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City Hall will be closed Friday, July 3, for the observance of the Independence Day holiday. Garbage, yard waste and recyclables will not be collected on Saturday, July 4. City residents whose normal collection day is Saturday will have all their items picked up on Wednesday, July 8.

The July 4th Fireworks Show at the South Jetty is CANCELED this year

For up-to-date information regarding Coronavirus, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov

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The July 4th fireworks show at the South Jetty has been canceled.

All Venice beaches are currently OPEN.

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Free Cloth Masks Available Downtown 

On July 2, the City of Venice partnered with Venice MainStreet Inc. to distribute FREE cloth face coverings to the public while supplies last. These masks will be available during general operating hours, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday (except where noted below) at the following COV mask-Jess Samsonstores and restaurants in downtown Venice:

Miami Avenue:

  • Mother’s Cupboard
  • The Artful Gem
  • Down Island Way Boutique

Venice Avenue:

  • Café Venice – 11:30 a.m.-close
  • Patchington
  • Venice Wine and Coffee
  • Luxurious Interiors
  • Dana Tyler
  • Lisa’s Classic Rose
  • Ciao Gelato
  • Venice In Vogue

Tampa Avenue:

  • The Power of One – 11 a.m.-3 p.m. M, T, Th, F, Sat

Customers are asked to please bring their own mask to wear into downtown shops and restaurants, but if you don’t have one, these will be provided to you free of charge.

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Moratorium on Evictions, Foreclosures Extended

Gov. Ron DeSantis extended a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures and eviction relief until Aug. 1. The Governor issued an emergency order June 30 to extend the moratorium, which was set to expire July 1. Read Executive Order 20-159 here.

Alcohol Consumption at Bars Suspended Statewide 6/26

Emergency Order 2020-09 from Halsey Beshears with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation states that consumption of alcohol is suspended, effective Friday, June 26, at bars statewide.

According to the order, bars can continue to serve alcohol in sealed containers for consumption offsite. The order does not apply to restaurants that serve alcohol, so long as less than 50% of their revenue comes from sales of alcohol for consumption onsite.

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On June 20, the State Surgeon General issued a Public Health Advisory stating that all individuals in Florida should wear face coverings in any setting where social distancing is not possible. Read the advisory here.

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Get the latest COVID-19 Map from the Sarasota County Health Department, showing total new COVID-19 cases reported over the past 14 days in the County, here. Please note that the number in the legend represents the number of confirmed resident cases in the County’s zip codes. 

See the latest COVID-19 Situation Report from the Florida Department of Health here.

The City of Venice Emergency Management is in constant communication with Sarasota County and the Department of Health. See the latest Emergency Management Flash Report here.

The Florida Department of Health has reported 1,814 coronavirus cases in Sarasota County as of July 3, and 98 deaths from the disease.

Visit the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard for additional updated information.

Check out the City of Venice's COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page.

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City Facilities are Open

City Hall frontage June 2020The City of Venice reopened City Hall and all other City facilities to the public on June 22, with the exception of the Venice Museum and Julia Cousins Laning and Dale Laning Archives & Research Center, which will reopen July 13 (see below).

However, due to limitations set by Gov. Ron DeSantis, including that gatherings are recommended to be no larger than 50 people unless there is capacity for 6-foot social distancing, Venice City Council and advisory board meetings will still be virtual. These plans may change in future phases.

Due to the start of the Fire Station 1/City Hall improvement project, visitors to Venice City Hall should be aware they can only enter the building through the main doors facing West Venice Avenue.

The Cashier's Office south entrance, near the Fire Station, is blocked off due to construction activity. The Cashier's Office payment drop box has been relocated to the west side of the building at the employee entrance.

Parking is available on the west side of the building and near the front entrance along W. Venice Ave.

To support a safe environment for visitors and staff, current recommendations for physical distancing, cleaning/sanitation protocols, and capacity reductions will be implemented and adjusted as needed to remain in compliance with current health guidelines.

Visitors to City Hall and other City facilities are encouraged to wear masks when interacting with staff. Citizens will also notice new plexiglass barriers at public-facing counters at City Hall including the Cashier’s Office for utility bill and other payments, and the Building Department. Freestanding stations offering hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes are also available for the public.

