When fresh tracks arrived in a frontier town, back when the railroad was just beginning, it was, for local denizens, like a dozen holidays rolled into one.
Much celebration ensued, and grand speeches were made, and a few townsfolk wore their best frocks and top hats and boots and bustles.
Things aren't that much different, a couple of centuries on, when it comes to train-based excitement for a town. Look to Downtown Santa Monica, which plans to greet the debut of Metro's Expo Line with a touch of pomp and a side of circumstance.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Or, as we often interpret "pomp & circumstance" nowadays, dining deals and retail discounts.
Downtown Santa Monica'll welcome riders, and anyone excited about getting from downtown LA to the beach in well under an hour (sans freeway traffic), with an assortment of money-saving offers on May 20 and 21.
Get 33% off at Sea of Silver, except for sale items, if that's your pleasure, then follow up at Charlie Kabob, where you can score 10% off your lunch.
Bloomingdale's, Sole Society, Cheryl Fudge, True Religion Jeans, and Peloton are all on board with the Expo-fun weekend, as well as other merchandisers. The full list of participants? Find it right here.
There are parties, too, at the Santa Monica stations, and a t-shirt giveaway, and other to-dos that all broadcast one message: The city is pretty dang glad that, for the first time in well over a half century, a train will reach the ocean, or nearly.
As are the riders, who'll get to score some free rides over its opening weekend, which officially begins on May 20.