As the festive season wraps Venice in its warm, twinkling embrace, our charming city comes alive with an array of Christmas events that are sure to dazzle and delight. From the glittering lights of the holiday parade to cozy market stalls brimming with yuletide cheer, Venice is a wonderland of festive joy waiting to be explored. Let’s unwrap the magic together and discover the best Christmas events happening in our own backyard!

What Events Are Happening in Venice for Christmas?

Green Christmas Tree With Orange Bauble

The Mayor’s Hometown Christmas

November 24, 2023
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m
Downtown Venice Island

Imagine the heart of Downtown Venice, bathed in the glow of festive lights and filled with the sound of local choirs singing carols that tug at your heartstrings. That’s the scene awaiting us at The Mayor’s Hometown Christmas Tree Lighting! On this magical evening, join City of Venice Mayor Nick Pachota at 6 PM as we light up the tree and kick off the holiday season with a sparkle. But the fun doesn’t stop there – Santa’s joining in too, so bring your Christmas lists and your biggest smiles! And, as you’re basking in the glow of the tree, why not take a stroll through our historic downtown? Shop, dine, and revel in the charm of Venice, all thanks to Venice MainStreet. This isn’t just an event; it’s a memory in the making, a time to come together and celebrate the warmth and joy of our community.

Venice Holiday Parade

November 25th
6:30 p.m
Downtown Venice Island

Get ready, Venice! The beloved Venice Holiday Parade is set to twinkle through our enchanting downtown on Saturday, November 25th, just after we’ve all had our fill of Thanksgiving turkey. Picture this: the streets lined with eager faces, the air buzzing with excitement, and the twinkling of holiday lights as the sun sets, painting the sky in hues of pink and orange. The pre-parade show kicks off at 5:30 p.m. at Harbor Drive and Venice Avenue, and also at Nokomis and Venice avenues. It’s when the magic begins to unfold: music fills the streets, the downtown holiday decorations flicker to life, and the anticipation builds!

The parade itself starts its dazzling journey at 6:30 p.m., beginning at Park Boulevard and W. Venice Avenue. It’ll wind its way through the heart of Venice, ending with the floats unloading at the Venice Community Center. Don’t worry about parking; Venice High School has got us covered!

And here’s a gentle reminder from our city: to keep everyone safe and smiling, the throwing of candy and trinkets from floats is a not allowed. But don’t worry, you can still get your hands on some goodies – parade participants will be strolling by to hand them out.

For more information, please visit the parade website at https://veniceholidayparade.com/ or call 941-488-8780.

How early can chairs be set up for the parade?

For the early birds among us, chair setup starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22nd. Just remember, it’s a bit like the Wild West – set up at your own risk and keep those chairs off the medians in the 100-300 blocks of W. Venice Avenue. And let’s keep it classy – no bleachers, couches, or roped-off areas, please!

What Route Does The Holiday Parade Take?

The city has created an interactive map of the parade route! Visit the link below to see where you can find a portable restroom, locations of trash receptacles, and where to avoid street closures! Interactive Parade Map

Englewood Community Christmas Tree Lighting

November 30
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m
Englewood Chamber

601 S Indiana Ave, Englewood

Join us for a night of community spirit and holiday cheer at the Inaugural Englewood Community Christmas Tree Lighting! This festive gathering, taking place on November 30th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm on the Englewood Chamber of Commerce’s front lawn, promises a dazzling tree lighting at 6:00pm. Embrace the holiday spirit with hot chocolate and sweets from Dearborn Coffeehouse, an open bar by End Zone Coastal Sports Bar & Grill, and an enchanting appearance by Santa, sponsored by Suncoast Central Realty. Capture the moment with photos by Prop It Up Photo Booths, enjoy cupcake decorating with Mrs. Pickett’s Sweets, and marvel as Englewood Fire places the angel atop the tree. The Vineland Elementary School Choir will serenade us, and don’t forget to support the toy drive for local children by VFW 10178. This free event is not just a celebration, but a testament to the warmth and togetherness of our Englewood community.

