8th Annual Venice Holiday Sign Lighting

It was an epic evening at the 8th annual Venice Sign lighting!

Throngs of locals came out to celebrate, mix, mingle, drink, dance, and partake in the holiday festivities.  And Venice Paparazzi was on the scene in force to document the entire thing.  We partnered with the Venice Chamber for a holiday themed, green screen photo booth and event photography.  As well, we paired with the Venice Neighborhood Council for a super popular Santa Claus booth, complete with a live Santa.  Great times had by all under a warm winter sky!

Thank you Venice Chamber and VNC for shopping local, and utilizing our photography services. We appreciate the business. Go team!

View photos by Venice Paparazzi.

Here is a message from the Venice Chamber of Commerce

The 8th annual Holiday Lighting of the Venice Sign held back the rain and delivered a warm, wonderful night of festivities on Windward Avenue.
Master of Ceremonies Mike Newhouse opened the event and the crowd was treated to a charming performance by Walgrove Elementary’s “Strings By The Sea” violin group, followed by Winston House artist Emmanuel Frank.  Then the winners of the Venice Art Crawl‘s “My Venice Holiday” poster contest were the announced by Venice Art Crawl President Sunny Bak and Assemblywoman Autumn Burke.  The competition was open to all Venice public elementary schools and one winner was chosen from each grade.  They were awarded certificates of merit by the California Senator Ben Allen, Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, Congressman Ted LieuLAUSD Representative Nick Melvoin, Councilman Mike Bonin, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and the Venice Chamber of Commerce which also put together backpacks of gift for each.
The main musical performers then took the stage led by Sign Lighting Musical Director Rob Christie, a 2x Grammy-winning producer.  The “All Stars” featured A-list talent like Ricky Z  on guitar, Warren Ham on sax and Jordan West on drums.  They were joined by singer and Hallmark star Jen Lilley, Rachel Talbott (the current artist of the week on Radio Disney Country) and Danielle Bisutti.  They rocked the heart of Venice with mix of Christmas standards.

Walgrove Elementary’s “Strings By The Sea” violin group

“My Venice Holiday” poster contest winners with Venice Art Crawl President Sunny Bak; Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, Zac Gaidzik rep for Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Alison Holdoroff, rep for LAUSD Rep Nick Melvoin, Janet Turner, rep for Congressman Ted Lieu, Ami Fields-Meyer, rep for Mayor Eric Garcetti and MC Mike Newhouse, Pres of the West LA Area Planning Commission.

Ricky Z and Rob Christie

MC Newhouse then brought out a couple of local heroes that the Chamber took the opportunity to honor for their long-time and unsung service to Venice.  Head librarian at the Venice Library Rachel Bindman who is leaving after a dozen years here and Westminster Elementary School Custodian Al Duncan who has been serving Venice school kids for 25 years.  They were treated to thunderous applause after addressing the crowd.
Finally, the main event came and handling the honors for lighting the Venice Sign this year was long-time Venice resident Linda Cardinelli of “Greenbook” and “Avengers: Endgame” fame.  Cardinelli’s long and illustrious career has included such well known shows as “ER,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “Legally Blonde,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Curse of La Llorona,” and Netflix’s “Dead To Me.”
Finally, everyone was treated to a surprisse encore performance by Grammy winning singer/songwriter Siedah Garrett performing her hit for Michael Jackson “Man In The Mirror” along with a medley of other hits.

Venice Library’s Rachel Bindman and Master of Ceremonies Mike Newhouse

Westminster Elementary School Custodian Al Duncan

Local celebrity and Venice resident Linda Cardinelli lights up the Venice Sign

Grammy winning singer/songwriter Siedah Garrett

Grammy winning singer/songwriter Siedah Garrett

Danielle Bisutti and Rachel Talbott

Hallmark star Jen Lilley

The warm December evening turned out to be an ad hoc celebration of Venice families as a clutch of groups like the Alliance of Venice Local Schools, the Venice Oceanarium, The Venice Flying Carousel, the California Dance Institute, The Venice Art Crawl,  the Venice Neighborhood Council and the Venice Heritage Museum all displayed efforts to promote family-friendly initiatives.  They joined government agencies and local sponsors handing out free treats – highlights were The Venice Whaler and Chef Nicky’s famous “chowdah,”  pizza from Big Daddy’s Pizza, Mennotti’ coffee and cocoa, hot cider from The Erwin and cookies from Larry’s!
Event Producer and Venice Chamber President George Francisco praised the local businesses who contributed to make the event happen: “This celebration is completely dependent on the generosity of over 50 Community Level Sponsors, all local businesses who put up their hard-earned money to make sure that Venetians can enjoy a couple of hours of joy and holiday cheer.  Anyone can look at all the logos on the banner and know who they should support.  I don’t know where we would be without them and I am especially grateful to the Premier Level Sponsors who all really stepped up – Chulita on Rose, Lexus Santa Monica/Toyota Santa Monica, Winston House, Brandview Capital, Bird, ArsonHouse, Rolling Stone and especially the folks at Bev and The Waterfront.  Hopefully folks made some great memories and hopefully we can keep on making more great memories every year.”

Venice Chamber President and Venice Sign event producer George Francisco

The Waterfront’s Jake Mathews.  The Waterfront is a casual coastal California destination serving good food and good vibes daily.

Right:  Hotel Erwin‘s Amy Castillo enjoying the Venice Paparazzi’s green screen photo booth.

Hama Sushi‘s Esther Chaing, grandson, and Tony enjoying photos with Santa at the Venice Neighborhood council photo booth

Venice Neighborhood Councils’ Sima Kostovetsky, Jamie Paige, Ivan Spiegel (Santa), and Matt Shaw (former VNC).  Venice Neighborhood Council General Board Meetings are every third Tuesday of each month at 7p.m. at Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd. It’s your Venice! Get involved!  For more info:  VeniceNC.org

Green Goddess Collective, our favorite weed spot.  Serving the Venice community since 2006.

Right:  Trek Thunder Kelly

Team Venice Paparazzi.  Need photographers or a photo booth for your event?  Hire Venice Paparazzi for your next event!

About The Venice Sign

The Venice Sign, a federally registered trademark of the Venice Chamber of Commerce and Venice’s most iconic symbol, attracts thousands of tourists to Venice. In 2007, the Venice Sign Restoration Project recreated and installed the contemporary version of this historic sign. Since that time, the Venice Chamber has been responsible for maintaining the sign and for protecting its trademark. Today this lasting legacy is restored across Windward Avenue as a tribute to the celebrated Venice of years past and a modern day gateway to the world famous Venice Beach. Continuing year-round, the Venice Chamber of Commerce, through programs and events, raises funds to support the maintenance of the Venice Sign. Those interested in adopting a bulb or donating can go to www.venicesign.org .

Find your Venice Holiday Sign photo!

Photo credit #VenicePaparazzi @VeniceSign #VeniceSign #VeniceChamber

Event photos

Green Screen photo booth

Photos with Santa at the Venice Neighborhood Council booth!

Here is a fun Venice Paparazzi fact!  VP has documented the Venice Sign Lighting events since 2007.

View 2007-2019 Venice Sign photos!

Need photographers or a photo booth for your event? Hire Venice Paparazzi!


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