Amid lawn games, breakfast tacos, raffle giveaways, sneak peeks at the 2020 season, and bottomless mimosas, CicLAvia kicked off its 10th anniversary year at our CeLAbrate! fundraiser and are ready to launch our first event of 2020, CicLAvia—South LA on February 23.
More than that, it was an opportunity for long-term fans and the newly initiated to reminisce on a decade of open streets events in Los Angeles. Through news clippings and photos, attendees saw how much our city has changed -- and were eager to credit some of the improvements to the increased demand for community-oriented public events like CicLAvia.
Angelenos shared memories from many of the 34 (yes - 34!) events in neighborhoods all across LA County, and eagerly dove into the details on our 2020 routes. The broader public will have to wait a little longer, but the year ahead will feature brand new routes, diverse neighborhoods, and at least one that sets a high bar for distance.
Romel Pascual, Executive Director of CicLAvia, spoke briefly about the role that this organization plays in creating a greener, friendlier, and happier LA -- and how donors help us connect people across everyday barriers.
“The most joyful day in Los Angeles is a CicLAvia Sunday,” remarked Romel. “It’s a party with a purpose. It’s a day that people from different neighborhoods & communities come together.”
California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Culver City Mayor Megan Sahli-Wells both spoke to the crowd as well, with Rendon pressing the point that CicLAvia brings out the best in our communities.
Sahli-Wells noted that each event brings people into the streets to say that “This street is yours, and it belongs to you. It does not belong to a machine and it does not belong to fossil fuels.”
As a non-profit, CicLAvia depends on the generosity of donors and participants to help us continue planning and running open streets events throughout the year. This was more than just a fundraiser; it was also a way to say (again and again) thank you to the friends who have given so much.
It was also a great way to kick off what will be a historic year.