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!

Second Annual Barstool Open on the Horizon

Second Annual Barstool Open on the Horizon

Venice MainStreet is hosting the Second Annual Barstool Open on June 29th from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. Teams of four will play putt-putt golf through 12 holes located in various businesses throughout Tampa, Venice and Miami Avenues. The cost is $20 per person and tickets can be purchased at Made In Italy or online: visitvenicefl.org/product/barstool.

This year there will be 105 teams, totaling 420 available spots. Those who are interested in joining can sign up as doubles or as a team of four. If participants sign up with less than four, they will be placed in a randomly-made team of two doubles. This event will have a shotgun start where everyone will start simultaneously at their assigned location.

Holes will be placed at Burgundy Square Cafe, Cafe Venice, Coté France, Daiquiri Deck, Made In Italy, Mature Image Barbershop, Old Venice Pub, Mother’s Cupboard, The Parlor Barbershop, TJ Carney’s, Venice Wine & Coffee and Venice Museum & Archives whose hole will be located at the Centennial Park Gazebo.

Participants can check in early on Friday, June 28th from 4-7pm at Daiquiri Deck to receive their packets or they can check in on the day of the event at the Centennial Park Gazebo between 10am and 12pm. Participants will receive two vouchers for beer provided by Michelob Ultra in their packet.
The prizes for the first place winners of the open are still being finalized, but they will also receive the coveted Golden Putter traveling trophy. Various other prizes will be handed out continuously throughout the day for numerous contests. Prizes include a Mermaid Vodka gift basket and a Jack Daniels gift, along with other fantastic prizes.

Sponsors include Michelob Ultra, 92.1 CTQ-FM and the Venice Gondolier. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to sponsor the event please visit our website www.visitvenicefl.org or contact the Venice MainStreet office at 941-484-6722 or info@venicemainstreet.com.

   
   

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.

Sincerely,

Kara Morgan
Chief Executive Officer
Venice MainStreet, Inc.

Summer Events are Starting to Heat Up

Summer Events are Starting to Heat Up

The 27th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival will be on Saturday, June 15th and Sunday, June 16th from 10am-4pm. Located in Historic Downtown Venice, this event follows the popular March Art Classic. Some of the nation’s best crafters will converge along Miami Avenue, one of Venice’s popular downtown streets. Peruse booths filled with stained glass, photography, personalized products for both children and dogs alike, and much more! Stroll the Green Market for plants, handmade soaps, tangy BBQ sauces and live orchids.
Back by popular demand, the 2nd Annual Barstool Open will take place Saturday, June 29, 2019. Put on your knickers and your golf shirts and get ready to putt your way through Historic Downtown Venice! Teams of 2 or 4 will putt-putt through 9+ fun holes in their favorite downtown spots while participating in wacky competitions and enjoying great specials. We’re adding more holes, more games and tons of great prizes! The cost is $20 per person which includes 2 complimentary beer vouchers. You must be 21 or older to participate in this event.
Tickets for the Barstool Open can be purchased at www.visitvenicefl.org/product/barstoolopen. If you prefer not to purchase online, you can also purchase tickets at the Venice MainStreet office located at 101 West Venice Ave, Suite 23.
Come July, you can forget your stresses and get in the spirit at the Downtown Venice “Christmas in July” event on July 19th and 20th from 10am-5pm. Get a jump on your Christmas shopping while you catch Santa and Mrs. Claus riding the trolley and visiting the shops. Attendees can ride the trolley on both days from 11am to 4pm. We will also be raffling off large gift baskets and you can pick up your free raffle tickets at many of the participating downtown businesses. The raffle drawing will be done on Tuesday, July 23rd and winners will be contacted at that time.
For more information on any of these great events, visit our website: www.visitvenicefl.org, email us at info@venicemainstreet.com, or find us on Facebook @VeniceMainStreet.

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 www.lovelandcenter.org or call 941-493-0016. Stay up-to-date with the Loveland Center by following them on facebook.com/LovelandCenter.

