If you had to select a birthday gift for Los Angeles, and buy it, and wrap it, where would you possibly hide it, if you happen to live within Los Angeles? Because wouldn't Los Angeles somehow know?
Secret-keeping would be rendered impossible, if you stash the present inside the birthday honoree.
But LA asks for no balloons, no streamers, no gifts. There's just one moving annual tradition when it comes to observing our historic metropolis's birthday, and it is the historic nine-mile walk from Mission San Gabriel to El Pueblo Historical Monument.
What to do, where to go and what to see
It happens this year on Saturday, Aug. 30.
Got LA's age circled on your calendar? You are correct if you jotted down that you have to purchase 233 candles for your city's cake. Really, though, there's no reason to bake a cake on your own: The Aug. 30 celebration ends with a frosting-laden slice of birthday treatness at El Pueblo.
Other festive to-dos will include artisan demos, re-enactments that recall our city's earliest days, and exhibits looking back. Part of the looking back will be at Los Pobladores, those wayback founders who made the San Gabriel-El Pueblo journey, by foot, in 1781.
If you'd rather pedal it, instead of doing the "by foot" thing, you can. This is the second year a bike ride will be part of the early morning walk, but note that helmets are mandatory.
Be in San Gabriel at 6 a.m. on Aug. 30, strolling history lovers; the party doings rev up at El Pueblo around late morning (think 10 a.m. on). And, for sure, don't sweat it: A gratis shuttle will zip you back to San Gabriel when the party wraps.
As for your gift to LA? Well, you're not physically buying anything, right? Good. It's really, really difficult to find something LA doesn't already have, and then the whole duplicate thing puts LA in the whole re-gifting situation...
Yeah. Better to make the historic walk and eat cake at Olvera Street.