The annual Abbot Kinney Boulevard Festival is back for its 20th year with a lineup of musical acts, food and community fun on Sunday, September 26th.

Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the stretch of Abbot Kinney Boulevard (best known for its craft boutiques and fashionable shops) between Venice Boulevard and Main Street in Venice will be closed to traffic and used as festival grounds.

Admission to the street festival is free.

The event will feature games, food, a petting zoo, rides, performances, prizes and an art show.

The Abbot Kinney District Association, a merchants group, has organized the festival again this year.

A special youth and family court for kids will be set up by Inside Out Community Arts and Venice Arts.

The main feature of the festival is its stages of live music. This year, the lineup of bands includes SugarBitch, a sassy soul band, freak out funksters The Bonedaddys and Rhythm Child, a percussion ensemble led by Norm Jones that interacts with kids in the audience and lets them participate in making music.

Other bands scheduled to perform at the festival include Nova Blue, Form Of, Gila Monsters, Free Kountry, In Bloom, Shaper Shifters, Firefly, Most Chill Slack Mob, Donald & Tichenor, Zoo People, Jimmy Reid, Jackie Lomax, Billy Preston, Ceremonial and Badaue.

Performance stages will be set up where Abbot Kinney Boulevard crosses Westminster Avenue and Rialto Avenue. A children’s performance stage will be set up at the corner of Abbot Kinney and Venice Boulevards.

The festival invites bands from a mix of genres including roots rock, pop, folk, jazz, classical music and hip-hop.

Local Venice literary and arts foundation, Beyond Baroque, has organized poetry readings between the musical sets.

This year’s festival poster art was done by Tom Everhart, and can be seen throughout the festival.

Belgian photographer Yves Bodson will be one of the artists featured in the festival’s art show this year, held where Andalusia Court crosses Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Bodson creates digital images supported by mathematical models. Bodson stitches together photographs and uses non-traditional geometric space to build new perspectives from which to view his subjects.

The Other Venice Film Festival, a film festival started last year with a local Venice perspective, will be accepting submissions during the Abbot Kinney Boulevard Festival, for this year’s film festival scheduled for March 2005 at the Electric Lodge in Venice. Submission deadline for the Other Venice Film Festival is Friday, December 31st.

Additional attractions at this year’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard Festival include a skateboard competition and exhibition, and a “Taste of Venice” sampling of cuisine from area restaurants.

A “Spirit of Venice Award” ceremony will be held, and this year, the Abbot Kinney District Association plans to honor Venice Arts and Inside Out Community Arts, two local nonprofit groups that provide local underprivileged kids access to art education and the arts.

The Abbot Kinney District Association estimates that 60,000 people attended the festival last year and the group expects as many festival-goers this year to pass through.

Information, (310) 396-3772.