This is the one of the most unusual open-air exhibitions we have ever seen. The Venice Art Center made 44 sitting and 12 standing fiberglass pigs; then local artists painted them. Last year the Center placed the wonderful animals all around the town. Seven feet long from tail to pushed in nose, they are on a mission to educate visitors about the area rich heritage, fantastic beaches and amazing attractions. Their leader, Capitan Will B. Cooked, has been nominated as the Venice Art Center Pigs in Paradise Ambassador. There is also Elvis Pigsley, Andy Warhog , Pigcasso, Mr Main Street etc. The Pigs in Paradise of Venice campaign will not stay here forever - at the end of April 2005 when the pigs will be auctioned off for charity. My favorite? The pig in front of the wine store (at the corner of Venice Ave and Nokomis Ave) called "Swine Connoisseur".
One of the best known events in Venice is the annual Shark?s Tooth Festival. This colorful event, which celebrates the area's natural bounty of fossilized sharks' teeth, is held every spring. The 13th Annual Sharks Tooth Festival will be celebrated April 8 - 10, 2005 at the beach near the Venice Pier. The festival features live entertainment, educational booths, fossil vendors of course, more than 100 artists from around the State, and great food! The festival showcases shark teeth, shark jaws, stingray spine fragments, stingray teeth, alligator teeth, sea biscuits and more. Local artisans sell homemade crafts, jewelry, and sea-related treasures.
But if you can collect the teeth yourself combing a beach of your choice (it's free and will keep you occupied). The teeth you are looking for are from sharks extinct for millions of years. Sharks which have died, sink to the Gulf of Mexico floor. Over time, the cartilage of their bodies disintegrated. Eventually some of the teeth were washed up on shore with tides. Combing these shores to look for the dark gems has always been a favorite pastime of visitors and residents here because these teeth make great collectibles. The teeth range in size from one eighth inch to three inches and may be black, brown or gray, depending of type of minerals, deposits, and vegetation in the soil in which they have been buried. The locals claim that the Caspersen Beach is the place. To start your own collection you have to take a walk along the shore and hopefully discover sharks' teeth, for which the beach earned national acclaim.
Take the drive on Casey Key and see beautiful homes on the Gulf and the intercoastal sides. Do notice 1600 Casey Key, that is Steven Kings home.
I'd never seen this before as Canada is cold in the winter, but Venice plants poinsettas outside around Christmas time. It was a strange sight for someone who's only ever seen them indoors.