Dueling Pianos – Christmas

December 1st
8:00 p.m
Troll Music

628 E Venice Ave, Venice

Get ready to tap your feet and sing your heart out as Troll Music’s own Billy Day and the talented ivory tickler Nick Sperry come together for a spectacular dueling pianos event! This musical extravaganza, set to kick off your Christmas season, promises an evening where your favorite tunes come to life under the skillful hands of these two maestros. Join us for not one, but two nights of rhythmic revelry on December 1st and 2nd. Picture yourself sipping on seasonal beverages, immersed in the lively atmosphere, and singing along to every request played by Nick and Billy. This isn’t just a performance; it’s an interactive musical celebration where every note rings with the joy and spirit of the Christmas season. Let’s raise our glasses and voices in a harmonious welcome to the most wonderful time of the year! 🍷🎄🎤

Sertoma Club of Venice: Breakfast with Santa (Free Family Event)

mug of chocolate drink with snowflake shaped cookie on top held by a person in santa suit
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

December 2nd
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m
Venice Community Center

326 Nokomis Ave S., Venice

The Sertoma Club invites you to a morning filled with fluffy pancakes and festive cheer at their Free Pancake Breakfast. This isn’t just any breakfast; it’s a chance to start your day with a stack of delicious pancakes, all while basking in the joyous holiday atmosphere. And what could make a pancake breakfast even more delightful? A complimentary photo with Santa! Imagine capturing that perfect holiday moment, with Santa himself and a plate of yummy pancakes. This event is more than a meal; it’s a warm, welcoming gathering that embodies the spirit of community and the magic of the season. Join us, bring your appetite and your best holiday smile, and let’s make some merry breakfast memories together!

Family Movie Night – How The Grinch Stole Christmas

December 2nd
7:00 p.m

Phoenix Lodge No 346
240 S Tuttle, Sarasota

Join us under the evening sky at 240 S Tuttle, Sarasota, FL, where the heartwarming tale of the Grinch will unfold. The doors open at 6:30 PM, with the movie starting at 7 PM, so come early to snag the perfect viewing spot! Bring your blankets and chairs for a cozy outdoor movie experience, weather permitting. Don’t fret if the skies have other plans – we’ll move the festive fun indoors. Best of all, admission is absolutely FREE! While you’re enjoying the movie, feel free to make a donation for the food, drinks, and snacks available. It’s more than just a movie night; it’s an opportunity for families to gather, share laughs, and create holiday memories under the Sarasota night sky.

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Cocoplum

December 2nd and 9th
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m
Cocoplum Village Shops

17179 S. Tamiami Trail, North Port

Ho ho ho! Santa Claus is steering his sleigh towards Cocoplum, bringing a sackful of festive cheer and twinkling smiles! Gather around the grand holiday tree, where the magic of Christmas comes alive with free photos with Santa – a perfect moment to capture the joy of the season. As you wait for your turn, let the live festive music serenade you, creating a backdrop of holiday tunes that’ll have you tapping your feet and humming along. And what’s a holiday gathering without some delightful refreshments? Sip, munch, and be merry as you immerse yourself in the spirit of the season. And remember, Santa’s eager to hear all your Christmas wishes, so don’t forget that all-important list. Let’s make this a holiday rendezvous at Cocoplum that’s filled with laughter, music, and memories to cherish!

Annual Venice Christmas Boat Parade

December 2
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m
Downtown Venice Island

The Venice community is gearing up for the annual spectacle of the Christmas Boat Parade, a glittering procession of decorated boats that will navigate the Intra Coastal Waterway. The parade will commence north of Albee Road Bridge, gliding past landmarks like the Venice Yacht Club, through Roberts Bay, and along the slosh channel, concluding its journey before the Circus Bridge. Community members are also encouraged to assist seniors or those requiring handicap parking to ensure everyone can enjoy the parade. The event is a beloved tradition, bringing together people of all ages to celebrate the holiday season and enjoy the festive atmosphere. The turnout is always impressive, with thousands of spectators lining the parade route. It’s an invitation to all to come and be part of this joyous occasion.

For more information and updates, the public is encouraged
to visit the official website and follow the parade’s Facebook page.

What Are The Best Places To Watch The Boat Parade?

