Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 2010: Marina del Rey FEATURED LOCAL - Peter Ellis

For our December edition of our Featured Local blog series, we’re introducing you to the face of a Marina Holiday favorite tradition: this year’s winner of the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, Peter Ellis. Enjoy our holiday-inspired posting and interview with Peter.

Remember: Each month, we feature a Marina del Rey local to give you a peek into the Marina’s many diverse, one-of-a-kind personalities. If you have someone you’d like us to consider featuring here, please drop us a note!
Name: Peter Ellis

Years Participated in the Boat Parade: Sporadically since 1992

What makes the holiday season so special in Marina del Rey?: When you drive down the street in the Marina, you can’t help but feel the holiday cheer. From the lighted houses and ornamented shops, to the decorated street and boats with lights ablaze, Marina Del Rey is a pleasant reprieve in the middle of an otherwise hectic holiday shopping season. (We swear – he wrote that himself!)

How did you prepare for this year’s Boat Parade?: No matter how long we plan, we never seem to be fully prepared for the parade. As soon as the theme “A Rock ‘N Roll Christmas” was announced, we began to float ideas (no pun intended). We decided, who better than The King of Rock and Roll to lead a Rock ‘N Roll Christmas? So, with that, our primary objective was to create the “Big Elvis,” which was the oversized Elvis made of Christmas lights. On the day of the parade, we still had a number of items to complete before show time so, as a team, we worked together and had the boat ready just in time.

Any behind the scenes drama that we don’t know about?: There was a water skiing Santa Claus in the works, but he wasn’t ready in time for the parade.
Tell us a bit more about what appealed to the judges about your boat?: Well, the major concept behind our boat design was that the large “Elvis Rocks” sign would be switched by an animated elf to read “Elves Rock.” The boat was filled with live, singing elves and Elvises. In the spirit of the holidays, I really think the judges enjoyed the humor behind the design.

If Elvis were to come back to life for the parade, what would you tell him?: Of course, I would let him know that he is still The King (and that he, and elves, rock!). I would then take him to dinner after the parade, his choice, as he was always keen on finding the best eateries– which the Marina is known for. I reckon he’d be particularly fond of The Counter and Warehouse Restaurant.

Marina del Rey Is (Finish the Sentence): An oasis in an otherwise hectic world. (We couldn’t agree more!)

Okay – enough about the parade! What else do you love about the Marina year-round?
: I’m an active participant in the boating community of the Marina, and enjoy the many opportunities to get on the water from the Marina. And, I love the many great restaurants across the city – from Fisherman’s Village to Admiralty Way, there are so many great options. 

Thanks, Peter, for being the Marina’s own rock star for more than 15 years. On behalf of the community, we thank you and all of the boat parade participants for making the holiday season so special in Marina del Rey. If you’d like to get in touch with Peter, send a note to our team at and we’ll make sure to share your feedback with Peter. Or, nominate someone for a future featured post.

Happy Holidays to All!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Marina del Rey Celebrates New Year With Fireworks and More

Marina del Rey New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Friday, Dec 31 midnight
Fireworks can be seen from most hotels and restaurants in the Marina.
Other popular viewing spots are Fisherman’s Village, Burton W. Chace Park and Marina Beach
Marina del Rey Visitors Center 310-305-9545 or e-mail

Celebrate the New Year in the Marina!
Cafe del Rey
4451 Admiralty Way

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with two seatings; 5:30 p.m. ($65 per person) and 8:30 p.m. (3-course pre fixe menu and champagne toast, $95 per person), both with holiday music.

Glow Bar – Marina del Rey Marriott
4100 Admiralty Way

Exciting New Year’s Eve “Times Square” theme party. Live entertainment, ball drop and house music. Complimentary midnight champagne toast. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. $30 per person; free for hotel guests.

Hornblower Cruises & Events
13755 Fiji Way, Fisherman’s Village

Hornblower’s popular New Year’s Eve Cocktail Cruise boards at 10 p.m., cruising from 10:30 p.m. - 1 a.m. at $99 per person, plus tax. Includes appetizers, glass of champagne and live DJ & dancing. The New Year’s Eve Dinner Gala boards at 8:30 p.m., cruising from 9 p.m. - 1 a.m., at $150 per person, plus tax. Includes a four-course prix fixe dinner, glass of champagne and live DJ & dancing.

Jer-ne Restaurant + Bar – The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey
4375 Admiralty Way

New Year’s Eve Dinner will have three seatings, beginning at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for an $85 three-course prix fixe. And the New Year will be brought in with a special 9 p.m. five-course meal for $115 per person. Add champagne pairings, featuring Moet, for an additional $45.

Shanghai Red’s Restaurant
13813 Fiji Way

New Year’s Eve Buffet begins at 7:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. with live DJ & dancing, party favors and midnight champagne toast. $65 per person in public seating area, $80 for private seating. Pre-paid reservations required. Special New Year’s Day Brunch Buffet from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., $55/adults, $13 kids (6-12).

Tony P’s Dockside Grill & Tavern
4445 Admiralty Way
Annual New Year’s Eve Party in the Tavern. Live DJ, light snacks & beverages, party favors and midnight balloon drop. $10 per person with regular dinner purchase, $20 without.

Vū Restaurant & Bar

14160 Palawan Way

Special dining service and festivities throughout December in the marina’s newest waterside hotspot. Vu offers an 8-course "Exploration of Vu" ($75) in addition to their a la carte menu. Call for reservations.

Warehouse Restaurant
4499 Admiralty Way

Special events planned for New Year’s Eve. Call for details and reservations.

Waterfront Bar & Grill – Marina del Rey Hotel
13534 Bali Way

Special events planned for New Year’s Eve. Call for details.

Special!!!!! New Year Whale Watching and Sea Life Cruise!!!!

The ocean is alive with dolphins, porpoises, sea birds, sea lions and whales!
On January 1 and January 2, Marina del Rey Sportfishing will be offering 2 special whale watching and sealife tours at 10 a.m. both days. The three-hour cruise costs $25 for adults (discounts for kids). Cash only. Departs from Dock 52 on Fiji Way (free parking). Reservations needed. Call 310-822-3625.