Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Arroyo Culture Lives On at the Lummis Day Festival

In just a few days, Angelenos and visitors from near and far will gather at Sycamore Grove Park (Los Angeles' oldest public park) along the Arroyo Seco to celebrate the history and culture of Northeast Los Angeles in memory of Charles F. Lummis, Father of Arroyo Culture.

Lummis walked from Ohio to Los Angeles in the late 1880s to become the first City Editor of the Los Angeles Times. He built his home, El Alisal, along the river's shore made entirely of Arroyo Seco river rock. He was a champion of Native American and early Californio culture and he hosted several on-going 'soirees' at his home, that he preferred to call 'noises.'

Among the numerous cultural institutions he founded were the Southwest Museum and the Arroyo Seco Foundation. He was a city librarian, photographer, editor, poet, but most of all a raconteur, who helped introduce the concept of multi-culturalism to Southern California.

Now in its 4th year, the Lummis Festival is a day-long celebration that includes tours of the Lummis House, poetry readings, and, most of all, the wonderful Festival at Sycamore Grove which last year attracted over 10,000 participants.

The Festival opens with my personal favorite: the Tongva Puppets along with their drummers, parading from the Lummis House to Sycamore Grove Park to 'officially' open the Festival ~ a celebration of Arroyo indigenous culture with lots of color, pageantry and joyful marchers.

Festival goers will have ample opportunity to nosh, visit community organization booths, and listen to outstanding music all afternoon from the likes of Culture Clash, Wil-Dog Y Su Banda, and I See Hawks in LA.

A great family event, get on the Gold Line train, ride to the Southwest Museum stop, and walk on over to the 4th Annual Lummis Day Festival.

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