If you need to meet with a City Hall staff member, we ask that you make an appointment in advance by calling 941-486-2626. The staff member will then meet you at a station in the lobby with plexiglass barriers offering protection for both you and City Hall employees.

City Hall is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Online services on this website include the ability for citizens to pay a utility bill or apply for a permitPeople can call the City’s main number at 941-486-2626 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday and be directed to the department they need.

Permits for special events in the City will be considered by staff effective Monday, July 13, depending on the scope of the event. All potential event holders will be required to submit a plan for social distancing and sanitization. Please email Special Events and Marketing Coordinator Shirley Gibson at sgibson@venicegov.com for more information.

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Venice Museum to Reopen 7/13

VMA photo 2019Venice Historical Resources is happy to announce the reopening of the Venice Museum, housed inside the historic Triangle Inn, and the Julia Cousins Laning and Dale Laning Archives & Research Center on Monday, July 13. The Museum will open for now with a limited schedule, operating Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Archives & Research Center will return to access by appointment.

Your experience visiting the Museum at 351 Nassau St. S. may be a little different from before, but still engaging. We have taken many precautions to protect both your health and ours when you visit. Some of them include:

  • Out of respect for visitors’ health, Museum staff will be wearing masks. Visitors are also asked to wear masks or cloth face coverings inside the facilities.
  • There will be hand sanitizer stations and disinfectant wipes throughout the Museum. Feel free to use them on your hands and the surfaces you touch.
  • You’ll be tested to see if you can safely social distance by one shuffleboard cue stick, a P-47 propeller blade, or a sandbar shark.
  • We thought plexiglass was only for museum exhibit cases, but now we are using it as an added layer of protection between staff and visitors.
  • For now, we are handling purchases with credit and debit cards; no cash will be accepted at this time.

The hallway exhibit, "Selling Venice: Advertising in the 1920s" will continue its run until January 13, 2021. Due to many requests, the Museum is extending "Playing in Paradise: The History of Venice Sports" until July 28, 2021.

The Archives & Research Center, across the street from the Museum at 224 Milan Ave. W., will also be taking precautions during this time. Staff there will also wear masks and procedures are in place for the safe transfer of materials from staff to researchers. Appointments will be staggered to support safe social distancing and allow time to wipe down areas. Appointment requests can be made by calling 941-716-7255 or emailing archives@venicegov.com.

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Farmers Market to Reopen 7/11

The Saturday Farmers Market at Venice City Hall will reopen on Saturday, July 11. During the construction of Fire Station 1 and expansion of City Hall, the market will relocate out of the parking lot but will still operate at City Hall. The Farmers Market will set up on W. Venice Avenue between Harbor Drive and Avenue des Parques, located between City Hall and the Hecksher Park tennis courts. Summer market hours will be from 8 a.m. to noon. Only service animals will be allowed during current COVID-19 rules.

Market staff and vendors have created a CDC-compliant and safe socially distanced outdoor shopping experience for the community, states Market Manager Lee Perron. All staff and vendors will wear masks and gloves and sanitizing stations will be available. The plan has been reviewed and approved by the City of Venice in order to comply with all federal, state and local guidelines for food and personal safety. Please visit the market website and select the FAQ tab to read more about new operating guidelines.

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County Libraries Update

Sarasota County Public Libraries reopened June 15 with modified hours.

The new hours reflect all library locations, except Osprey, which will remain closed. Hours are Monday through Thursday 10-6, and Friday and Saturday 10-5. This includes the William H. Jervey Jr. Library in the City of Venice.

Patrons are encouraged to get their materials and not linger inside if possible. Newspapers and magazines are not available at this time. Computers with Internet access are available, but there will be fewer stations, with hour time limits. Curbside service is still available.

Community members interested in placing holds on books, DVDs, audiobooks or other items can do so through the library’s website at scgov.net/library or by calling 941-861-1110.

City Playgrounds are Open

LegacyParkShowingPavilionsAll City of Venice playgrounds, as well as the Interactive Children’s Fountain in Centennial Park, reopened to the public June 13.

The playgrounds are located at Chuck Reiter Park, Hecksher Park, Wellfield Park, East Gate Park, John Nolen Park, Legacy Park, Mundy Park, Prentiss French Park and Venezia Park. The swings at West Blalock Park and the Venice Area Beautification Inc. (VABI) Building will also be accessible.

