The water has receded, and the streets are passable, but this American city named after its European cousin is on the road to recovery after Hurricane Ian. While blue tarps dot the landscape, much debris awaits pickup curbside.
A trip from Venice further south to Englewood, the destruction becomes more apparent. Miles of downed trees, rubbish bags, couches, you name it, line the highway. Which is worse I thought, 77″ of snow in Buffalo or having your mobile home completely destroyed. The snowbirds have not returned in force, yet I’m told as the hurricane gave them nothing to come back to.
Red tide has slowed the pace of fishermen and bathers alike, but the city with a population of 25K appears to be returning to normal. A huge outdoor craft fair was held this past Saturday not far from the city pier which juts out into the gulf. Imagine my surprise at finding the weekly farmer’s market in downtown Venice was held on two blocked off streets much like what Celebrate Holliston had done with Central Street in 2021. The place was packed with everything from German pretzels to exotic plants. With 104 vendors I couldn’t help thinking what are we doing wrong in Holliston.
Lo and behold the city had taken part in America in Bloom this year with judges arriving in February. AIB visited Holliston from 2012 to 2017. The garden centers here are full of bedding plants, and I can’t wrap my head around preparing hanging baskets in late November, all of which abound in downtown Venice.
This Saturday is small business Saturday, and the city is planning a huge Christmas parade. Signs along the parade route advise those planning to attend to “not set up their chairs until four days before the event”. The following Saturday, December 3rd (Happy Birthday Holliston} the City of Venice will host a Christmas Boat Parade on the intercoastal waterway.
There’s a vibrancy here especially after a major disaster that I have yet to put my finger on. For many, this Thanksgiving is one of gratitude for the little things like a place to stay or a warm meal.