* Los Angeles-Thousands of people took advantage of a nice day to ride bicycles, ride skateboards, scooters, etc., during the 11th Edition of CicLAvia.
This edition of CicLavia-South LA, December 7, removed cars from parts of Leimert Blvd, Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. and Central Avenue. CicLAvia provides a way for people to connect with neighborhoods, businesses and cultures of Los Angeles in a way that isn’t possible by car.
CicLovias started in Bogota, Colombia, over thirty years ago as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. CicLovia catalyzes vibrant public spaces, active transportation and good health through car-free streets. CicLovias brings families outside of their homes to enjoy the streets, to connect communities by giving people a break from the stress of car traffic.
CicLAvia-South LA featured three culturally significant hubs-Central Ave. /Jazz Park Hub, Exposition Park Hub and Leimert Park Hub. I joined thousands of visitors who arrived by various modes; unicycles, bicycles, adult and kids tricycles, scooters, vintage and customized bicycles and a few motorized bicycles. Also noticed were Segway’s Transporters.
The Leimert Park Pedestrian Zone was cracking with some incredible, top notch entertainment.
My day of fun began with DJ A-SKI laying down the sounds on the ones and two’s on the Maverick’s Flat Stage. I walked a half block east to The Vision Theater and People Street Stage to see the always entertaining set by SHINE Mawusi (Women’s African Drum Circle).
Visitors to Leimert Park Hub were invited to do Yoga, learn about the healing arts on the plaza, sample foods from local vendors and food trucks, sing Karaoke at Regency West.
Comedian Stevie Mack was hilarious as usual serving as Master of Ceremonies on the People Street Stage. DJ Al Jackson was putting it down on the ones and twos for the inter-active Playground (Family Fun) Block Party.
Gospel vocalist Shawntae Jackson showcased her powerful voice without a microphone, due to technical issues with the sound system. The crowd and I were treated to three tunes by this talented singer on “I Love the Lord,” “I Surrender All,” and “What A Friend We Have in Jesus,” concluding with AMEN! by the audience.
WA DA DA set the vibes right for the day with some roots rock reggae that had the crowd jammin’ in the street. Vocalist Dave Coresh rocked it out, both inside KAOS Network and on the People Street Stage on the tunes “Centerfold,” “Trouble,” and “Run.”
Derf Reklaw Quartet played a tight set inside SIKA’s. Several stores south, The World Stage Big Band were brilliant during their time in the spotlight.
Victor “Pro Remy” Pulido, and Harmony Project Choir thrilled the crowd and me on the People Street Stage.
There was something for everyone to enjoy during CicLAvia-South LA. The vibrant, flamboyant and enthusiasm of Carnival season was on full display during the epic trek made by Marie Kellier’s Caricabela L. A. Carnival. This congregation celebrates the variety of people of Caribbean heritage throughout Greater Los Angeles area. Members of the procession performed a high octane, energetic set on the Maverick’s Flat Stage. This was a rousing conclusion to my visit to Leimert Park Village for CicLAvia-South LA.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]