All playgrounds and the fountain have been cleaned, sanitized and inspected prior to opening.

Sarasota County Parks and Recreation also opened all County playgrounds June 13.

Phase 2 Reopenings

Per Executive Order 20-139 of Gov. Ron DeSantis, most of Florida’s counties moved into Phase 2 reopenings on June 5 (except Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach).

Details include:

  • Restaurants may operate at 50% indoor capacity and 100% outdoor capacity with social distancing of 6 feet between groups.
  • Entertainment businesses, including movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades, may operate at 50% capacity with social distancing and sanitization protocols.
  • Retail stores and gyms back to 100% capacity with social distancing and sanitization.
  • Personal service establishments, including tattoo, acupuncture and massage businesses and tanning salons, can reopen with CDC guidelines.
  • People are advised to not congregate in groups larger than 50.
  • Vulnerable individuals, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, should avoid close contact with people outside the home
  • People should continue to practice social distancing and use face masks in public when they can’t maintain 6 feet from others
  • Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited
  • Barbershops, hair salons and nail salons with enhanced safety protocols opened May 11.
  • Elective surgeries have resumed.

Read a summary of Phase 2 openings here. A note that alcohol consumption was suspended at bars statewide on June 26 per Emergency Order 2020-09.

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Area COVID-19 Testing Sites

COVID-19 testing at Venice Community Center 5.21.20A state COVID-19 drive-thru testing site opened is available for Sarasota and Manatee Counties at the Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota for anyone 18 years or older regardless of symptoms, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Evaluations for COVID-19 testing are offered at Gulf Coast Medical Group Urgent Care, 1700 E. Venice Ave. Hours are Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. When appropriate, testing will be done onsite.

Walk-up COVID-19 testing offered at the Robert L. Taylor Community Center, 1845 34th St., Sarasota, is for anyone regardless of symptoms, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

In partnership with DOH Sarasota County, CenterPlace Health is hosting free drive-up testing, by appointment, at three sites in Sarasota County. This community based COVID-19 testing is for anyone who is currently experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell) or people who work in a healthcare setting. No prescription is needed. All patients must have an appointment to be tested. Please call one of the locations below to be evaluated and scheduled for an appointment:

Child Health Center
(at the Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center)
1750 17th St., Bldg E, Sarasota
941-529-0100, then select option 3

Ringling Health Center
2200 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota
941-529-0200, then select option 3

North Port Health Center
6950 Outreach Way, North Port 
941-529-0300, then select option 3

For more information about the testing process or CenterPlace Health, visit www.CenterPlaceHealth.org.

DOH Sarasota has ongoing by-appointment-only COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites throughout Sarasota County. To be evaluated and to make an appointment, please call 941-861-2883, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For an updated schedule, please visit http://sarasota.floridahealth.gov

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Downtown Dining Expansion

On May 22, at the direction of City Council, Venice City Manager Ed Lavallee signed Executive Order 2020-09, stating that restaurants in the downtown business district may apply to the City to temporarily expand their outside dining laterally beyond the length of the public right-of-way or public property immediately adjacent to the subject property with the written consent of the adjacent, affected property owner. Businesses are required to maintain a 6-foot wide pedestrian walkway. 

The order also waives the requirement to obtain a permit for a temporary sign and the time limitations for temporary signs in the downtown business district.

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Short-term/Vacation Rental Plan

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Governor's Office approved Sarasota County’s plan to allow vacation rentals in accordance with an Executive Order of the Governor. The plan includes recommendations that will help to ensure the health and safety of employees and guests and went into effect May 22.

It includes guidance on reservations, guest safety, pets/assistance animals and recommendations for keeping properties clean and in compliance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Other topics address:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Confirmed COVID-19 case notification
  • Maintaining distance at pools, beaches, entrances and exits.

Read the complete guidelines here: https://www.scgov.net/vacationrentalsplan

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Virtual Meetings

NOTE: On May 26, City Council voted to postpone in-person meetings at City Hall until after the summer break (resuming 2nd week of August). All City advisory boards are also meeting virtually.

