Celebrating Community in South LA

So much has happened in 2020 that Angelenos may forget that this was the year we explored a new route together in South LA. Across 6 miles of Central Avenue, from the north-end Jazz District and South Central down into Florence-Firestone and Watts (all the way to the edge of Watts Towers), CicLAvians jogged, cycled, skated, rollerbladed, walked, and rolled their way through open streets that celebrated so much of the art and culture of our city.

An abundance of street murals, restaurants, and historical landmarks lined the route - including new tributes to Kobe Bryant in Watts.

"It’s always such a fun time for riders, walkers, runners, skaters, skateboarders, animals, aaaandddd people.... Thank you for creating such an awesome way to bring the residents and businesses in communities together throughout Los Angeles!! 💛 In other words, you are awesome CicLAvia." - Nina E.

"I’ve gone to at least 6-7 CicLAvias and yesterday’s was one of the best. Thanks!" - Tom O.

Romel Pascual, Executive Director of CicLAvia, opened the event by discussing some of the history of South LA - where Valerie Brisco-Hooks, a CicLAvia board member and Olympic gold medalist, grew up.

“I like to say that CicLAvia is the most joyful Sunday in Los Angeles,” said Pascual. LA City Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr., expressed enthusiasm at this new route: “No cars on Central Avenue. What a concept!”

Even more novel: a kids-led rock band from Miramonte Elementary School officially launched the event with covers of songs by Panic! At the Disco, and other groups.

"Glad to see so many people enjoyed my neighborhood!! 💯😃 can't wait till the next one!" - Jesus O.

"First time and I really enjoyed it... almost 20 years since I last rode a bike!! 💙🏁" - Mely

At the four Hubs along the route, Angelenos learned printmaking from the International Print Museum in Carson, jumped in the Las Fotos Project photobooth, made art and crafts at the LACMA tent, perused free books from the Los Angeles Public Library’s bookmobile, played games (or took a breather) at any of the AARP Play Zones, and enjoyed music and a few dance squads in between.

People had an abundance of dining options - from food trucks at each of the Hubs to restaurants along the route. And the Metro Bike pop-up bike share stations were incredibly popular.

"Thank you for making these happen...thank you for all the businesses and families that open up their community for everybody to explore." - Rich R.

"CicLAvia you are awesome; you're the best thing that happens in LA." - Carlos I.

Every CicLAvia event gives Angelenos an opportunity to explore a new part of Los Angeles, while providing locals a chance to step out and experience their own neighborhood in a completely new light. Some people are shocked to discover how quickly they can commute from home to a local business or shopping area without needing a car.

A whole new respect for the power of walking, biking, skating, or even using pubic transit blossoms at our events. CicLAvia is believing.

"So much fun! Thanks for bringing it to my neighborhood guys! Loved it! 🚴" - Angel

It’s thanks to the incredible support from people like you that we are able to put these incredible events together. All year we've found new ways to show our gratitude to you, none more so than our CicLAvia Street Stars program for monthly giving. Make a regular donation in support of open streets in Los Angeles, and get exclusive gifts in return.

We are all excited for a new year, but we're still incredibly grateful for the moments we've shared together in 2020. The joy of CicLAvia exists in nearby urban parks, in exploring neighborhood walks, and in so many other ways we come together - virtually or in person.

Photos: Laura Rudich, Jon Endow, Ryan Duclos