Venice got a healthy dose of merry making magic this Sunday with the Abbot Kinney Winter Holiday Stroll. This family event was a winter wonderland held at The Brig parking lot with plenty of holiday cheer to go around.
Kids threw snowballs at each other while dogs reveled in it. Kooky carolers sang zany tunes while Santa spread Christmas cheer. Shops and galleries up and down Abbot Kinney also held special events, kicking off the holidays once again for Venice.
Ian Wallach and his St. Bernard, Tinker Bell, were simply strolling down Abbot Kinney for a bite from Badass Burger food truck when they came across the cheer-filled lot.
"I didn't know this was going on," exclaimed Wallach, 45, from Marina del Rey. "This is great."
Children and adults alike donned ecstatic smiles and took pictures as the snow machine shot fresh white powder onto the snowy hill. Patrons eagerly waited their turn to saucer down the frosty mound.
"I wanna go in the snow, momma," local 2-year-old Canan said, running past his mom.
"He's not quite old enough to sled on his own," Canan's mom said, "but he loves walking in the snow."
Each new ice-block loaded into the machine gave the snow men more ammunition to build up the hill. The kids screamed with excitement and used their saucers to shield them from the bursts of fresh snow.
And children weren't the only ones enjoying the snowy playground. A St. Bernard named Beasley took a liking to the snow machine's leftover bounty and started a snowy play date with two canine pals.
At times, cuddly canines were getting all the attention. Robin Murez, from the Sculpture Garden on Abbot Kinney organized the first annual holiday dog parade, complete with delightful dog costumes and doggy circus.
"It's been a wonderful blast," Murez said. "Just a good, old-fashioned dog event in Venice."
There were pleny of holiday activities to enjoy. Both young and not-so-young kids took pictures with Santa Claus; the Venice style carol group, Off Their Jingle Bell Rockers, made the yuletide gay singing a mix of quirky and traditional holiday tunes; and craft tables offered gingerbread men and king's crowns to adorn with paint and glitter.
Five-year-old Annabella and 8-year-old Luke preferred the crafts table to the snow. Their mother, Frao Colb, 30's, from Playa del Rey said as an artist herself, she visits Venice often but noted it's not usually a place for children.
"This is a special event," she said. "You get a real feeling of community here."