Coverage of Eastside Gold Line debut on The Source

As would be expected, the talk around One Gateway this week has mostly revolved around the debut of the Eastside Gold Line Extension this weekend. We’ll be supplying coverage both Saturday and Sunday here at The Source.

The official dedication ceremony is being held tomorrow morning, when a plethora of elected officials will take a train ride from Union Station to the East L.A. Civic Center at 9 a.m. When the train arrives at the station it will — get this — run through a banner stretching across the tracks and I’m also told there will be air cannons spraying confetti into the air.

A ceremony for the elected officials and other invited dignitaries will be held at the Civic Center at 9:30 a.m., featuring what I’m told will be many speeches.

The event is by invitation only and is closed to the public — sorry! Among those scheduled to attend are Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Rep. Grace Napolitano, Rep. Judy Chu, State Sen. Gil Cedillo, Assemblyman Mike Eng, Supervisor Gloria Molina, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar and Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, who is also the chair of the Metro Board of Directors.

The taxpaying public get their chance to celebrate the $898-million light rail line on Sunday, when free rides are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the entire length of the Gold Line. Please note that passengers will have to switch trains at Union Station on Sunday because extra trains are being run on the Eastside segment to accomodate what are expected to be big crowds. Once the train begins normal service on Monday, trains will run through Union Station and no transfers will be required to travel between East L.A. and Pasadena.

The press release on Sunday’s planned activities is after the jump. Have fun!

Free Rides, the First Ever Boyle Heights Block Party and Mariachi Festival and Other Community Festivities Planned for Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension Opening Celebration Sunday, Nov. 15

Free rides from one end of the Gold Line to the other, the 19th Annual Mariachi Festival featuring some of the best bands in Southern California, a special visit from Santa and other events will mark the celebration of the Edward R. Roybal Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension when it opens to the public Sunday, Nov. 15.

Community leaders and organizations have responded to the opening of the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension with dozens of events along the alignment, especially at four locations: East LA Civic Center Station, Mariachi Plaza, Little Tokyo/Arts District and Union Station. Sunday festivities will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Opening Day Activities

  • East L.A. Civic Center Station
    Where: Third Street and Civic Center Way (near the East L.A. Public Library)
    What: Live performances of Chicano rock, a spectacular farmers’ market, tasty food booths, healthy cooking classes, children’s activities, local artisans and special exhibits from the County Bike Coalition and Metro Bike programs.
  • Mariachi Plaza Station
    Where: First Street and Boyle Avenue
    What: The First Annual Boyle Heights Block Party and Mariachi Festival on First Street, between Boyle Avenue and State Street. Two stages of live Mariachi, Latin and contemporary music — including Jahnny Wallz, Domingo Siete, UmoVerde, Dirty Hens and Quito Sol. The bands will play a mix of music inspired by the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa. Mariachi performances will include local and internationally recognized musicians: Mariachi Sol del Mexico, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, Mariachi Mexicapan, Mariachi Voz de America, Mariachi Santa Cecelia and Mariachi Conservatory. They will play a mix of mariachi music inspired by the different regions and styles of Mexico. There will also be free giveaways, a free kids corner, art exhibits and lots of food.
  • Little Tokyo/Arts District Station
    Where: Alameda and First streets
    What: Live karaoke on stage, delicious cuisine from dozens of nearby restaurants, special family activities and booths representing businesses and organizations from the area.
  • Union Station
    Where: East Portal, Union Station stop on the Metro Gold Line and Metro Red Line, corner of Cesar Chavez Avenue and Vignes Street
    What: A special pre-holiday visit from Santa, who will appear with the Caroling Company, 1 to 1:30 p.m., in anticipation of his first holiday appearance in the 2009 Hollywood Santa Parade on Sunday, Nov. 29.Also at Union Station will be a display from Madame Tussauds Hollywood, as well as bands, guitarists and food booths.

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