Local New Year’s traditions as well as one-time special New Year’s Eve bashes are lined up to ring in 2005.
PENGUIN SWIM — The water temperature is often in the 50s Fahrenheit, but that doesn’t stop a group of local swimmers from coming out each year for an icy New Year’s Day dip in the ocean at Venice Beach.
The 45th annual Penguin Swim is scheduled for noon Saturday, January 1st, at the Venice Beach breakwater, (ocean end of Windward Avenue), Venice. Participation is free, but entrants must show up by 11 a.m. to sign up and bring a signed liability release form in case things get a bit too cold.
“Swimming is usually a safe activity, but it is exercise, and on January 1st, it’s cold,” group organizers write. They recommend that only people confident in their physical fitness participate in the event.
After the group braves the winter waves, the event finishes with the crowning of a “Penguin King, Queen, Prince and Princess.”
Last year’s king was Terry Ballentine; queen was Sister Mary Murphy; prince was Jake Glick; and princess was Dorothy Thomas.
“The water is cold and the waves are high,” says Clay Evans, a former Olympics competitor who helps organize the event and also participates.
“You don’t have much time to make a decision,” says Evans.
Information, (310) 821-8136.
MARINA FIREWORKS — The sky over Marina del Rey will be the canvas for a fireworks display this New Year’s Eve. Just weeks after the fireworks at the Marina del Rey Tournament of Lights Holiday Boat Parade, the annual New Year’s fireworks display is on cue to start at the 30-second countdown before midnight Friday, December 31st.
The fireworks will be shot from the main channel, off the south jetty.
The display will be viewable throughout the Marina area, but prime locations to view the show are at Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way; and Fisherman’s Village, at the end of Fiji Way in Marina del Rey, county officials say. There is no charge to view the fireworks from these locations.
Information, (310) 305-9548.
ANTI-BUSH PEACE PARTY — A New Year’s Eve comedy showcase and dance party with anti-Bush and anti-war themes, hosted by local Santa Monica agitator Jerry Peace Activist Rubin (no relation to the 1960s Yippie activist Jerry Rubin), is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Friday, December 31st, at the Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St., Santa Monica.
The event is a yearly fundraiser for Alliance for Survival, Rubin’s activist group.
Stand-up comedians Rick Overton, Cathy Ladman and David Zasloff will entertain with jokes at the Bush administration’s expense.
Also featured will be live music and dancing with the rock band Working Class Heroes and a folk music performance by “singer-songfighter” Ross Altman.
Admission is $30, or $20 for low-income individuals.The admission price includes a buffet dinner, champagne and parking.
Information, (310) 399-1000.
BEAUTIFUL LOSERS NEW YEAR’S EVE — A New Year’s Eve celebration with artists featured in the Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture exhibit and book, is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Friday, December 31st, at Equator Books, 1103 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. Admission is free.
The Beautiful Losers exhibit focuses on street culture and is comprised of works by 50 artists inspired by skateboarding, graffiti, punk and hip-hop culture.
Information, (310) 822-3997.