Abbot Kinney is a street named for the Founder of Venice, Ca and is the host of one of the largest street fairs since 1984. The purpose of the festival taken from the wonderful map provided for attendees is “to promote the vibrant creativity that makes the beachside community of Venice, California so unique.” The event is also a fund raiser with proceeds from the event put back into the community in the form of grants given to local non-profits and community organizations. The festival attracts over 120,000 attendees and it is a family, eco friendly, artistic and unpretentious gathering of health oriented festives.
The festival spanned a mile long section of Abbot Kinney and includes two stages with bands, a stage with spoken poetry from Beyond Baroque, two beer gardens (one with a band and one with a DJ), artists, crafts people, non- profits, political organizations, and local retail and food vendors, as well as numerous food trucks. Over 100 local merchants and over 200 exhibitors participated in the day’s events. There were also eco friendly innovators informing the public of ways to help the environment in a section called “Green Scene.” There was also an area called Kidsquad with special exhibitors for the enjoyment of the young, and two stages, where either adults performed for children, or children showed off for the adults and their peers their various talents.
In the past proceeds from the day went to organizations like “A Window beyond Worlds,” who had a booth where young and old could create art to inspire the end of domestic violence on cut out hand prints. In fact many of the past beneficiaries were also exhibitors. Other grant recipients include Beyond Baroque, Venice Arts, Venice Arts Council, Venice High School Robotics Club, Venice Oceanarium, Venice Skateboard Association, Friends of Couer d’Alene, and Inside Out Community Arts. Many arts organizations, actors, performers, artisans were on hand informing the public of their services and also helping to encourage participation in the day by providing entertainment.
Over all the Abbot Kinney Festival is a fine example of how a community can have a party to celebrate its unique character and in the process gain financially for its future. For more information about the festivale visit Abbot Kinney Festival on line.