The Muse: New Asset to Downtown

The Muse: New Asset to Downtown

Jocelyn Hoch and Forrest Shafer are the mastermind artists behind the recently opened fine art gallery, The Muse, located in the 100 block of West Venice Avenue in Downtown Venice. Hoch and Shafer have been traveling and vending at outdoor juried art shows for almost 20 years. All that time on the road can be quite grueling, so they decided to settle down locally and open their first brick-and-mortar storefront in Historic Downtown Venice.
It’s abundantly clear from first glance into their store that Hoch and Shafer truly have a passion for the arts. The fine art gallery offers original pieces including paintings, ceramic, glass, copper sculpture and mixed media. Some of the pieces available are a blend of various unique materials such as metal, watercolor, acrylic and even silk paintings. Along with their own original work, they are also exhibiting one-of-a-kind selections made by local award winning artists. Some recent additions to the gallery are brightly colored oil paintings on canvas created by local artist Carol McGill, as well as beautifully displayed cold wax paintings made by the talented Sylvia Hirschegger.
Hoch and Shafer both have an undeniable talent for custom hand-made jewelry and have a large selection of their jewelry on display, featuring precious metal and gemstone jewelry. Hoch’s specialty hand-made pieces sometimes take up to three months to complete, due to her carefulness and immaculate attention to detail. “We offer custom jewelry designs. If you have an idea in mind for a special piece, we’ll be happy to make it into silver or gold just for you,” said Hoch.
As with the artwork, they also feature local jewelers’ work including the recent addition from Jewelry by Merzatta. Hoch and Shafer take pride in making sure all artwork and jewelry is made with all American-made materials, whether it’s their own or another artists’ work.
All in all, The Muse is an absolute asset to Historic Downtown Venice. For more information, you can reach The Muse at 941-706-8389. The gallery is located at 101 W. Venice Ave, Suite 4 and their hours of operation are Monday-Thursday from 11am-5pm, and Friday-Saturday from 11am-6pm.

Preparing for an Eggstravagant Spring Season

Preparing for an Eggstravagant Spring Season

Venice MainStreet will host the first Wine Walk of 2019 on April 11th from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Grab a bunch of thirsty friends and get to Historic Downtown Venice as we sip, stroll and shop our way around town. During this very popular evening in Historic Downtown Venice, attendees can sample over 30 varieties of wine including wines from South Africa and California. Participating shops will be pouring 1-ounce tastings and participating restaurants will have great wine specials.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at Venice Wine and Coffee, the Venice MainStreet office, or online at www.visitvenicefl.org/product/aprilwine. On the day of the event, tickets can be purchased starting at 5:00pm at the Kiosk in Centennial Park or the Burgundy Square Breezeway. Those that purchase in advance can pick up their wristbands and a map of wine tasting locations at the kiosk or breezeway at 5:00pm on the day of.
Another wildly popular event approaching is the Easter Eggstravaganza in Centennial Park. This annual event will be on April 20th at 9:30am and is presented by Edible Gifts & Treats, Premier Community Bank, Venice Lion’s Club, The Warehouse and Venice MainStreet.
“This year is set to be even bigger and better than ever before,” said Nick Sperry, Events Coordinator for Venice MainStreet. Kids can look forward to hunting thousands upon thousands of eggs, music, prizes, candy, The Easter Bunny and other entertainment. The record number of 8,000 eggs this year will hold candy, toys or prizes generously donated by local merchants. Erin Silk, CEO of Venice MainStreet, reminds parents to bring baskets for the children and to arrive early to enjoy the entertainment.
In May, we welcome the return of the Venice Seafood Festival. This year the event will span three days; Friday, May 3rd from 4-10pm, Saturday, May 4th from 11am-10pm and Sunday, May 5th from 11am-6pm. While enjoying your seafood meals and drinks, enjoy the captivating sounds of live musical performances on stage by some of Florida’s and the region’s top musical talents. Patrons can also enjoy a nautical marketplace, gourmet food items and specialty products.
For more information on any of these great events, please visit our website www.visitvenicefl.org or contact the Venice MainStreet office at 941-484-6722 or info@venicemainstreet.com.

Crate & Marrow is Striving for Healthier Pets

Crate & Marrow is Striving for Healthier Pets

Owners Sean Julian and Karen Quillen opened their first location of Crate & Marrow almost five years ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, after an extensive 20+ years in dog training. After moving to Venice last year, they saw a need in town for a second location and opened up shop on West Miami Avenue.
Crate & Marrow offers a wide array of dog and cat products, including food, treats, toys, shampoo, cleaning products, supplements and handmade collars. They pride themselves on selling mostly organic and all-natural products and make their own cookie treats.
“Shopping for pet food can be overwhelming and misleading,” said Quillen. A majority of the well-known dog food brands on the market contain chemicals and glyphosate. “I believe that a real food diet is important. Feeding raw is easier than you think and could mean a longer lifespan for your pet.”
A raw diet, including real bone, is a good source of minerals for dogs, especially calcium and phosphorus. “Adding some sweet potato […] or a premade meal mixer can help stretch your meat and make feeding raw a more affordable option.” Crate & Marrow stocks various meal mixers, as well as beef bones, turkey necks and chicken and duck feet. In February, Crate & Marrow hosted a Raw and Cooked Food Workshop in which they made a small demonstration and answered questions from attendees. “People come to us looking for information and we offer them transformation,” said Quillen. They plan to host another Workshop in mid-April.
Dogs that eat a poor diet have “sweet blood” from all the unnatural additives in most dry foods, which attracts parasites like fleas and ticks. A real food and raw diet also benefits an animal by preventing tooth decay.
Crate & Marrow is located at 235 W Miami Ave in Venice and is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Call the store at 941-218-6770 for more information or visit them on Facebook. If you’ve found a product you love but are headed back home for the summer, don’t fret – Crate & Marrow also offers shipping! Visit their website, www.crateandmarrow.com, for product listings and information about shipping.

