the unveiling event and to Lueanne Wood, PA, of Gulf Shores Realty for sponsoring the bubbly Champagne!


Calle de las Tiendas downtown alley repaving project

Calle de las Tiendas downtown alley repaving project

Paving will start Friday, November 5th, on Calle De Las Tiendas Alley between W. Venice Avenue and Miami Avenue from S. Nokomis Avenue west to S. Miami Avenue. Milling of the roadway surface will be completed on Friday with paving starting on Monday, November 8th. All trash and recyclables will be picked up on Monday morning as trash pick-up will not be available during paving operations. Please make sure all recyclables and trash are out by 5 a.m. Monday morning. Depending on weather condition, paving is estimated to be complete by Thursday. The alley will be closed to all traffic during paving operations. Deliveries will need to avoid these days or conducted from W. Venice Avenue or W. Miami Avenue.

• No Parking on Friday and Monday thru Thursday allowed in or near the alley or behind the businesses in the 200 and 300 block.
• Alley will be closed to traffic from Nokomis Avenue west to S. Miami Avenue Monday through Thursday and in areas being milled on Friday. No work is scheduled for Saturday or Sunday.
• Use caution when walking or driving on milled areas due to uneven pavement.
• Motorists are urged to use caution as crews work in and near the alley.

For more information, please contact City Engineer Kathleen Weeden at 941-882-7409 or kweeden@venicefl.gov .

Photo and information provided by
Cordy Crane, Executive Assistant
City Manager’s Office
City of Venice
401 W. Venice Avenue
Venice, FL 34285

Welcome, Velasquez-Pierce Family Dentistry!

Welcome, Velasquez-Pierce Family Dentistry!

Thank you, Velasquez-Pierce Family Dentistry, for joining Venice MainStreet as a Business Partner! Velasquez-Pierce Family Dentistry uses advanced technology, modern techniques, and years of experience to ensure that your treatments are as pain-free as possible. Its dental team will make sure that you feel welcome and relaxed, and only receive the treatments you need at an affordable price. Services are also offered in Spanish.

Dr. Ximena Velasquez-Pierce offers a full range of dental services for the entire family. Because she was an orthodontist in Colombia before coming to the United States, she also offers professional orthodontic treatments, in addition to comprehensive family dentistry. The practice has been serving the Venice area community for 17 years. Dr. Ximena Velasquez-Pierce took it over in October 2016 and she and her team are excited to continue providing trustworthy, professional dental care.

1872 South Tamiami Trail, Suite E
Venice, Florida 34293
(941) 497-4997

Welcome, Florida Violins!

Welcome, Florida Violins!

Welcome, Florida Violins, to downtown Venice and thank you for joining Venice MainStreet as a Business Partner! Florida Violins, owned by DaVid Pineda-Huezo and Tirza Kosche Pineda, is a full service restoration, fabrication, sales and rental of fine violins, viola, cello and their bows. IStrad is its brand of elegantly and beautifully designed electric and acoustic instruments and bows. 

DaVid Pineda-Huezo is a documented Fellow and President of the Violin Intercontinental Forum, Inc. and is USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) compliant to do certified appraisals.

Located in Historic Downtown Venice:
325 West Venice Avenue, Suite D
Venice, Florida 34285