Venice Mardi Gras March 1, 2014 Saturday – 13th Annual Parade
Yes, Mardi Gras also happens in Venice! For the past 13 years, this annual fun filled parade is on the Venice Boardwalk aka Ocean Front Walk, starting at noon The lively parade filled with locals in fantastic colorful costumes throwing beads to the crowd and a few funky bands to add to the mix for great fun!
The parade heads to Windward Circle and unbelievably winds its way through Danny’s Venice (aka the Venice Cheers) then heads back to the Venice Bistro for the afterparty.
The afterparty is a must attend event at this longtime Venice bar with the Gumbo Brothers headlining the show. They put on a great show for several hours and know how to throw down! Of course the Venice Beach Mardi Gras would not be complete without Miss Jessica, who sings with the Gumbo Brothers and in fact is the chief organizer of the parade and afterparty every year!
Miss Jessica along with her beau Johann, fabulous guitar player and singer from the Gumbo Brothers put the parade together each year and head up the Grand View Krewe. Todd and Theo von Hoffman head up the Windward Krewe, dressed in royal purple and carrying the Venice sign that is made to look like the one hanging on Windward Ave at Pacific.
My Venice Life asked Miss Jessica a few questions about the Venice Beach Mardi Gras Parade and here’s what she had to say about how it all started and a few words about this year’s King & Queen, Todd & Theo von Hoffman:
MyVL: Tell us about the 2014 Venice Beach Mardi Gras Parade theme.
Miss Jessica: LOVELUTION~I made the word up! Venice Beach Mardi Gras Parade Theme: LOVELUTION~Combines the History of Love, the desire to evolve, and the willingness to change in an attempt to spread peace & goodwill! I tend to create themes that have a purpose attached, either something socially significant , or one that gives people if they so choose to reflect on or improve an aspect of themselves or their lives. I feel it is important to when given the chance, invite people to explore and grow and so this theme is about that concept.
MyVL: What’s the origin of the Venice Mardi Gras parade?
Miss Jessica: The Parade originated for several reasons. In large part as a response to 911. Myself and friends where so affected, sad, depressed, scared, angry, confused, anxious, and many of us were in shock and shut down artistically. It hit me one day that Terrorism could take lives, instill fear, create anxiety, and in many ways control our thoughts and take away our sense of security and freedom. But the one thing they could not control our ability to rise above the pain and fear and mental anguish and make a conscious decision to be celebratory, they could not take away our freedom to be happy in the face of a national tragically. So the parade served as a public service announcement, don’t be afraid be happy, we are here and alive and excitable and we need to touch others with positive energy.
Another reason was to honor Johann’s (from the Gumbo Brothers) experience and relationship with Mardi Gras growing up in Southern Louisiana and pay homage to New Orleans tradition of the Parades.
MyVL: Why is there a King & Queen and how are they chosen?
Miss Jessica: Our King & Queen tradition started out as just appointing a King, then transitioned into King & Queen to be in accordance with New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition. The King’s Ball in New Orleans is the Coronation (crowning) off the King & Queen of The Carnival Krewe, a social organization with due paying members. The criteria for those nominated is, a couple who has attended previous parades, are fun and can offer their enthusiasm and excitement to the position at hand and will embrace being our Royalty.
Todd & Theo von Hoffman were a no-brainer this year, as we know Todd is so involved in preserving and honoring Venice tradition and culture. Todd has taken the initiative to form the Windward Krewe and really out did himself last year with his Huell Howser Head. And Theo is darling and so loved and adored by all who now her.
Join in the fun, whether you’re part of the parade, crowd or enjoying the afterparty. it’s all good- it’s VENICE!
Saturday, March 1 2014 at 12 Noon
The Rose Ave Public Parking Lot $8.00
AfterParty 2:00-4:00 Immediately following parade.
The Gumbo Brothers live at The Venice Bistro
Parade Theme: LOVELUTION