All Feet on Deck: This Weekend Is the Big Parade

6_11_10_big_parade.jpgThe first Big Parade climbs the stairs in Echo Park. Photo:Larry Gasan/Flickr
And no, I don't mean the parade for the Lakers.

One of the events that's becoming the highlight of the Livable Streets Calendar is the Big Parade. Organized by Dan Koeppel, the Big Parade is just what it says it is, a large group of people going for a walk. Anyone familiar with Koeppel knows he likes staircases, especially the ornate ones built in previous centuries. Thus, it's no surprise that the parade doesn't just boast of a thirty-five mile route over two days and a camp out, but also 101 staircases. Koeppel explains the concept and ethic of the Parade:

This is a community walk. That means we stay together as a group, and it means that YOU CAN DO IT! Why? Because we break the walk into segments so that walkers of all ages and levels of fitness can join us at specific times (of course, anyone is welcome to meet us at any point along the way - and all are invited to join us at the end to celebrate the walk.)

Even if you're just hearing of the Big Parade for the first time now, if you live anywhere between the Downtown and the Griffith Park Observatory, all you have to do is walk outside to join the parade. This isn't a fundraiser, it's just a walk, a great wonderful walk, so it's completely free.

You can join the Parade for part of the walk, or join up for all two days. No RSVP required, although you should plan ahead if you're going to camp out on Saturday night by the Silver Lake Reservoir and drop the Parade Organizers an email to reserve one of the 25 spots for tents. Other than that, just check out if and when the parade is coming through your area, map for Saturday and Sunday are available on the Parade's website, and then check the schedule (here's Saturday's and here's Sunday's).

By the way, it's bad mojo to drive to meet up with the Big Parade, so Koeppel provides a long list of transit directions.

One last note to Paraders, make sure to bring plenty of sustenance.  When the miles start piling up, it's important to make sure you have enough food and water available