Christmas and Other Holiday Events in South Sarasota County

Restaurant Week

Looking for a quaint, chesnuts-roasting-by-an-open-fire kind of holiday experience to go along with the Gulf Coast views and seabreeze? Look no further than this lineup of holiday happenings around the simpler, southern portion of Sarasota County in 2019.

Venice Holiday Parade

November 30, 2019; Downtown Venice Main Street

Continuing a 44 year old tradition, the City of Venice Holiday Parade is the perfect “kick off” to the holiday season in South Sarasota County. Over three thousand enthusiastic and creative participants representing approximately 120 local companies, schools, churches, social organizations and music groups join together to make this community family event fun for all ages. Thousands of spectators line the parade route early to find and secure their perfect spot to enjoy the festivities. Drinks and goodies are offered for sale by local groups all along the parade route. Pre-parade entertainment begins at 5 p.m. as music begins to fill the air, the lighting of the downtown holiday decorations begin to sparkle with the sunset and the fun is just beginning.

Venice Christmas Walk

December 5, 2019; Downtown Venice Main Street

Why let holiday shopping be a stressful experience when you could make an evening of it by strolling Historic Downtown Venice and visiting the local shops during the annual Venice Christmas Walk (5:00 - 8:00 p.m.)? Enjoy holiday tunes performed live, food and drink specials at downtown restaurants, and charming seasonal decor as you stroll Venice Ave. selecting unique, Southwest Florida treasures for your loved ones.

Venice Christmas Boat Parade of Lights

December 7, 2019; Venice Jetty

The Venice Boat Parade is traditionally held on the first Saturday of December, lighting up south county waterways with holiday cheer. Starting at 6:00 p.m., spectators may gather on the north or south jetty (South Nokomis Beach and North Venice Beach, respectively), near the south Circus Bridge to Venice Island, and at waterfront-accessible spots in downtown Venice to watch this festive nautical parade featuring decorated boats of all sizes.

North Port Poinsettia Parade and Festival

December 7, 2019; North Port City Center Campus

The North Port Poinsettia Parade and Festival kicks off at 4:00 p.m., and runs through 8:30 p.m. The parade will start around 5:00 p.m. featuring floats and other vehicles decorated in poinsettia flowers and other holiday fare. Santa, of course, will be in attendance escorted by North Port Fire Rescue. The festival also includes a tree lighting ceremony, food vendors, entertainment, live performances by local students, and more.

Venice Blalock Park Tree Lighting

December 14, 2019; West Blalock Park

Venice's 13th annual tree lighting at Blalock Park will take place at sundown, and we've got news: Santa is on the guest list! Pay a visit to the jolly elf at the park near the Venice Museum & Archives and the Venice Community Center.

Bicycles International Glow Ride

December 14, 2019; Maxine Barritt Park (weather permitting)

For adventurers looking for a more active Venice holiday event experience, the 5th annual Glow Ride is for you! Take a night bicycle parade-like ride through the City of Venice highlighting the beautiful, bike-friendly town. This ride also stops by the Venice Tree Lighting ceremony at West Blalock Park. After the ride, enjoy a celebration with music, beverages and appetizers from nearby Sharky’s on the Pier. Oh, and since it's the season of giving, all proceeds benefit a local charity.

Venice Symphony Presents: A Very Merry Holiday Pops Concert

December 20 and 21, 2019; Venice Symphony

The Venice Symphony presents A Very Merry Holiday Pops concert December 20 - 21 with special guest, Sarasota Key Chorale. Enjoy an eclectic selection of seasonal music, ranging from holiday classics such as Deck the Halls to popular numbers from holiday film-favorites like Home Alone and the Polar Express.

Englewood Fine Arts & Handmade Crafts Festival

December 7, 2019; West Dearborn Street

Win white elephant with this annual crafts fair along the main drag of Englewood’s historic fishing village. From 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. West Dearborn Street will be closed off for pedestrians to stroll the pop up market of food, fine arts and other craft creations. Experience Olde Englewood Village and cross a few loved ones off the shopping list in one picturesque winters day in Florida.