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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Anyone can join this parade

The biggest challenge Dan Koeppel faces in promoting his upcoming The Big Parade from downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood is that it's not as scary as it sounds. The free community event on July 18 & 19 involves walking 38 miles of city streets, climbing more than 100 public stairways, pedaling a boat across Echo Park Lake and an overnight camp out in Silver Lake. You can do all or just part of it.

"We are keeping a particularly slow pace of 2 to 2-1/2 miles an hour," said Koeppel, a Silver Lake writer and outdoor enthusiast who leads stairway tours of the area. "I emphasizing that this is doable. You can come for only 5 minutes. It's not an extreme sports event."

Instead, this weekend of walking, climbing and boating is intended to showcase the beauty, history and walkability of the city better known for driving. Koeppel spent seven months creating the route that starts at Angels Flight in downtown Los Angeles and then weaves its way up the public stairways of Beachwood Canyon below the Hollywood sign. Participants can sign up for the whole thing or join the parade for only a short segment. "The fun park was walking, especially walking places I have never been," said Koeppel. "This shows how beautiful this city is. How diverse it is."

While Koeppel has walked every stretch of the parade, he will find out what it's like to cover the entire route with the rest of the people who join him. "I want it to be the first time for me as for everyone else."

Photo by Anna Majkowska via Flickr

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