King Neptune and his queen officialy declared it summer Saturday during a festive ceremony on Venice Beach that reflected a tradition popular in the 1930s and '40s.
The second Neptune Festival celebrating the summer solstice was brought back with the help of Danny's Venice, Miss Jessica and Their Most Serene & Purple Majesty The Windward Krewe. To honor the reunion story of Austin – the famous "Fly N Lion" of Venice Beach – with his owner, Johnny Mitchell, also of The Windward Krewe, organizers tapped Mitchell to be King. Mitchell was recently reunited with little Austin, who disappeared from Venice in December 2010.
Friends and supporters have started the "Fly N Lion Fly-In Fund" to help defray Mitchell's expenses since he had to fly in from Louisiana, where he was caring for his mother. Donations may be made via PayPal at FlyNLion.com.
The Neptune Festival, an old tradition in Venice very popular during the '30s and '40s, was revived last year, and this year's rendition featured fitness model Christine Le Monde as Queen.
Krewe members, festooned in their signature purple tuxedo tailcoats, beat a royal rhythm with a lively chant, "Hail The King, Hail Summer, Hail Venice, Hell Yea!"