When it comes to finding reasons to celebrate, Los Angeles should take home the First Place prize! Los Angelenos will throw a party for just about anything to celebrate diversity or just to have a reason to throw tortillas at each other!
The Doo Dah Parade
There is something about celebrating for no reason that makes Los Angelenos happy. The Doo Dah Parade is just that- an excuse to bring your family to Pasadena, throw tortillas at each other and laugh at everyone else being just as silly as you are. The Doo Dah Parade has no real purpose other than to poke fun at the serious rules and regulations of the annual Rose Parade. Anyone can participate and build a float which can range from a Mustang Convertible swimming pool to a fleet of hospital beds with dying patients. No one knows what to expect, but we can expect to be there to witness the craziness each year.
Local Tip: Bring fresh tortillas to use as Frisbees.
Chinese New Year Parade
Los Angeles has a thriving community of Asians. In fact, Los Angeles has the largest population of Asians in the entire country. Every February when China celebrates its Chinese New Year, Los Angeles jumps on board with the Golden Dragon Parade in Chinatown. An amazing parade filled with marching bands, human powered dragons, and Chinese themed floats, thousands travel from far and wide to be delighted and yell out ‘Happy New Year!’ in the middle of February.
Local Tip: Take the Gold Line train from Union Station to Chinatown and walk two blocks to Broadway for optimal viewing. Arrive by noon to get a good spot!
Blessing of the Animals
Each March the burgeoning immigrant community celebrates their heritage at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument on Olvera Street in Downtown L.A. Led by a flower covered cow, a procession of farm animals and domestic pets led by their owners march through the Plaza to receive a blessing with holy water so that they will remain healthy throughout the year.
Local Tip: Take the Red Line train to Union Station and walk across the street to the plaza. Bring cash as there are so many authentic Mexican shops to select goodies from!
It’s every cyclist’s dream to whiz through the streets of Los Angeles without having to worry about traffic. A few times during the year, this dream becomes a reality when CicLAvia happens. Cyclists, skaters and the like enjoy leisurely riding through Los Angeles streets as traffic is blocked off for a full 6 hours of cycling fun in various neighborhoods.
Local Tip: You can rent a bike to participate if you do not have one.
Caribbean Carnival in Hollywood
California may be as far away from the Caribbean as you could get in the U.S. but that doesn’t mean that the Caribbean flavor hasn’t invaded Los Angeles. Each year in June, the Caribbean population invades Hollywood for an all day festival filled with thumping reggae, calypso and soca music as well as sexy costumes, dancing and awesome food.