Proving that some things only get better with time, Venice’s Sun Fiesta returns again this fall, more fun than ever. The Women’s Sertoma Club of Venice will present the 46th year of this celebration of the Venice community at the Airport Festival Grounds October 19-21, 2018.

The weekend will kick off with live entertainment and plenty of food vendors to help you linger and enjoy the music. But make sure you’re up and out of your own bed in time on Saturday to see teams race on beds crafted just for speed. Later, spectators and competitors can catch their breath during the opening ceremony followed by one of the highlights of the festival, the Miss Sun Fiesta Pageant, whose purpose is to help young women with scholarship money for college.

Later, visitors can listen to a variety of live music while dining from appetizers to deserts, or shopping at the many vendors for jewelry, clothing, health and beauty, arts, crafts, pet needs, and outdoor living. At Kids Korner, the younger set can explore their artistic side, play games, or work off some energy in the bounce house.

On Sunday, a pancake breakfast hosted by the Young Marines beckons festival goers back, and the popular Bandana Band adds the finishing touch.

First originating in 1973, the Sun Fiesta brings together the Venice community, and also supports it by donating proceeds to causes like local food banks, the Sertoma Speech Clinic, and Habitat for Humanity. Scholarships are also key, benefiting the Miss Sun Fiesta recipient, Venice’s high school seniors, and young women pursuing continuing education.

On April 11, 1912 Sertoma was founded in Kansas City, Missouri, with the purpose of SERvice TO MAnkind through the communication of thoughts, ideas, and concepts to accelerate human progress in health, education, freedom, and democracy. Dedicated to improving life in the Venice community, the Women’s Club of Venice has helped area residents for more than 25 years. Today’s Women’s Sertoma Club of Venice is the largest one of its kind in the country, and in their own words, they are “a fun, energetic, friendly, and hard working group.”

Past President Barbara Quinn recalls looking for a volunteer opportunity in 2006; she had read about the Sun Fiesta in the Venice Gondolier Sun and thought it looked like fun. Several Sun Fiestas later, she still enjoys working with her fellow volunteers. Current President Kathi Keller came from a family of volunteers, and after vacationing in the area for years, joined when she moved to Venice permanently in 2012.

The Women’s Sertoma Club of Venice meets the second Thursday of each month, with social hour from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m., and meeting from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. You’ll find them in room G at the Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Avenue South. Think about stopping by and seeing what the fun is all about. As their website www.womenssertoma.com says, they are always happy to receive new members!

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