Spectators will not be able to witness the parade pass under the Circus Bridge as the flotilla turns there, but there are numerous vantage points along the route for onlookers by both land and water. Recommended viewing locations include the boat ramp near Albee Bridge, the North and South Jetties, Snake Island (accessible only by boat), the Train Depot Boat Ramp, and the Venetian Waterway Bike Path/Park.

What Restaurants Allow Viewing of The Boat Parade?

Dining establishments along the waterway are offering special seating packages for the event. However, potential patrons should be advised to call in advance as these spots are in high demand and may already be sold out. The Venice Area Beautification Inc. (VABI) typically hosts a viewing event, and interested parties should contact them to check availability.

Holiday Vendor & Craft Fair

December 3
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m
Maxine Barritt Park

1800 Harbor Dr. S, Venice

Crafted with care by the Local Ladies Social Network, Inc., the 2nd Annual Holiday Vendor & Craft Fair is the festive highlight of the season! Set your reminders for Sunday, December 3rd, and join us at the scenic Maxine Barritt Park from 10am to 3pm for a day of holiday merriment. Located at 1800 Harbor Dr. S., Venice, FL, this 5-hour event promises an array of vendors showcasing their crafts and art, alongside the delicious variety of food trucks. It’s more than a fair; it’s a family fun event where the community comes together to celebrate the joy of the season.

4th Annual Christmas Bazaar in North Port

December 9th
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m
North Port City Hall

4970 City Hall Blvd, North Port

Mark December 9th on your holiday list! From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., North Port’s City Hall Center Green transforms into a yuletide paradise for the 4th Annual Christmas Bazaar, proudly presented by the Local Ladies Social Network, Inc. (LLSN). Imagine a day filled with local crafters, artists, and vendors offering their unique creations, mouth-watering food trucks serving up festive delights, and the pièce de résistance – selfies with Santa between 12PM and 1PM! Let’s jingle all the way to North Port for a day of festive fun and community spirit!

Venice Christmas Walk

December 1st
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m
Downtown Venice Island

Each year, downtown Venice offers a day of extended hours at local shops, treats and live music up and down Miami Ave, Tampa Ave and West Venice Ave. With sparkling decorations and the palm trees lit up, it’s magical!

CoolToday Park’s 5th Annual Jingle Jam

CoolToday Park's 5th Annual Jingle Jam

December 2 & 3
CoolToday Park

18800 South West Villages Parkway, Venice

Venice is about to jingle all the way with CoolToday Park’s 5th Annual Jingle Jam! This holiday extravaganza is packed with cheer on December 2nd and 3rd, promising a sleigh-load of fun from a Holiday Market to Horse and Carriage Rides. Imagine the kids’ joy with crafts and activities galore, family events, and contests that’ll have everyone laughing. Test your skills with holiday-themed carnival games, sway to live music, and don’t miss the special appearances by Santa & Mrs. Claus. Catch the Coca-Cola Caravan for a fizzy delight on Saturday, and witness the whimsical Caddy Carts Golf Cart Parade on Sunday. With even more surprises in store, this weekend at CoolToday Park will be the highlight of your holiday season!

North Port Poinsettia Festival and tree lighting

December 2nd
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m
North Port City Hall

4970 City Hall Blvd, North Port, FL 34286

Get ready to be swept away in a festive whirlwind at North Port’s beloved Poinsettia Parade and Festival on December 2, 2023! Starting at 5 p.m., this enchanting event, presented by Quality TV and the Parks & Recreations Department, takes on the vibrant theme of ‘Holidays Around the World.’ Imagine a parade like no other, weaving its way down Sumter Blvd., ending in a grand celebration at the City Center Front Green, 4970 City Hall Blvd. The fun continues from 4 – 8 p.m., with over 50 dazzling units from local businesses and organizations. The festival itself, brought to life by Achieva Credit Union, promises an evening filled with a spectacular tree lighting, delicious food from mobile vendors, thrilling entertainment, and a plethora of attractions and merchandise. It’s more than a parade; it’s a joyous journey around the globe, right here in North Port, where community spirit and holiday cheer unite us all under a canopy of twinkling lights!

