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Grand Park's grand finale opening party scheduled for October

By Hayley Fox
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012, at 12:16PM

Grand Park will have its final opening celebration Oct. 6.

The final block of Downtown's 12-acre Grand Park is set to open October 6 with music, food trucks and and abundance of large-scale, choreographed dancing.) The celebration will take place throughout the four-block park and include a "vertical dance" staged outside City Hall, with people suspended hundreds of feet in the air on climbing ropes.

“The completion of Grand Park marks the beginning of a new chapter for Los Angeles County and opens the door to events and gatherings that bring the community together to share the many cultures that comprise the fabric of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina in a statement.

The Saturday events kick off at 11 a.m. with public dance lessons and continues throughout the day until almost 10 p.m., with concerts and an encore dance performance in the much-lauded renovated Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain.

With the park's completion comes the release of a schedule of fall events and the announcement of a new Grand Park Director, Lucas Rivera. Rivera previously worked as the executive director of Artists and Musicians Latin America based in Philadelphia -- an organization that teaches and promotes Latin music and dance. He has helped construct the Grand Park's fall programming schedule that continues through November.

"Grand Park is already home to a public square speakers’ series presented by Zócalo and will soon host a farmers’ market, book fairs, art festivals, a poetry workshop, yoga and more,” Rivera said in a statement.

In addition to being named a new hub for the upcoming CicLAvia biking event, the park's fall highlights include Make Your Mark at the Park, a group drawing session on October 14 that's accompanied by the Grand Park Pooch Party -- which is exactly what it sounds like; an afternoon of dog parades, pooch booths and breaking in the new dog run.

On November 2, the Japanese Consulate along with L.A. County officials will dedicate the park's cherry blossom trees and then that evening, the DTLA bar La Cita is hosting a Dia de Los Muertos party with live music and art.

The Grand Park has opened in waves this summer, beginning with the late July opening of the first two blocks, which included costumed performances, dancers on stilts and a water fountain display. Then on September 11, the Community Terrace which spans from Hill to Broadway, opened with a ceremony in the flag garden and a 9/11 tribute.

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