Today, Venice Paparazzi’s Pass the Spotlight will shine on Marcus Gladney, a three year Venice resident who founded and organizes the weekly Venice Electric Light Parade.

What brought you out here, and what makes you stay?  The Bohemian lifestyle. The first time I visited my family in Los Angeles my cousin brought us to Venice Beach. I was 11 and was instantly stimulated by the people, music, roller skaters and ocean. What makes me stay is the feeling of acceptance, feeling like family even though I am a transplant from the midwest. The warm smiles and handshakes and hugs I get from locals on the boardwalk or the “Hey Marcus” while on the bicycle path are truly heartwarming.  I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.


What’s your business or art, and how did you got into it?  As a lot of you know, I am the face and lead of the locally and internationally known Venice Electric Light Parade.  Every Sunday at sunset we have our weekly LED Bicycle Parade, which creates good vibes, positive energy, smiles, laughter and joyous moments while also creating  awesome memories for all the people, and especially the kids visiting for the first time and experiencing that VENICE magic. It is the perfect way to to end the weekend!    We meet at Windward during the Golden hour (Sunset).

My day to day business is carpet cleaning.  I’ve been in this industry for 20+ years, and still currently run crews daily. Here in LA I try to spend as much time on my bicycle as possible. I went to college for criminal justice, and once I finished I had a change of heart and started a janitorial company.  My first major contract consisted of 4 office buildings totaling about 500,000 sq.ft. I held that contract for a number of years and was able to invest in the carpet cleaning business.  As the years went by, I found it easier to work while the sun was burning bright, and sold the janitorial half of my business and just gave 100% to Carpet Cleaning

What makes it unique?  The Venice Electric Light Parade is unique because we promote safe cycling at night, and Venice, California is actually the birthplace of the LED bicycle wheel light, brought to the beach in 2008 by Sebastian the Lightman.

The bicycles with the LED wheel lights is Venice thing, and has been duplicated worldwide. I recently received a message from a biking group in Australia who said we inspired them to start a night ride with wheel lights. I recently was contacted from a group in San Diego wanting to become an official recognized chapter of the Venice Electric Light Parade and, I am pleased to announce April 2nd 2017 will be that chapters recognized start date.

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.45.29 PM

Any advise to someone getting into this line of work?My advise for anyone wanting to CREATE anything is always surround yourself with people who have the same mindset as you do, and can see and understand growth. It really does take a team of people to create success. It  doesn’t matter what it is, and always remember when CREATING something GREAT, involve everyone because EVERYONE wants to be a part of GREAT things!!!

What/who inspires you?  Venice Inspires Me…i just want to give as much as I possibly can to Venice, and hopefully leave a positive lasting impression once its time to pass the “Purple Sombrero” to my Successor

Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote.  Wake up!!! Breathe, Smile, Love, Hug, Laugh, Pray REPEAT

Define success:  Success is not defined by money or power but by how many people lives you touched and impacted in a positive way while here on earth.

Biggest achievements so far:  Creating jobs for others, creating happiness in the Venice/LA Community, making tons of new friends from all over the world

Finish off the statement “Life is… About being a good person,  caring for others, and showing compassion.

The 5th Annual Venice Holiday Sign Lighting. Hosted by Photo by


List 3 things on your bucket list?  1.Venice Electric Light Parade on a US tour promoting exercise and safe cycling at night!  2.Egypt      3.saving the world

What causes do you support?  LGBT community (My Oldest son), Autism Research (My Youngest Son), safe bicycling at night with front and back safety and wheel lights

What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place?  Support and Love one another more often

Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world?  I am Marcus, when you see me on one of my bikes, generally close to sunset, say “hello,” it makes me happy!

14591741_1256695387737589_3619526342437671466_nDescribe Venice, California in 5 words.  Magical, intriguing, warming, entertaining, loving

Describe your perfect day in Venice: (start from morning to night):  Gjusta, the boardwalk,  speak to the homeless.  I enjoy seeing the beach wake up with  no wind and the bike path free of sand.  Then I take a ride north towards the Palisades while listening to Samantha James or Madeleine Peyroux . Then back to Venice find a spot to get some work done….then ice cream at Salt and Straw….then an evening late lunch/dinner at Maos, then time to light the bikes up and engage with the tourists!

What are some interesting destinations/activities in Venice that even locals might not be aware of? Hidden Venice treasures?  Im still learning…

Favorite local breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or happy hour spot?  Gjusta,  Flake,  Tocaya, Cairo Cowboy,  Gjelina,  and of course Hinano’s.


Your favorite Venice event(s), activities or happy places?  Venice Electric Light Parade, Venice Spring Fling concert, Spring/Summer block parties by the Neighborhood Council,  The Boardwalk

Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?   Walter Chism of Venice_Life600.  A born and raised Venice photographer who is known for his long exposure images.

Join Marcus and Venice locals every Sunday for the Venice Electric Light Parade.  Everyone is welcome to participate.  Meeting place:  Windward Plaza.  Start time:  Sunset  Details here


Thank You to Our Partners