You may want to stop by and take a look at the famous Venice sign at Windward and pacific Avenues while visiting the area. This signs transforms throughout the year thanks to the Venice Chamber of Commerce . They foot the bill for the changes throughout the year and they also pay for the upkeep of the iconic sign. At Christmas time, the sign is shining in Christmas colored lights, red and green and there is a block party for the lighting ceremony where a local celebrity or celebrities are on hand to flip the switch that lights the sign up in the colors of the season.
Before Matthew Modine flipped the switch to turn on the lights there was, as there usually is, a block party with musical entertainment – this year Al Jardine from the Beach Boys was performing together with the Kenneth Brian band.
On January 4th every year the Venice sign gets an addition of “doors” because January 4 has been proclaimed doors day. The occasion that lead to the formation of the doors was when Ray Manzarec and Jim Morrison in 1965 met at the beach in Venice, they knew each other already from UCLA Film school. Jim Morrison was a great poet and because of this he was offered to join Ray’s band “Ricky and the Ravens”. Robby Krieger and John Densmore joined shortly thereafter and on the suggestion of Jim Morrison the band then took the name “doors” from “The Doors of Perception”, a psychedelic book by Aldous Huxley. Out of the four original band members only two are still alive, John Densmore and Robby Krieger. Jim Morrison died July 3 1971 and Ray Manzarek died May 20, 2013. Jim Morrison died in Paris and is buried there at Père Lachaise Cemetery, his headstone now reads “James Douglas Morrison” “1943 – 1971” and at the bottom it reads in Greek “ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ” which is meant to say “True to himself”.