Venice Beach Mardi Gras
Venice Beach has a long history of celebrations and festival events. The first Mardi Gras festival (weirdly held in August rather than before the beginning of Lent) was organized in 1935 as a way to draw crowds and to boost commerce. Noted for the enormous papier mâché heads that participants wore as costumes, the original Mardi Gras festivals continued annually for six years, ending when America entered WWII.
The more recent incarnation was born in 2003, when locals Jessica Long and Johann Stein reinvented it as a way of bringing together the community in celebration, music, friendship, and a spirit of wonder. No longer a commercial affair, it's an annual opportunity for Venice locals and visitors alike to let the good times roll!
Links with more information
- The Argonaut Newspaper on the 2017 Venice Mardi Gras parade.
- The Argonaut Newspaper's History of the Venice Mardi Gras (2015).
- An article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune about the Gumbo Brothers and the parade. (2015)
- Jeffrey Stanton's History of Parades and Events in Venice beach (1998).
About the Site
Samuel has photographed most years of the Venice Mardi Gras celebrations. While more of the "spray-and-pray" school of photography than a skilled practitioner, he occasionally gets a few good pictures. Those (and others) get shared here.
In the spirit of community, full-resolution versions of the pictures are posted here. You may use them as you wish, within the constraints of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. In short, you can do pretty much anything with the pictures so long as you're not selling them. If you'd like to sell them or use them for commercial activities, please contact me at samuel [at] venicemardigras [.] com to discuss terms. If you do anything cool with the pictures, I'd love to see it/hear about it as well!