A Westcoast Mardi Gras

01/10/2009

Venice Beach, Calif.

Crowds snapped pictures at every chance they could. Locals joined them in awe, grasping at soaring beaded necklaces.  The sequined jester swaggered on stilts, while Greek gods and goddesses waved from below. Though most may claim that Venice Beach, Calif. would regularly be occupied by such wild characters, Mardi Gras gave a reason for Los Angeles to join in the colorful Mardi Gras celebration.

Like they do every year, The Krewe of Grandview participated in Venice Beach’s annual Mardi Gras parade.

This group of Los Angeles locals includes scantily clad fairies, kings, queens and fantastic creatures. A Jester on stilts, Rapunzel and a cardboard robot join them, however, anyone can join them in the festivities.

Begining at 1 p.m. at the corner of Rose Avenue and Ocean Front Walk, as it has since 2001, the group from Mar Vista, Calif. parades up the Venice boardwalk every Saturday before Fat Tuesday.

Following the parade, french-influenced funk band, The Gumbo Brothers continued the Mardi Gras celebration at the Santa Monica Bar and Grill in Santa Monica, Calif. at 4 p.m. Their funky soul style sets the mood for traditional Mardi Gras activities. Traditional activities include loud singing, bead exchanging and beer drinking. The Gumbo Brothers play at the party following this annual parade, but this Cajun-style band can be found here every Wednesday.

Krewe of Grandview 2008- Venice Beach, Calif.