VENICE — Activities in Venice are starting to pick up — even as social distancing and mask wearing remains a factor in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local band the Cry’n Shames performed Friday night at the Centennial Park Gazebo.

The show, sponsored by Venice MainStreet, was the first special event in Venice since March.

“Friday night went great,” event coordinator Nick Sperry said. “When the music kicked off for the first time in seven months, it felt great ... like we were starting to reopen.”

More events are set for the next few weeks, including the first Chocolate Walk set to take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19. Also presented by Venice MainStreet, more than 25 stores and shops on Miami, Venice and Tampa avenues will be offering chocolate samples and special deals.

On Saturday, the fundraiser Denim by the Diamond country music concert takes place at CoolToday Park in Wellen Park. The show runs from 6 to 10 p.m. with tickets costing $85 a piece; $40 of it tax deductible. There are limited tickets due to social distance rules. Denim by the Diamond benefits Suncoast Charities for Children and tickets are for sale online.

The Friday Night Concert in the Park returns Nov. 27 with Blues to Blackstreet providing the entertainment. A COVID-19 safety plan remains in place, according to the Venice MainStreet website.

Reservations and free tickets are available online at


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