Venice Pride to take place Friday, Saturday; Bill Rosendahl Memorial Beach to be dedicated Thursday

More than 2,000 people attended last year’s one-day Venice Pride. This year’s event will take place Friday and Saturday. Two Thursday events will kickoff the celebration. Photo: Venice Pride.

VENICE BEACH — The unveiling of a public art installation and dedication of a memorial beach will help kickoff national LGBT Pride Month and the second annual Venice Pride celebration.

BILL ROSENDAHL

The “Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower” will be unveiled on Thursday at 10 a.m. at 900 Ocean Front Walk, and shortly thereafter, a dedication will take place for the Bill Rosendahl Memorial Beach, which is named for the first openly gay man elected to the Los Angeles City Council. Rosendahl, who represented the 11th District, which includes Venice, died in 2016 from cancer. He retired in 2012 and Councilman Mike Bonin, Rosendahl’s former chief of staff, won the 2013 election for the open seat.

Bonin, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Venice Pride Board President Grant Turck will attend the event.

“Commemorating Venice’s history of inclusion, individuality and diversity is at the heart of Venice Pride,” Turck said in a press release. “We are excited to bring our community together for this unique event and are grateful to the support from our sponsors and partners who help make this celebration of our community possible.”

Venice Pride, which is free and open to everyone, will take place Friday and Saturday.

FRIDAY EVENTS

On Friday, a Venice Pride sign lighting and block party is scheduled from 5 to 11 p.m. The night will begin at the Venice sign, 99 Windward Avenue, and moves to The Del Monte Speakeasy for Queer As Funk and ends at The Birdcage for Gaywatch.

SATURDAY EVENTS

On Saturday, the Venice Pride Festival is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Muscle Beach and surrounding neighborhood.

The day will begin with a beach cleanup from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Everyone will meet at the Venice Pride Flag Lifeguard Tower.

Local artists and activists will participate in a community event from 1 to 5 p.m. at Muscle Beach.

VENICE PRIDE HISTORY

More than 2,000 people attended last year’s one-day Venice Pride, which was founded after the closing in May 2016 of Roosterfish, Los Angeles’ last gay bar west of the 405 Freeway. The bar, which was located on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, had been a local sanctuary for 37 years.

In response to the bar closing, Turck recruited other Venice locals, including Daniel Samakow and George Francisco, to organize the first Venice Pride.

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About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBT community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBT students.