Scheduled Virtual City Council and Advisory Board Meetings and Workshops:

Venice City Hall has gone digital with public hearing notices. In light of recent changes that limit public access to City Hall, public notices that would typically be posted on the bulletin boards in City Hall are now available on this website. Under the “Government” tab on the homepage, select “City Clerk,” then “Public Notices.” When you select this page, you will find current public notices that have been posted. 

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Beaches and Parks

In partnership with Sarasota County, which reopened all dog parks in the County on May 11, the Brohard Paw Park in the City of Venice has reopened to dogs and their owners. This reopening includes the fenced-in play area and the dog beach. A reminder to please pick up after your pet. Waste bags are provided at the Paw Park.

South Jetty rocks May 2018

Humphris Park and the South Jetty point, Jetty Jack's concessions at the South Jetty, and the Venice Fishing Pier also reopened to the public May 11.

Visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines and posted rules at all these locations. Please maintain a 6-foot distance from others and avoid large groups. These locations will be patrolled by law enforcement. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Reopened Pier and Beach 5-14-20

All beaches are open!

Parking is available at Sarasota County-maintained and operated beaches, including beaches in the City of Venice, as of May 4. This includes Venice Beach, Brohard Beach (near Sharky's), Chauncy Howard Park, Maxine Barritt Park and Service Club Park.

Chairs, coolers and umbrellas will also now be allowed, but all beachgoers are asked to maintain social distancing and avoid large groups. Beach and park restrooms are open.

Concessions resumed at Venice Beach on May 8.

HecksherPark

The County opened outdoor pickleball and tennis courts to the public on May 2, including those at Hecksher Park and Wellfield Park in Venice. 

Chuck Reiter Park and Wellfield Park are also open for recreational use. Please observe the following guidelines and restrictions:
• One-hour maximum timeframe of use per match.
• Those waiting for the courts to open must remain 6 feet apart.
• Maintain social distancing in all areas off the courts and keep groups 6 feet apart. All court activity and compliance will be monitored by Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources staff. 

All outdoor courts including basketball, volleyball and shuffleboard were opened by the County on May 30. This includes Hecksher Park.  

Tournament play resumed June 14, pending submission/approval of reactivation plans. Local league play and ongoing reservations resumed June 1 with submission/approval of a reactivation plan.

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Watch PSA Videos From Venice Mayor Ron Feinsod on: 

COVID-19 best practices

Reopening of Venice beaches and parking

Cancellation of the July 4th fireworks

Enforcement of the Governor's Executive Orders

Reopening of the Paw Park, South Jetty and Fishing Pier

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Food Trucks

On April 15, Venice City Manager Ed Lavallee signed Executive Order 2020-06, amending restrictions for certain Venice parks. Activities expressly authorized by the City Manager, such as food truck permits obtained through the City, will be allowed at Chuck Reiter, Hecksher and Wellfield parks. 

On April 9, City Manager Ed Lavallee signed Executive Order 2020-05 allowing for food trucks licensed by the state to facilitate the safe provision of essential services to citizens in the City of Venice during the COVID-19 emergency.

Currently, Sharky’s and Kona Ice have food trucks at Wellfield Park, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels truck is located across from Venice Regional Bayfront Health, and Dog E Bag hot dogs is at West Blalock Park.

For questions about a temporary food truck permit, call 941-486-2626 and ask for the City Manager’s Office.

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Watch a PSA on first responder response from the City of Venice Fire Department.

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Gov. DeSantis issued 2 Executive Orders on April 2: One on a Re-employment Assistance Program, and another addressing COVID-19 Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief, which was extended until July 1 by Executive Order 20-137 and extended again until Aug. 1 by Executive Order 20-159.

On April 6, Gov. DeSantis issued an Executive Order on suspension of taxes for SBA loans.

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Face Masks

On April 3, the CDC came out with new recommendations for citizens wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus. The CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not N-95 masks. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Don't have a face covering? The CDC released a video showing how to make a face mask in 45 seconds. It's low-tech and uses items you have at home. Check it out here.

Masks can also be purchased at supermarkets, convenience stores and box stores. Local tailoring/alterations shops are also making and selling them. Check with those nearest you for availability.

