This Saturday, for the first time ever, there will be an Anza Trail reenactment in Griffith Park.
Horses and volunteer reenactors will engage in a variety of activities and crafts to commemorate the 240th anniversary of the expedition.
The Vice President of Friends of Griffith Park and the lead for this project, Marian Dodge, joined the show to discuss the significance of the expedition and the event commemorating it.
What is the significance of the Anza trail expedition?
The Anza expedition was very important to the United States we all heard about 1776 on the east coast...that's the famous one. But over here in California things were happening as well...Anza was told to go across Arizona and go up north to San Francisco and establish a city in San Francisco because the Russians were coming down from the north and Spain wanted to make sure that they controlled California. So if Anza had not made that expedition, you and I might be speaking Russian..Juan Batista de Anza was the colonel who was assigned--he's a soldier but it was a colonization expedition not a military expedition."
Why is this significant to Los Angeles?
"For us here, it's really significant because one of the perfectly ordinary soldiers who made the expedition was Jose Vicente Feliz...he was reassigned to Los Angeles to come back and work in El Pueblo de Los Angeles, he became Comisionado which would be like a city manager. He was here for a long time, he did such a nice job that he was granted Rancho Los Feliz...it is the present day Silver Lake, Los Feliz and Griffith Park."
This is the first time the Anza Trail reenactment is in Griffith park, what will visitors see and experience?
"We are going to have 15 riders in period costume ride in on horseback. Four of them have authentic 18th-century saddles. Colonel Anza himself will speak to the crowd, as will Father Serra. They also have reenactors who will show what kind of food they ate on the trail, how they traveled...there'll be dance music...your kids can earn a junior ranger badge...the kids can go explore friends of LA river's river rover..."
The event will take place at Griffith Park on Saturday, May 14th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. See address below:
Crystal Springs Picnic Area
4730 Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
To hear the full interview, click the blue play button above.