Venice MainStreet is the proud promoter of historic downtown Venice and one of our most popular shopping events will continue this year.

Christmas in July is a not to be missed, two-day spree of bargains, discounts, and ideas for your Christmas gift and holiday needs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday July 17-18.

In the southern hemisphere, Christmas in July got its start as an unofficial holiday because Dec. 25 falls in the middle of summer.

In countries like Australia, July is the middle of winter, so Christmas celebrations take place to have a winter feeling.

As we all wish for some cooler breezes and (gasp) snow, Floridians are looking for that same winter feeling like during Christmas in our hottest months. More than 12 years ago, the event got its start with only few stores and has now grown to 48 participating locations.

This is a great opportunity to shop local, support small business, and bring vibrancy to downtown in the summer months. Take this opportunity to visit a location you have never patronized before, or head over to your favorites and take a look their amazing merchandise.

To get in the spirit of the event, local stores are decorating windows in holiday décor, playing festive music, and bringing out their one of a kind items that you normally only find during the holidays.

Visitors to historic downtown Venice are encouraged to wear holiday themed outfits, hats, ugly sweaters, have fun, be festive. Along the way, you may spot Santa Claus at Old Venice Pub, Four Thought Private Wealth on Friday, and on Saturday at the Venice Farmer’s Market and Burgundy Square.

Make a day of it and enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the many participating restaurants. MainStreet partner restaurants are offering Christmas in July specials and discounts on their yummy fair that will fill you up and make it hard to find room for even a Christmas cookie.

A list of all participating stores, restaurants, and services can be found online at visitvenicefl.org/news/. Day of flyers will be available for pick up at the Centennial Park Kiosk.

Venice MainStreet looks forward to your safe return for this event and encourages safe social distancing, wearing a mask, and general sanitization practices.

Kara Morgan is the chief executive officer for Venice MainStreet.

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