April 17, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

CicLAvia street festival hits the roads of South Los Angeles

The latest CicLAvia street festival, in which roads are cleared of vehicle traffic to make way for pedestrians and bicyclists, hit the streets of South Los Angeles for the first time today.

It is the 11th CicLAvia event to be held in Los Angeles since 2010, with previous routes going through downtown, East Los Angeles, the Westside and along Wilshire Boulevard.

The inspiration for the events was the Ciclovia “open streets” festival in Bogota, Columbia, that began nearly 40 years ago as a reaction to car congestion and pollution.

CicLAvia’s six-mile South Los Angeles route will span Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Leimert Park and Central Avenue, and also include a stretch of Central Avenue between Washington Boulevard and Vernon Avenue.

Between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., pedestrians, bicyclists and others not driving cars can traverse the route at their leisure and take part in activities along the way.

Hubs at Leimert Park, Exposition Park, Jazz Park and Central Avenue, near Washington Boulevard, will feature food trucks, live music, farmers markets, a tech lab and a mobile mural lab.

Landmarks along the route include the Historic Dunbar Hotel, where the first national NAACP convention was held, and Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald performed.

Also on the route is the Expo Center, which is holding its Winter Festival. A Kwanzaa celebration will also be taking place at the California African American Museum.

Costumed performers from the Los Angeles Carnival, which showcases Caribbean culture, will be parading through the route, which parallels the Metro Expo Line. Two Metro Blue Line stations are accessible at the eastern end of the route.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Curren Price, and other city officials were to join CicLAvia organizers to kick off the event at the Jazz Park Hub.

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