Follow the Rainbows to Venice Pride Weekend Celebrations and Events
Venice Pride, a weekend of events celebrating the LGBTQ community, its roots in Venice, and its circle of support from friends and neighbors, starts tonight at 5 p.m. with the second annual rainbow Venice Sign lighting and block party at Windward Circle.
Go to dance (DJ Victor Rodriguez "Bears In Space" will be back in action this year.) Go to eat (Oaxaca On Wheels, Wise Barbecue Company, and the Middle East Food Truck are due to roll up.) Go to mingle (Venice Pride partner exhibitors will be set up along Windward Circle.) And go to celebrate and remember what this is all about. The Venice Sign will be lit at 8:30 p.m. and festivities carry on until 11 p.m. with an after party at the Townhouse and another at The Birdcage on Main Street.
This is a resurgence of the LGBTQ voice in the community. Last year, Venice was hit in the gut when Roosterfish, the last standing dedicated gay bar on the Westside, shuttered after 37 years on Abbot Kinney. Losing this neighborhood institution, a symbol of inclusivity and acceptance, inspired a grassroots effort to keep its spirit and legacy going through Venice Pride. The newly-formed non-profit will lead ongoing LGBTQ outreach efforts in Venice and the greater LA area.
The effort was led by local artist and restaurateur Daniel Samakow (he's also behind the Venice Art Crawl and organized the inaugural Venice Sign holiday lighting in 2011), and digital marketing consultant Grant Turck. The movement has grown to include many familiar leaders and artists in the community.
Patrick Marston is one of them. A well-known Venice muralist and landscape designer, Marston and husband Michael Brunt recently created a new Venice Beach landmark by painting the Brooks Avenue lifeguard tower into a rainbow.
This tower location was chosen because, “It’s rooted in the history of Venice,” Turck said in an interview with The Argonaut, citing a 1972 article in The Lesbian Tide from USC’s One Archives, the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world. “In that issue there was an article called ‘Gay Beach: Pro’s & Con’s’ [sic], and in that article there were directions to the ‘gay beach.’”
“That’s why we chose the Brooks Avenue Lifeguard Tower as the Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower,” Turck continued, “and that’s why we chose Park to Breeze Avenue to be the Bill Rosendahl Memorial Beach now.”
Venice Pride Events
Friday, June 2; 11:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Gaywatch Venice Pride After Party @ The Birdcage
Saturday, June 3; 8:30 to 11 a.m.
Beach, Please! Big Beach Cleanup
Saturday, June 3; 1 to 5 p.m.
Status Is Sexy Pride Extravaganza @ Muscle Beach
*Photos courtesy Venice Pride