Olvera Sweet: Blessing of the Animals

Dress up your pooch, your guinea pig, or your lamb, and head for the historic district.

What to Know

  • Saturday, March 31
  • Olvera Street
  • 2 p.m.

If it is the day before Easter, and you're in Los Angeles, and you're standing near some of the city's very oldest buildings, and it is the early afternoon, the chance that you'll see a horse draped with paper flowers, or a Pug wearing a bonnet, or a guinea pig inside a decorated enclosure (being carried by a cute tot), is incredibly high.

In fact, you can probably bank on seeing such unlikely yet delightful sights, though the word "bank" needn't come into play, as what we're talking about here is incredibly free.

Free, and full of good feeling, and such a large and adorable part of the Olvera Street story. It's the annual Blessing of the Animals, and it takes place during the daytime of Easter eve, each and every year, and we aren't exaggerating on that part, for it has been a staple at the storied street for over eight decades now.

In that time, farm animals, animal companions, wee pets, barky pups, the occasional fish, and a host of cuddly critters have queued up, with their humans, for a benediction full of hope and spring-sweet thoughts.

"While the blessing is rooted in Catholic tradition, you do not have to be Catholic to participate," states a note on the event's site. "All animals, and humans, are welcome!"

The 2018 date is Saturday, March 31, the time is 2 p.m., though the line starts at 1, and past participants should note that there's a new area for the queue, in front of the Pico House.

Archbishop Jose Gomez will be bestowing the blessing on each animal there. And no, you don't need to gussy up your goat or dress your Dachshund, though many people do choose seasonal sartorial details and Easter-type hats and collars for their critters.

It's a gem on the local calendar, a happening that is woven through the Olvera Sweet, er, Street history, and generations of Angelenos have showed with their pets, just before Easter, for this free and springful community gathering.

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