The 27th annual Abbot Kinney Festival, billed as one of the Los Angeles area’s most popular community events, will take place on a one-mile stretch of the eclectic Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25.

The free community festival, held along the boulevard of boutiques, restaurants and bars from Venice Boulevard to Main Street, features local artisans, live music, food and family entertainment.

Organized by the Abbot Kinney Festival Association (AKFA), the annual event has grown in size and popularity to become one of the largest of its kind in the country, attracting nearly 150,000 people. Proceeds from sponsorships, booth exhibitor fees, official merchandise, and event concessions will benefit the AKFA community grants program.

During this year’s festival, beginning at 3:15 p.m. on the Andalusia Stage, the AKFA board of directors will award grants to Venice non-profits, including 826LA, Beyond Baroque, Inside Out Community Arts, Venice Arts, Venice Oceanarium, and A Window Between Worlds.

In addition, the association’s 2011 Spirit of Venice Awards, which recognize honorees for their contributions to the “heart and soul” of Venice, will be presented to the following:

David King, garden master of Venice High School Learning Garden and founder and chair ofthe Seed Library of Los Angeles;

The Venice Art Crawl (accepted by co-founders Daniel Samakow, Edizen Stowell and Mark Rojas);

Yo! Venice!; and

Teresa Skinner, senior lead officer at the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific division.

Entertainment will include a line-up of indie bands at the Andalusia Avenue stage, produced by Milkmade; live music and deejay tunes curated by L.A. Record and dublab on the Brooks Avenue stage; as well as popular deejays from dublab on the Palms Boulevard stage at The Brig.

Visitors are encouraged to ride bicycles, carpool with friends, or use public transportation such as Metro, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Playa Vista Beach Shuttle.

Public parking lots are available on Venice Beach, but spaces fill early. Several private parking lots are located near Windward Avenue, and parking lots are also located on Electric Avenue, Washington Boulevard near the Venice Pier, and in Marina del Rey.

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