Olvera Street

Olvera Street
Photo by: Nick Boalch, Creative Commons

Every great city has to start from somewhere. The city of Los Angeles was originally founded on 1781 by a group of Spanish settlers. 11 families consisting of 44 men, women, and their children established their homes in what is now known as the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. Considered as the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles, Olvera Street is well known for its homage to old Mexico through its authentic traditional Mexican establishments and colorful attractions.

Olvera Street was originally known as Wine Street but it was renamed in honor of one of its long-time residents, a prominent judge named Agustin Olvera in 1877. Part of the change included an extension of the short lane which now spans a block long. Olvera Street was then converted into a Mexican-style marketplace, which continues to enjoy immense popularity among its visitors. You can score handcrafted Mexican wares and souvenirs in one store and enjoy traditional Mexican cuisine in the next! You can also find 27 of the park’s historical buildings alone all lined up in Olvera Street. The oldest building in the park, the Adobe Avila, can be found along Olvera Street.

You can also experience Mexican outdoor entertainment as you stroll along Olvera Street during the weekends. Enjoy performances from street musicians and folk dancers that can make you feel as if you truly were walking the streets of old Mexico.

Mexican culture has always been associated with festivals that are both vibrant in color and energy. There’s no shortage of that here in Olvera Street where traditional Mexican festivals are celebrated side by side with other cultures. One of the popular events in at Olvera is the Blessing of The Animals held every Saturday before Easter. During the event, which lasts for an entire day, vendors, performers and participants hold a procession where their pets are displayed and blessed by religious authorities.

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