The Abbot Kinney Festival, one of the Los Angeles area’s most popular community events, will celebrate its 25th year along a nearly one-mile section of Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, September 27th.

The free festival, which stretches from Venice Boulevard to Main Street, features local artisans, live music on three stages and family entertainment.

In honor of the 25th anniversary, the Abbot Kinney Festival Association (AKFA) is donating nearly $25,000 in proceeds to local Venice community groups that serve youth and families. Since 1984, the AKFA has organized the festival and reinvested over $250,000 in proceeds to the community.

Live music featured includes indie band performances produced by FMLY at the stage on Andalusia Avenue and music curated by Little Radio at the Brooks Avenue stage. On Palms Avenue, the Air Conditioned Supper Club of Venice will showcase local performers such as the Brig Band and the band, Venice.

Visitors are encouraged to ride their bicycles to the festival. The first 500 riders to use the festival’s free bike valet stations will receive a reusable shopping tote, by redeeming the valet ticket at the Whole Foods Market booth at Broadway Court in the festival’s “Green Scene.” Attendees are also encouraged to consider public transportation through Metro (www.metro.net/), Santa Monica Big Blue Bus (www.bigbluebus.com/), or the Playa Vista Beach Shuttle.

The annual Abbot Kinney Festival has attracted nearly 150,000 people throughout the region, according to the festival association.

During this year’s event, beginning at 3:30 p.m. on the stage at Andalusia Avenue, City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and the AKFA board of directors will award nearly $25,000 to the following Venice nonprofits: 826LA, Couer D’Alene Elementary School, Electric Lodge, Greater Venice Preschool Scholarship, Legal Aid Foundation Los Angeles, Masters in the Chapel, SPARC, Venice Art Walls, Venice Arts, Venice Arts Council,

Venice Chamber of Commerce, Venice High School Robotics and Westminster Avenue Elementary School Endowment Group.

In addition, they will recognize the 2009 recipients of the AKFA’s Spirit of Venice Awards who were nominated by the community for their contributions to the “heart and soul” of Venice — Steve Clare of Venice Community Housing Corporation, Andy Lipkis of TreePeople, and Joel Shapiro of Electric Lodge.

The 2009 Abbot Kinney Festival is sponsored by Whole Foods Market-Venice, Anheuser-Busch, experienceLA, Brand X, Clif Bar, Honest Tea, Lifeway Kefir, New Belgium Brewing Co., Pardee Properties, TOMS Shoes, Uturn2tap.com/, Kaiser Permanente, and WestEnd.

The event is supported by the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and the Venice Neighborhood Council. The Youth & Family Courtyard is also sponsored by Reed’s and George

Chung Realtors.

Information, www.abbotkinney.org/.

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