Celebration! - Venice's 100th Anniversary:
July 4, 2005
Abbot Kinney, Venice California's founder, officially dedicated the
town on July 4, 1905. He scheduled four days of celebration with swimming
races on the inland lagoon, yachting races beyond the 1200-foot-long Abbot
Kinney Pier at Windward, the beginning of a six-week Chataugua assembly with
historic and religious lectures in the 3000 seat Venice Auditorium on his
pier, band concerts, and various dedication ceremonies of his new resort.
Although it is more than a year away, it is time to plan another celebration.
I'm not sure whether a private corporation will need to be set up as sponsor,
or the various community groups like the Venice Chamber of Commerce, the
Venice Beach Merchants' Association, the Venice Historical Society, and
the alumni of Venice High School will jointly sponsor a three day event.
I'm sure that the sponsors will be tempted to try to make a profit by
sponsoring an arts and crafts fair on Windward where they sell vendor
space, but they will discover that they are competing with hundreds of
vendors selling at free spaces along Ocean Front Walk. None-the-less,
regardless of what is planned. it will take a concerted effort and corporate
sponsorship to fund and organize the various possible events that I've
- 1) Parade with floats, antique autos, and bands along Ocean Front Walk.
- 2) Amusement ride carnival at the park at Windward Avenue and Ocean Front
- 3) Fireworks show at night.
- 4) Musical acts and bands on two stages on a closed Windward Avenue.
- 5) Woman's bathing beauty contest.
- 6) Historical walking tours.
- 7) Historical lectures, slide shows, historic photo displays, movies and
- 8) Display of Venice's Miniature Railway (yes it is located in Southern
California and may be available.)
75th Anniversary - July 4, 1980
I'm not sure who organized and sponsored it, but the denial of use of
the park in front of the Venice Pavilion at Windward created problems.
Events that took place were:
- 1) Parade along Ocean Front Walk.
- 2) Various roller skating competitions.
- 3) Bathing Beauty Contest on outdoor stage at Venice Pavilion.
- 4) Mr. Muscle Beach contest.
- 5) Night of non-theatrical movies filmed in Venice at Fox Venice Theater on
90th Anniversary - Friday, Saturday & Sunday following
July 4th, 1995.
The event was organized and sponsored by the Venice Chamber of
Commerce. Planning began in late March of that year and due to lack of
participation (less than a dozen volunteers), some of the planned events
were discarded. Although ride carnivals have to be booked more than a year
before an event, Jeffrey Stanton managed to obtain the permission from the
L.A. Dept. Parks and Recreation to hold the event at the park at the foot of
Windward and obtained a 15 ride carnival for the three day event. Since the
carnival was expected to gross between $50,000 and $100,000, it was expected
that Chamber's share of 20% of the carnival's profits, would fund the
permits and other events. Unfortunately, the 200,000 people who attended the
events that weekend, never bring money to the beach, and the Chamber nearly
It proved impossible to organize a parade with only three volunteers on
the parade committee, no schools in session during the summer to provide
bands, no walkie-talkies, etc. The President of the Chamber and manager of
the Marina International Hotel, was all talk and no show for he failed to
find a sponsor for the fireworks show. Historian Jeffrey Stanton devised a
display of 140 historic photographs of the canals and amusement piers,
conducted six historic walking tours, and gave a historic slide presentation
outdoors to 150 people on Saturday night. The Venice Historic Society did
not participate in the events since they demanded to handle all historic
presentations and events. With less than 10 volunteers, the Chamber of
Commerce decided not to offend Stanton by accepting their demands.
- 1) 15-ride carnival (Ferris Wheel, Circle swing, Round-up (centrifuge),
portable fun house, giant slide, kiddie rides, etc.) at the park at
- 2) Music groups performed on two stages along a closed off Windward Avenue.
- 3) Historic walking tours conducted by historian Jeffrey Stanton.
- 4) Historic slide show - outdoors on a 15-foot screen at Venice Pavilion.
- 5) Historic photo display (140 photos from Stanton's archives) - at the
Chamber of Commerce booth.
- 6) Bathing beauty contest - Outdoor stage at Venice Pavilion.
95th Anniversary - Spring & Summer events 2000
These events were sponsored by the Venice Historic Society. Various
photographers, movie / video makers, and Venice historians, with the exception of
Jeffrey Stanton, were invited to conduct a series of lectures about the
Venice community. The events were held at various venues and one at Sponto's
gallery was a poetry reading by various "Beat" poets from the 1960's.