Block party season is now totally and unarguably here, which means that, if you're on the planning committee, or you are the planning committee, you know that wrangling a dozen different households, all with a single have-fun goal in mind, can be a task.
Now imagine doing that not for your own block, or district, or town, but a whole spread-out section of our city, one that encompasses a number of different neighborhoods. It's a goal that's grand in scope, but it's one that the Lummis Day Festival achieves each and every year, as it will again from Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 4.
Nope, it isn't a traditional block party in the usual sense (a flapping tablecloth, on a picnic table, with a plate of hot dog buns to hold it all down, isn't the centerpiece). Rather, it is a big, bouyant, community-come-together festivity that's all about La Vida NELA.
The 12th Annual El Festival de Noreste de Los Angeles spotlights the "...arts, history, and ethnic diversity of Northeast Los Angeles through educational and cultural events," vibrant events that'll take place over the aforementioned three days at a half dozen locations.
Those locations include the Lummis Home, Sycamore Grove Park, the Southwest Museum, Thorne Hall at Occidental College, the Historic Security Trust and Savings Building, and Avenue 50 at York Boulevard, where the Café Stage will bring "(t)he best of NELA indie acoustic music."
Besides independent tuneage on full, strummable display, look for programs and happenings devoted to a diverse range of things of an artistic, mind-growing variety, including the area's murals.
Film, puppetry, poetry, and a "For the Love of the Arroyo" art show are all on the NELA-nice roster, too.
It's all free, like a massive block party should be. Though do note that you'll want to arrive with lunch money, since the table of block-party-ish hot dogs won't be out at the festival. Good news: NELA is home to a host of amazing eateries, from El Huarache Azteca to My Taco to The York, places that are close-ish to all of the action.
And it's a reminder that get-togethers don't have to be about five people, or even twenty, but can stretch over a number of neighborhoods and towns that share a single but multi-prismatic outlook regarding creativity, community, history, and all-out general joy-a-tude.