The fourth annual Venice Holiday Sign Lighting commences Friday

P!nk traveled by bicycle to flip the switch at last year’s Venice Holiday Sign Lighting Photo by Edizen Stowell

P!nk traveled by bicycle to flip the switch at last year’s Venice Holiday Sign Lighting
Photo by Edizen Stowell

The stars are shining bright in Venice, at least during the fourth annual holiday lighting of the neighborhood’s most iconic sign. On Friday, Dec. 4, L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin and a special celebrity guest will pull the ceremonial switch to change the famed VENICE sign’s colors from its usual white to a more festive red and green.

Previous celebrities who’ve done the honors include actor Robert Downey Jr., actress Anjelica Huston and pop-rock star P!nk. As usual, the identity of this year’s celebrity is being kept close to the vest until the event.

In the meantime, there’s a huge inflatable panda hanging out at Windward Circle that might make for a great selfie background. Could it also be a clue about the celebrity guest?

Friday’s festivities begin at 6:15 p.m. with a pre-lighting ceremony, followed by the actual lighting ceremony at 8 p.m. sharp at the intersection of Windward and Pacific avenues.

This year’s event also features the artwork of Venice public school children in the inaugural “My Venice Holiday” Poster Contest, with work by winners from each grade level on display. Finalists will be announced on stage before the sign lighting and receive a savings bond from 1st Century Bank.

Those who attend the Venice Holiday Sign Lighting are also encouraged to donate new, unwrapped toys valued at $20 or more for the 9th annual Muscle Beach Toy Drive and the Great Venice Toy Drive (see below). Find collection boxes during the event at both the Venice Chamber of Commerce and the Venice Neighborhood Council tables.

The chamber’s campaign to replace the VENICE sign’s 87 incandescent lightbulbs with color-changing LED bulbs also continues. The chamber hopes to make lighting up the sign during other holidays, like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, a more regular affair.

— Christina Campodonico

The fourth annual Venice Holiday Sign Lighting happens at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at the intersection of Windward and Pacific avenues in Venice. Visit venicesign.org.