Costumed revelers will take to the streets to jumpstart the local 2010 Mardi Gras festivities in the Ninth Annual Venice Beach Mardi Gras Parade Saturday, February 13th.

Participants who will join in the “carnival time” celebration along the Venice Beach Boardwalk include local musicians, artists, residents, and friends.

The parade is scheduled to begin at noon at Rose Avenue and Ocean Front Walk.

Critical Brass, a New Orleans-style brass band, will lead the parade of costumed participants, followed by this year’s king and queen and the Krewe of Grand View, a group of musicians, artists, friends and residents from Venice, Mar Vista and Santa Monica. They will be throwing beads to the crowd as an offering of good will and a token of generosity, parade organizers said.

Others who plan to join the festivities are the Mardi Gras Drum Tribe; stilt walker Antonio G-R and Hula-hoop dancers from Stilt Circus of Los Angeles; local chanteuse Suzy Williams; vocal performer Miss Jessica; and many “Burning Man” enthusiasts, parade coordinator Jessica Long said.

The celebrants will proceed south from Rose to Windward Avenue throwing beads to spectators. They will then travel north to the Venice Bistro at 323 Ocean Front Walk, where the celebration will continue from 2:30 to 6 p.m. with the New Orleans Mardi Gras funk band “The Gumbo Brothers” and special guests Miss Jessica, The Sugar Shack Attack and the Critical Brass band.

Krewe of Grand View members said that this annual Mardi Gras parade in Venice is a significant cultural arts community event that honors both the Venice Beach lifestyle and the tradition of parading in Venice Beach that started in the 1920s to 30s.

The event also honors the Mardi Gras tradition in New Orleans as well as the origin of Carnival that began in Venice, Italy hundreds of years ago as a celebration preceding the Catholic season of Lent, parade organizers note.

The parade will be held rain or shine. Admission is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome.

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