Rejoicing in L.A.'s Walkable Heritage

The Big Parade, an annual event organized by writer Dan Koeppel, utilizes Los Angeles's historic public staircases as the setting to educate and entertain Angelenos, while building a sense of community.
May 14, 2013, 10am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Originally contrived for a piece he wrote for Backpacker magazine called "I Climbed Los Angeles" that ran in June 2004, Koeppel's journey up and down (but mainly up) L.A.'s public staircases, has "since developed into an annual event called the Big Parade— a two-day, 40-mile urban hike from downtown Los Angeles to the Hollywood sign that covers 100 public stairways along the way," says Eric Jaffe. "For this year's parade, the fifth, Koeppel expects several hundred people to join him from around the country."

"Despite the length (and uphill nature) of the journey, the Big Parade is meant to live up to its name — an event whose primary purpose is to entertain," explains Jaffe. "Koeppel fills the route with talks and performances from local figures, and historical insights into the city's configuration."

"The parade's secondary mission is to encourage a sense of community. Koeppel says the parade keeps pace with the slowest walker; he describes it as a simple 'walk with neighbors.'"

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Published on Monday, May 13, 2013 in The Atlantic Cities
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