Photo courtesy: Venice Paparazzi
First posted 1:53 pm
By Melanie Camp
At 8:00 pm the lights were supposed to shine green and red. Heralding in the holiday season at the 5th annual Holiday Sign Lighting. Almost 20 minutes past the hour, neighbors alternated between checking the unlit sign and checking the time.
Behind the scenes hectic calls were being made to Snap Inc. Where were they? Usually, a common sight on most Venice streets, Snap Inc security was absent.
According to a Yo! Venice source, the problem was, sign crew couldn’t get to the switch to power the lights because it is on a rooftop accessed through offices leased by Snap Inc. In previous years the last tenant had given the Venice Chamber of Commerce a key on sign lighting nights. In the lead up to the event, Snap Inc had arranged to have someone on site to allow access to the roof. However, by 8:15 pm on Friday night, Snap Inc was a no show.
In the end, one of the sign lighting crew was forced to scale the side of the building on the corner of Pacific and Windward avenues, Venice ninja-style. Saving the day, or rather, night.
Yo! Venice reached out to Snap Inc to find out what happened. They say they made a mistake. “We love the Venice sign too and should have been there on time to grant access. We messed up and we’re sorry,” said a Snap Inc spokesperson.
Behind the scenes stress aside, the night was a success. Many said it was the best Holiday Sign Lighting yet. Doors guitarist Robby Krieger was a special guest. He performed a killer set with Venice band Urban Grass, before flicking the switch and lighting up the Venice Sign.
Danny Samakow was part of the team responsible for bringing the sign back to Venice. “It makes me feel very proud. I’ve seen the effect it’s had on the community. It was meant to coalesce the community,” he said.
Beth Allyn agrees that the sign does unite locals. “A lot of people have interpreted the sign for their own personal enjoyment.” Allyn has lived in Venice for 31 years. She is part of the Venice Electric Light Parade and has a mini-Venice Sign strung across her bicycle basket. “I’m very fond of the sign. I was inspired by it,” she said.
“If it wasn’t for the Sign, we really wouldn’t have something that would just forever say ‘Venice.’ We have skateboarding, but these things could happen in a lot of other places. But there is only one Venice. And nothing says that more succinctly than that square and the Venice Sign,” said Allyn.
For Samakow it’s a sign of the legacy Venice locals have a responsibility to protect and pass on. “Venice has been an estuary of creativity for 100 years,” he said.
Viva the Venice Sign!
See more pictures here: http://www.venicepaparazzi.com/events/5th-venice-sign/