Thousands Flock to Free Family Events at Several Newly Restored Waterfront Locations; 2012 Events Schedule Already Shaping Up
The Port of Los Angeles has just wrapped up an unprecedented number of summer events, several of which were held at newly renovated LA Waterfront locations. From concerts to car shows, fireworks to festivals, the events attracted tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. They included nearly 40,000 people who turned out recently for the 13th annual Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival, the largest festival of its kind in the world.
“Creating a sense of place and destination is at the heart of our efforts to develop a world-class waterfront,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “We’re pleased that our events had something everyone could enjoy, and feedback indicates that the activities were enjoyed by the local community and out-of-area visitors.”
The Port’s 2011 summertime schedule of events included:
* Wilmington Waterfront Park Grand Opening – In June, Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa and thousands of community residents joined the Port in dedicating this new 30-acre waterfront park at Harry Bridges Boulevard between Figueroa and Avalon Boulevards. The $55 million community-gathering space spans nine blocks and features rolling lawns, a fountain, playground and barbeques.
* Summer Concerts on the LA Waterfront – From late June to early September, more than 5,000 guests attended the nine free summer concerts held at the Gateway Plaza Fanfare Fountain, California’s largest and most spectacular waterworks located at Harbor Boulevard and the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro. Guests enjoyed everything from blues, rock, swing and dance music as well as pre-concert family-fun entertainment. Next summer’s concerts are slated for Thursday nights in July and August.
* Cars & Stripes Forever! – Adding an evening fireworks show for the first time, the third annual Cars & Stripes Forever! classic car show and firework display drew more than 17,000 visitors, just in time to kick off the July 4th holiday weekend. The event featured hundreds of classic cars and motorcycles, live music, a food and beer garden, and a spectacular fireworks display. Mark your calendar for next year’s show: June 29, 2012.
* Taste in San Pedro at the Port of L.A. – In August, this popular event, hosted by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce, came to the Harbor Boulevard Parkway Promenade. In its 23rd year, the event featured food and fun from 30 local restaurants, wineries, breweries and merchants, as well as live music, craft booths and children’s activities, and attracted more than 8,000 visitors. Next year’s event: August 3-5, 2012.
* Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival - A Guinness World Record holder for the most seafood served at an outdoor event, the world’s largest lobster festival at Ports O’ Call Village in San Pedro drew tens of thousands over this four-day event. Featuring fresh Maine lobster meals flown in daily, the event has been a harbor area tradition since 1999. Next year’s event: September 14-16, 2012.
The LA Waterfront also hosted several other major activities, drawing international interest with a fleet of Navy ships and other visiting vessels. In July, the Port was proud to host four active U.S. Navy ships – including an aircraft carrier and a minesweeper. Public tours of the ships were an overwhelming success. The new waterfront and the historic downtown San Pedro business district bustled with activity as more than 42,000 visitors toured the ships.
The Russian tall ship Pallada made a stop at the Port in August as part of its international trans-Pacific expedition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s space flight and the 270th anniversary of “Russian America” – the name of early Russian colonial possessions in the U.S. that today includes Alaska. Nearly 1,000 guests toured the ship.
The Port was also host to the Pacific Voyagers, a fleet of seven traditional Polynesian canoes captained by a group of Pan Pacific sailors on a 15,000 nautical mile expedition across the Pacific. The trek was organized to raise awareness about issues threatening the Pacific Ocean.
The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port supports more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port. A brighter future.
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