Venetian Festival returns July 15-18

Published 12:34 pm Sunday, July 11, 2010

Big name music acts and sand sculpting are just two of the numerous attractions that lure visitors to the Venetian Festival each year. (Photos submitted)


Get ready to brave the heat and hit the beach.

The Venetian Festival returns to St. Joseph for four days of live entertainment, crafts, cars, competitions, fireworks and a taste of all the area’s restaurants and wineries have to offer July 15-18.

“We do have a couple of significant changes up on the bluff this year that I think will be of interest to a pretty good size group of people,” said Laurie Draper, festival spokesperson.

The annual Big Band Dance held at the Whitcomb veranda has been moved from its traditional Thursday night slot to Friday.

From 7 to 8 p.m. those interested in taking part in the dance – but may not have the moves – can take free dance lessons. The dance itself starts at 8 p.m.

Also taking place at the same location and time Friday night, visitors to the festival can enjoy the tastes of area vineyards and microbreweries with a beer and wine tasting.

The theme for this year’s festival is “Music and Fun Go Round,” in honor and celebration of the recently completed carousel and ballroom as part of the Silver Beach Center.

“We’re really excited to have that entire new complex down there,” Draper said. “We’re just sort of celebrating the return of the carousel to Silver Beach.”

Another beer and wine tasting will take place Saturday night and the festival is partnering with the Curious Kids Museum to provide a special “curiosity zone” for the Venetian’s children’s area.

The list of activities, events and things to do during the festival is almost never ending – and of course there’s the beauty of the beach itself.

“There’s such a wide variety of things to do and things to see,” Draper said. “It’s a family-oriented event, so you can come down with your young kids, your teenagers. There’s something there for everyone to enjoy.”