|Anthony meets Channel 7's Lisa Hernandez
Weeks of planning was involved for the big Sept. 4, 2006 event in which Los Angeles would become 225 years old. LP200
board members met each Thursday with Special Projects planners from the mayor's office who were overseeing the festivities
this year. San Gabriel officials, community affairs people and others, including sponsors Disney and ABC-7, all pulled together
to contribute talents and ideas for what was to be a very special day. Adding to the excitement, LP200 members were interviewed
by ABC Programming Producer Joanna Gonzales for a special 'Eye On LA' segment which aired Sept. 24th.
|Kids at the Mission preparing to walk with LP200 banner
Normally around six or seven hundred people show up either to participate in the walk or to just celebrate at the
plaza each Labor Day, but thousands were expected this year. 1,500 people were already pre-registered to walk from the
San Gabriel Mission, but for the first time in the history of the event, people were allowed to officially join in at
the established half-way point at Lincoln Park as to allow more younger people to participate who might not be able to go
the whole 8.6 miles.
The morning began as usual with the stage announcements led by MC actor Tony Plana, and there was a blessing
by the Gabrieleno/Tonva tribe. And once again there was a delay in getting going and the walk itself did not begin
till after 8. As we lined up to leave the Mission, Los Pobladores chaplain Al Cota gave the walkers a pep-talk and
spoke about the historical aspects of the event. The primarily down-hill grade makes the trip fairly pleasant, especially
as I pushed 60-pound Anthony for the third straight year. This year, older Pobladores members got to ride parade-style
in an old-model fire truck. LA Times reporters and photographers were there interviewing us as we walked. I had attempted
to get the newspaper to do a story on Los Pobladores for weeks and I was happy to see they actually sought us out amongst
|LP200 president Paul Guzman addresses croud in San Gabriel
|Anthony and I listening to speeches
|Tongva Tribe members offering prayer for the walkers
|Al Cota speaks to the walkers before the walk - that's me with the hat and shades to the left
|Don Garza with actor Tony Plana
|Los Pobladores members and others riding in fire truck
We neared the plaza about 10:15 - right on schedule for the 10:30 ceremony. We made the three-hour
walk in just over two hours! It was then that I noticed Mickey Mouse was walking with Mayor Villaraigosa who was
holding a banner with others. As we got ready to cross Alameda street to the staging area, photographers, a cheering
crowd and confetti marked the beginning of the celebration. It seemed liked that was the place to be - let
the party begin! Music, dancing, crafts, food and birthday cake was all for the taking... or buying. Many people visited the
LP200 booth and we had the opportunity to share about the organization and assist others with their genealogical enquiries.
One person mentioned seeing us on TV the day before where Paul Guzman, Al Cota and I were on Tony Valdez's Midday Sunday
show with the mayor discussing the day's events.
Viva Los Angeles!
|Mayor Villaraigosa gets help from Mickey and friends
|Entering the plaza
|The mayor gives Paul a cerificate of recognition for Los Pobladores
|LP200 member Bob Lopez, with wife Margaret, discussing genealogy with the public
|Party animals at the plaza
|LP200 vice-president Irene Sepuveda Hastings takes it all in