Candy Cane Hunt

December 2nd, 2023
10 AM
The Children’s Garden and Art Center
1670 10th Way, Sarasota, FL 34235

This Annual Event at the Garden is our sweet way to kick off the holiday season. Grab your scavenger hunt in the gift shop and solve the clues to find all of the hidden candy canes, then enjoy your treats while you color your Gingerbread House.

This event is included with admission and free for garden members, no RSVP needed.

Learn More About Sarasota Children’s Garden

TubaChristmas

December 9
5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m
Centennial Park Gazebo

Downtown Venice Island

Embrace the holiday spirit with the resonant sounds of tubas and euphoniums at the picturesque Gazebo on Venice Island! This unique musical event, featuring our favorite local musicians, is the perfect way to enjoy seasonal favorites in a truly festive atmosphere. Settle in with your lawn chairs for an hour of delightful entertainment from 5:15 to 6:15 PM, surrounded by the serene beauty of Venice Island. And here’s a special call to all tuba and euphonium enthusiasts: if you can play, bring your instrument and be part of this joyful celebration! Registration for participants starts at 2:30 PM at the Gazebo. Whether you’re a music lover or a musician, this concert is a wonderful opportunity to gather, relax, and immerse yourself in the heartwarming melodies of the season. Let’s fill the air with music and merriment, Venice style!

Christmas Cake & Sip Party

December 12
6:00 p.m.
1807 Englewood Rd, Englewood

Englewood’s Rumours Wine Bar is about to get a dash of festive sweetness with the Christmas Cake & Sip Party! Hosted by the delightful Pickett’s Sweets, this event invites you to dive into the world of cupcake decoration, with a delightful Christmas twist. For $85, you’ll get everything you need: a dozen cupcakes to adorn, all the decorating supplies, and, of course, a sip of exquisite wine paired with appetizing treats to spark your creativity. But the cherry on top? You’ll take your beautifully decorated, Christmas-themed cupcakes home to share (or not – we won’t tell!). This gathering isn’t just about learning cute and festive designs; it’s a perfect blend of culinary art, cozy conviviality, and holiday spirit. So, grab your tickets and join us for an evening where wine, cupcakes, and laughter flow in equal measure – it’s the tastiest way to spread holiday cheer in Englewood!

3rd annual Venice Fire Rescue Santa Firehouse Pancake Breakfast

3rd annual Venice Fire Rescue Santa Firehouse Pancake Breakfast

December 16
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m
Venice Fire Station 51

112 S Harbor Drive, Venice

Hear those sirens? That’s the sound of holiday joy beckoning you to the 3rd annual Venice Fire Rescue Santa Firehouse Pancake Breakfast! Join us for a morning where the community’s heart beats with the sizzle of pancakes and the laughter of delighted children. It’s your chance to meet Santa in a setting filled with twinkling ornaments and festive trees. Enjoy a scrumptious free breakfast and find some homemade treats at the bake sale, all while contributing to the Venice Firefighters Benevolent Fund. And for the little ones, a special gift from Santa awaits! Don’t miss out on a spot at this heartwarming community event – reservations are a jingle bell away. Send an email to mvandermark@venicefl.gov or call 941-480-3030 to secure your breakfast with a side of holiday cheer!

December 16
1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m
Downtown Venice Island

Get ready for a delightful twist on holiday fun with Bowersox Air Conditioning’s Cookie Night! This festive event, happening on December 16th from 1-6 pm, is a dream come true for all cookie enthusiasts. Dive into the joy of decorating Christmas cookies, an activity that promises fun for both the young and young at heart. But that’s just the beginning! Capture merry moments with pictures alongside Santa, and let the kids bounce to their heart’s content in the bounce houses. Add to that an array of games that are sure to bring out everyone’s competitive spirit. Hungry for more? Indulge in the delicious offerings from food trucks, and cool down with some ice cream and snow cones. And, keep your eyes peeled – there are more surprises in store! This isn’t just an event; it’s a cornucopia of holiday cheer, sweet treats, and family fun, all wrapped up in a festive bow by Bowersox Air Conditioning. Join us for an afternoon where holiday spirits soar as high as the Florida sun!

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