         

Fat Tuesday: Venice Style

Fat Tuesday: Venice Style

Mardi Gras, which translates to “Fat Tuesday” in French, is a celebration of the last gluttonous day of eating rich, fatty foods before the religious season of Lent begins. The first Mardi Gras event in America occurred over 300 years ago when two explorers from France landed in what is now New Orleans and held a small celebration. In 1827, several students dressed up in vibrant costumes and danced through the streets replicating the festivities they experienced in Paris – which has become the traditional parade that Mardi Gras is now known for.

Historic Downtown Venice is gearing up for the Second Annual Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Crawl… Venice style! The Fat Tuesday Crawl will take place on March 5, 2019 from 5pm-8pm. This year there will be two 2nd line Marching Bands; just like those in New Orleans. Beads galore, hurricanes and even special New Orleans inspired food dishes. Dress up and follow the bands down the sidewalks in Downtown into the shops, restaurants and pubs.

Venice MainStreet has proudly partnered with the South County Jazz Club to produce this evening of fun and music. The South County Jazz Club is dedicated to the presentation and preservation of mainstream jazz, and has produced more than 400 Venice-area events since its founding eight years ago. It regularly features our area’s deep pool of resident talent, plus a sizable group of internationally-acclaimed artists. Nate Najar, Don Mopsick, Dick Hyman, Ken Peplowski, Harry Allen, Veronica Swift, Wycliffe Gordon, Chuck Redd, Ira Sullivan, Marlene VerPlanck, Larry Coryell and the Four Freshmen are just a few of the jazz greats the club has brought to the area. More details can be found at southcountyjazz.org.

The Crawl Route*° is as follows:

Bourbon St. Band
Old Venice Pub, 100 W. Venice Ave., 5:00-5:15
Bonnell’s Boutique and Winery, 101 W. Venice Ave., 5:15-5:30
Café Venice, 101 W. Venice Ave., 5:30-5:45
Spice and Tea Exchange, 101 W. Venice Ave., 5:45-6:00
Made In Italy, 117 W. Venice Ave., 6:00-6:15
Sunbug, 141 W. Venice Ave., 6:15-6:30
Gazebo, Centennial Park, 6:30-6:45
Venice Wine and Coffee, 201 W. Venice Ave., 6:45-7:00
southeast salt, 213 W. Venice Ave., 7:00-7:15
Crate and Marrow, 235 W. Miami Ave., 7:15-7:30
Parlor Barbershop, 227 W. Miami Ave., 7:30-7:45
Down Island Way Boutique, 225 W. Miami Ave., 7:45-8:00
Laurie Jean & Co., 219 W. Miami Ave., 8:00-8:15
After Party at Made In Italy starting at 8:15pm

Frenchmen St. Band
DP Fitness and Wellness, 210 W. Miami Ave., 5:00-5:15
Mother’s Cupboard Spice Shoppe, 208 W. Miami Ave., 5:15-5:30
Venice Trading Company, 211 W. Miami Ave., 5:30-5:45
Island Gift Nook, 227 W. Venice Ave., 5:45-6:00
TJ Carney’s, 231 W. Venice Ave., 6:00-6:15
Shirt Stop, 247 W. Venice Ave., 6:15-6:30
Gazebo, Centennial Park, 6:30-6:45
Venice Ave Creamery, 249 W. Venice Ave., 6:45-7:00
Dick’s Shoes, 251 W. Venice Ave., 7:00-7:15
Daiquiri Deck, 300 W. Venice Ave., 7:15-7:30
Seaside Chic Boutique, 310 W. Venice Ave., 7:30-7:45
Ciao Gelato, 317 W. Venice Ave., 7:45-8:00
Ristorante San Marco, 305 W. Venice Ave., 8:00-8:15
After Party at Daiquiri Deck starting at 8:15pm

*Route schedule and times are subject to change. Follow us on Facebook or keep checking www.visitvenicefl.org for the most up to date information.
°Please note: alcohol may only be consumed inside of each individual serving establishment. Alcohol is NOT permitted in the streets or sidewalks of Downtown Venice.

Our Platinum Partners