Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today the Venice MainStreet program has been designated the July 2017 Florida Main Street Community of the Month. Communities are selected based on their developmental achievements and participation in the Florida Main Street Program. Venice MainStreet, which started in 1988, has resulted in the development of nearly 1,000 jobs, 300 businesses and 31,000 hours of volunteer support. Remodeling and rehabilitation of the historic downtown buildings resulted in $133.7 million of investment and construction of new compatible structures led to $76.7 million in investment.
“Venice is one of our oldest Main Street organizations and its impact on the community is reflected in all of its great successes,” said Secretary Detzner. “Venice is home to many community events, concerts and fairs, and has become a model for Main Street programs in Florida.”
The area that today is Venice was settled more than 12,000 years ago by Native Americans. The historic district of Venice is significant for closely following John Nolen’s 1924-1929 plan that incorporated emerging city planning and zoning concepts of the early 20th century. Nolan was a pioneer in the American City Movement. His plan for Venice was influenced by many different ideas from the City Beautiful, Progressive and Garden City Movements. Venice still adheres to Nolan’s plan in making development decisions today.
Along with the neighboring city of Sarasota, Venice became the winter headquarters of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus in the 1960s, which boosted the population and brought international visitors in search of warm weather and some carnival fun.
As a vacation destination, Venice MainStreet boasts a variety of restaurants, bars, breweries and shops, many set in historic buildings. Venice boasts architecture common to the rest of Florida and has numerous historic homes and buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Oscar Scherer State Park is nearby for those who enjoy the outdoors and want to bird watch, hike or kayak. The Venetian Waterway Park runs between Venice’s downtown and the Caspersen Beach nearby and is popular with walkers, joggers, bikers and Segway tours. The city is also known as the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World” and hosts a yearly festival to celebrate the thousands of shark’s teeth that wash up on shore every year.
Venice MainStreet organizes a cornucopia of arts, community and music festivals. These include two juried art shows, three craft festivals, events for all major holidays, free Friday night concerts, two blues festivals and many more events. The Venice MainStreet calendar is bursting with ways to get involved in the community almost every day of the year.
For more information about Venice MainStreet, visit http://www.visitvenicefl.org. To learn more about the Florida Main Street program, visit floridamainstreet.com or facebook.com/FloridaMainStreet.
About Florida Main Street
Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, which currently oversees 45 communities throughout the state. By implementing the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach®, Florida Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of Florida’s downtowns – the community’s heart and soul. Since the program’s inception in 1985, the Florida Main Street programs have cumulatively created 24,604 jobs, 7,337 new businesses and produced $2.5 billion in reinvestment.