LA’s birthday party is always held on foot

Although we’ve got quite the reputation as a young city, Los Angeles is no civic spring chicken. El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula was founded in 1781, making her 232 this year—older than the Constitution of the United States of America and only a few years younger than our big sister San Francisco. Still, LA looks pretty good, right? I’d swear she doesn’t seem a day over 185.

Here’s something else you might know: LA was founded by walkers. On September 4, 1781 a group of 44 settlers arrived in what is now LA, having walked all the way from Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico. There’s a plaque tracing their route in our new Grand Park. Those original founding families (an extremely diverse group, in fact) are known as Los Pobladores, and every year their descendants recreate the final leg of that journey, walking the nine miles from the San Gabriel Mission to El Pueblo in downtown LA.

For the first time in the 12 years I’ve lived here, I’ll be out there walking to celebrate LA’s 232nd. In fact, my birthday is September 3, so I feel a special kinship with my city (I always knew LA was a Virgo). Now what to get a 232-year-old for her birthday…

The walk is Saturday, August 31, starting at 6:30 a.m. All details, a route map and some transit tips are available over at Los Angeles Walks. And yes, there will be cake at the end. And free fruit trees. Whatever motivates you more. See you bright and early!

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