Clear blue skies and bright sunshine set the tone for the day. The roar of motorcycles woke the town early as the Venice Vintage Motorcycle Club had their rally set for that afternoon, and they always kick it off with a group ride up the PCH, leaving bright and early - and loudly.
The rally itself felt a bit more sparsely attended than most years, with less bikes ... and for sure less babes, as there was no Miss Venice Vintage contest this year, so the venue was pretty dude heavy. I got there just in time to hear National Anthem rock the place, and split during the Cougar Getting, Jr. band that sounded a whole lot like AC/DC. People enjoyed checking out all the bikes, and the beer lines were well-attended. All looked to be a success ... but the beach was beckoning.
The Rayfield siblings (Dakota and Jackson) were tending bar together at Surfside, so we killed some time there until the sun started to set on the Venice Art Crawl Afterburn edition, which is when it got really spectacular to look at. The Burning Man burners brought a whole bunch of art installations to the beach at Windward Plaza, so the rest of us could get a little piece of desert Playa. The dragon was most impressive.
The Boardwalk was packed with partiers, and locals kept bumping into each other and couldn't stop smiling, because THIS is how we like to think of our Venice. Fun. Creative. Dancing. Art focused. Awesome, really. And PROUD - proud that visitors could be with us and see how Venice is supposed to be.
There was a big music box flame-thrower that served as headquarters for a Karaoke set, where someone was singing some buzzkill Adele when I walked by ... and quickly split down the way where more upbeat jams were being blasted.
If you needed some psychiatric help - you were covered.
If you felt like dancing in a big electric pineapple - no problem.
If you simply needed a hug - any variety of hug at all - someone would hook you up.
Of course, there were plenty of unofficial hugs to go around also, as every two feet you would bump into someone from Venice that you knew and loved ... even the Kosmick Krusader (Harry Perry) himself was there, looking right at home in front of a spaceship.
Several attractions had platforms for dancing on them, and one had to squeeze in real tight to get some dance partying in ... and it was a blast.
There were several things going on all over town Saturday night, but the more you hung out at the Afterburn, the more you realized you were staying put in Venice (Sorry, Bart Saric/Skatermade! Really wanted to be at the Everything Went Skate film release party ... but downtown!!). Moments like these, with the whole community dancing outside together under a huge moon surrounded by glowing art, are all too rare these days, and you have to stay put and soak them up!
There were little places to chill (inside the Yellow Submarine ... in a "Snailoon" ... on little hovercrafts), but most people were busy rocking out, many in their outfits leftover from Burning Man - only minus the dust. To glance around in any direction rewarded you with views of total and absolute fun.
There was a drum circle keeping time of it all, and that encouraged even more dancing around. Nights like this (and it was on all weekend long!) are truly why we live and love here in Venice, California.
A big bunch of Venice folks wrapped up the evening back at Surfside, with a performance from Jake Klassman, son of Bagel. RAD. Thank you to the V.A.C. and everyone involved with creating this wonderful gift to our Community! LOVE!