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Solid Waste

The City of Venice is working hard to protect our community. Currently, all garbage, recycling and yard waste collection will continue as usual; however, residents should take note of several important precautions that began April 6:

  • All residential garbage and recycling must be placed inside the correct automated cart for collection. For the safety of our staff, nothing placed outside of the cart will be collected at this time.
  • If you have additional garbage or items that will not fit in the cart, please save it for your next regularly scheduled pickup day, or contact Public Works to schedule a bulk collection. Bulk garbage and bulk yard waste will continue to be collected and must be scheduled by contacting the Public Works office at 941-486-2422.
  • Cardboard boxes should be broken down flat and placed into the blue recycling cart for collection. For cardboard that will not fit inside a recycling cart, public dumpsters for cardboard will be placed at the following two locations:

    1. The Venice Community Center, 300 S. Nokomis Ave., within the northern parking area.

    2. The intersection of Pinebrook Rd. and Lucaya Ave., to the east of Pinebrook Rd. near the croquet field entrance.

  • If your collection should get missed for some reason, please contact the Public Works office and staff will schedule a return trip within 24 hours.

Please contact Public Works at 941-486-2422 for any other solid waste or recycling questions. Learn more about how to protect our Solid Waste workers here. We truly appreciate your cooperation and assistance during this challenging time.

The three Chemical Collection Centers in Sarasota County are now accepting hazardous waste from all residential and commercial customers. Appointments are no longer required. This includes facilities at 250 S. Jackson Road, Venice, and 4010 Knights Trail Road, Nokomis. Disposal for Sarasota County residents is free, however limits may apply.

Additional details can be found at www.scgov.net/hazardouswaste 

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On March 24, Florida Gov. DeSantis issued 2 additional executive orders related to the coronavirus:
• Executive Order 20-82 directs all persons who enter the State of Florida from an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter.
• Executive Order 20-83 directs the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer to issue a public health advisory to all persons over 65 years of age urging them to stay home and to take such other measures as necessary to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

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If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or otherwise feel ill, call the Sarasota County Health Department (COVID-19) call center at 941-861-2883 to check your symptoms. Subject matter experts are on duty 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 

All residents and visitors are reminded to continue following guidelines from the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control.

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County Services/Offices

The SCAT bus system is operating on a modified schedule. Fares are suspended for both fixed routes and SCAT Plus. Get more information here on current SCAT services.

An appointment is required for specific driver's license transactions at the Sarasota County Tax Collector's Office that cannot be completed online. Other transactions must be completed online or through the mail. To make a driver's license appointment, call 941-861-8300, option 2. For online transactions, please visit the Tax Collector's website.

The Sarasota Clerk of the Circuit Court and County Comptroller is urging the community to continue practicing social distancing by utilizing online services, pay-by-phone, or mail service.

The Sarasota County Property Appraiser's Office has closed all three office locations to the public, but remains staffed. Online services, telephone operations, electronic and physical mail will remain available and reviewed by property appraiser staff. 

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections offices are now open to the public for voter registration and election-related business at their Venice, Sarasota and North Port locations. Regular business hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. For questions, call 941-861-8619. 

Additional Notices

  • Permits for special events in the City will be considered by staff effective Monday, July 13, depending on the scope of the event. All potential event holders will be required to submit a plan for social distancing and sanitization. Please contact Special Events and Marketing Coordinator Shirley Gibson at sgibson@venicegov.com or 941-882-7439 for more information.
  • Sarasota County reactivated facility reservations on June 15. If you are interested in resuming use of interior facility space, please contact the recreation or nature center of your choice, email parksonline@scgov.net or call 941-861-PARK (7275) to begin the process. You may also enter an online request for most facilities at http://ow.ly/YgfU50A5eve. Once the request is received, you will be contacted for further instructions before your reservation is finalized.
  • Venice Community Center will offer 90-minute open play indoor pickleball sessions starting Monday, July 13. Players must preregister by visiting http://ow.ly/EUGX50AcLIC or by calling 941-861-1380. Registration begins on July 6. Drop-in play is unavailable at this time. Sessions limited to 24 players, no spectators. For more info, visit http://ow.ly/KG1950AcLIB
  • The community can sign up to receive text alerts about Sarasota County updates related to COVID-19 by texting SRQCOVID19 to 888-777.
  • The City of Venice reinstated its Adopt-a-Park Volunteer Program and all other volunteer park programs on July 1. Volunteers are asked to continue to social distance and avoid meeting in large groups.