Venice’s annual street festival extravaganza of live music and family fun is just around the block. The Abbot Kinney Festival is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, between Main Street and Venice Boulevard, in Venice.
Admission is free.
It’s the 21st year of the festival, which is organized by the Abbot Kinney District Association, a conglomeration of local merchants who operate along Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which is viewed as Venice’s shopping zone for chic boutiques.
This year’s festival will feature two stages of live music (organized by Michael “Micky” Schuman and MusiColor Entertainment), dancers, performance artists, a children’s court, a spirit (alcohol) garden and food court, an art pavilion and about 300 vendors of handmade goods.
Organizers are also noting all the more reason to celebrate at the Abbot Kinney Street Festival as it’s the year of Venice’s 100th anniversary.
“This is like a grand finale for celebrating the Venice Centennial,” says Stephan Klein, an organizer of this year’s Abbot Kinney Festival and president of the Abbot Kinney District Association.
A main attraction of the festival is its live music. Two sound stages will be set up at Rialto and Westminster Avenues where they intersect Abbot Kinney Boulevard.
Highlights of this year’s musical lineup include Motown’s Leon Ware, a Detroit native soul songwriter/singer whose songs have been recorded by Michael Jackson and Marvin Gaye; Quinto Sol, which plays reggae roots and Latin rhythms; Amanda Dumas, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter influenced by Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk; local Venice boardwalk bluesman Peter Demian with his band Street Smart; The Untouchables, a mod/ ska band; and Venice-based female soul rock duo Karmina.
Brasilidade Band will close out the performances on the Westminster stage with Brazilian music, samba dancing and extravagance.
It’s the first year that a special art pavilion will be a part of the festival. Among the artworks will be nature scenes by Susan Schnepps; works based on space by Doug Blamy; paintings of Venice by Ginger Drinkwater; and an assortment of photographic prints of Venice.
The Youth and Family Court at the Abbot Kinney Festival will feature an entire separate lineup of entertainment geared towards kids ages two through 14 and their families.
The entertainment includes world and folk music, puppetry, theater, poetry, arts and crafts, rides, games, face painting, a petting zoo and an interactive community mural.
Youth and Family Court activities are organized by local nonprofit groups Inside Out Community Arts and the Boys & Girls Club of Venice.
Entertainers booked for appearances at the Youth and Family Court include Rhythm Child, Mexica, Ekzopuppets, Lineage Dance and others.
Abbot Awards will be presented to influential members of the community at an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. on the Westminster stage. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is set to be the guest of honor at the ceremony, according to festival organizers.
Abbot Kinney Boulevard will be closed to vehicle traffic between Main Street and Venice Boulevard during festival hours.
Information, (310) 396-3772.