Lead Story West Edition

WINTER WONDERS: Local events attract festive crowds in Baldwin Hills and Leimert Park

CRENSHAW — A Saturday afternoon. In December. In Southern California.

Not exactly the perfect setting for a Winter Wonderland, especially with the temperature hovering around 80 degrees.

Nevertheless, hundreds of families crowded into one of the parking lots at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Dec. 9 to frolic in snow that was trucked in for the occasion.

Children, many of them wearing shorts and sandals, enjoyed sledding and other snow play while also enjoying live entertainment by Saving Forever, an all-boy band of brothers, and giveaways.

The day was sponsored by City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson and the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall operators.

The night before, just down the street, was a different kind of gathering in Leimert Park.

The first-ever Leimert Park Block Party was held at 43rd Street and Degnan Boulevard, featuring nine food trucks, one video game truck and hundreds of people enjoying a festive seasonal atmosphere.

The party was presented by Billionaire Burger Boyz and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson Jr.

People waited in long lines to sample the food from some of the finest black-owned food trucks South Los Angeles has to offer.

The party continued throughout the night while neighbors danced, ate and updated their social media accounts with food photos. The party had two moods— at certain times the crowd would quiet down while everyone was focused on eating, and then a classic song would play, sparking an impromptu “electric slide.”

One local resident, who gave her name as Michi, said she came out for the “food and giveaways.”

“We need more of these type of events,” she added.

The overall crowd did not mind waiting in lines for food and the party served as a community social mixer. No glitz, no glam, just an old-fashioned block party for the people, by the people.

The Billionaire Burger Boyz were happy with the turnout. So happy they are considering hosting similar events on a monthly basis.