While Labor Day this Monday is a significant and much anticipated national holiday, another lesser known but highly regarded local holiday is also taking place this weekend.
Usually coinciding with the Labor Day weekend, the City of Los Angeles annually marks the anniversary of its founding on Sept. 4, 1781 with a procession style walk that more or less follows the route believed taken by the city’s founders from the San Gabriel Mission to the what is now known as El Pueblo Historical Monument in downtown Los Angeles.
Founded before California became part of the US, Los Angeles will turn 232-years-old next week.
According to historians, the original 44 “pobladores” (settlers) and two priests set out from the San Gabriel Mission to establish “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles sobre el Río Porciúncula”—the city’s original full-length name, which translated means The Town of Our Lady Queen of the Angels on the Porciuncula River.
The journey is now commemorated as the “Los Pobladores Historic Walk to Los Angeles,” a nine-mile trek from the Mission to the area more commonly known as Olvera Street, just northeast of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles. The reenactment walk, which dates back over 30 years to 1981, will be held this Saturday Aug. 31 and all are welcome to participate. Local city officials are expected to participate.
Participants will gather at at 6am from the San Gabriel Mission – 428 S Mission Dr, San Gabriel, 91776 and walk to Olvera Street, where they will join in the city’s birthday celebration, complete with live music, food, birthday cake and artists booths.
The festivities are scheduled to take place from 9am to 1pm, however, there is much more to enjoy on Olvera Street for the remainder of the day, including visiting the newly conserved David Alfaro Siquieros mural and Interpretive Center “America Tropical,” other museums and as always the cultural Olvera Street marketplace shops and restaurants.
El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Site is located at 125 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, 90012. Walk participation and admission to the celebration are free.
Olvera Street is accessible via public transportation; take any Metro rail line to Union Station, and cross the street to reach the historical landmark. For more information, visit www.elpueblo.lacity.org or call (213) 485-8372.