Local Happenings in Pasadena

After 20 years, ArroyoFest comes back!

“This is for all the people who dream of a better city with safe bikeways, public transit, parks and open spaces, walkable streets and affordable housing and a visible, diverse cultural heritage,” says Marcus Renner, co-organizer of the first ArroyoFest.

This past Sunday, thousands in and around the Pasadena area left their cars at home and dusted off their rollerblades, skateboards, and bikes to take the (hopefully not) once in a lifetime chance to traverse the closed Arroyo Seco Parkway. The six lanes and six miles of the winding freeway were closed to cars from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m on Sunday.

The Arroyo Seco Parkway, now known as the 110 or Pasadena Freeway, is California’s first freeway, and also one of America’s oldest freeways. First opening to traffic in 1938, the freeway was an important milestone in the transition between parkways and the modern freeway. Its previous greenery in the median has now slowly given way to steel guard rail and concrete barriers, but Caltrans has had plans in place to slowly restore its scenic worth since 2010. Organizers hope that the event raises greater awareness of the surrounding hillsides and increased visibility of the greenery and parks along the parkway, hence the name. The Metro had awarded $496,000 to ActiveSGV, a nonprofit organization, in an effort to highlight the Metro A line (formerly Gold Line) that runs alongside the 110 Freeway.

Seven years before the first ever CicLAvia, the first ArroyoFest took place in 2003. After 20 long years, the second ArroyoFest event kicked off bright and early with a 10K run, and soon more than 8,000 people came to join this rare opportunity and the welcome quiet as bikers zipped past skaters and parents with baby strollers while blasting music on speakers and bubble machines. The kids who had biked the same event in 2003 were now grown and taking their own children along this historic passage. One such rider had brought out his pennyfarthing, the same bike he had rode at the first ArroyoFest. With such an amazing turnout, it was a beautiful glimpse into a future without traffic and pollution.

Here’s some fun events to check out with your friends!

Wat Thai Temple Food Market

Every weekend

8 am - 5 pm

8225 Coldwater Canyon Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91605

Come see the oldest Thai Buddhist temple in the country amidst a vast array of authentic Thai street food. Bring your cash in exchange for $1 and $2 tokens to spend at the twenty or so vendors featuring specialty gelato flavors, crab fried rice, duck soup, fried bananas, $3 grilled skewers of all kinds, and various coconut desserts. The food is a steal for the price and quality, since each vendor’s precious spot is earned through winning a food competition.

PCC Flea Market

December 3 and every first Sunday monthly

_8 am - 3 pm, FREE _

Pasadena City College parking lot

The PCC Flea Market occurs on the first Sunday of every month. The parking lot fits over 400 vendors and mainly features antiques and collectibles. If you’re a big fan of vinyls, there are over 50 vendors selling records in the parking structure. Many students have found great finds on jewelry, clothing, skateboards, and other things you don’t think you’ll need.

Rose Bowl Flea Market

December 10 and every second Sunday monthly

_9 am - 3 pm, $12 regular admission _

1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA

The legendary Rose Bowl Flea Market has been happening on the second Sunday of every month for over 50 years with over 2,500 vendors in the Rose Bowl Stadium. Some vendors accept only cash so make sure to hit up an ATM for those sweet flea finds. A word of advice: to avoid the long box office lines, you can purchase your ticket ahead of time on Eventbrite at their website. If you’re really an early riser, VIP admission is $20 which allows you to access the flea market from 5 am to 9 am, meaning you can get to those valuable finds before most of the crowd.

Plein Air Art Exhibitions

Fridays 2-6 pm, Saturday & Sundays 1-5 pm, FREE

Armory Center for the Arts

_145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA _

Come explore plein air works from local artists including Caltech’s very own Hillary Mushkin, a research professor of art and design. She is the founder of Incendiary Traces focusing on the limits and power of human and technological observation.

This plein air exhibition is focused on the experience and process of being in our physical landscapes in the context of public and private space, and land surveying and settling.