A large turnout of outdoor enthusiasts enjoyed seven hours of fun Sunday as Metro presented the 626 Golden Streets Mission to Mission event along a 5-mile stretch from South Pasadena’s Mission Street to the San Gabriel Mission.
Participants were asked to go the entire distance or jump in anywhere along the route while enjoying the many attractions along the way.
Whether bicycle, skates, scooter, walking, or even dancing was a person’s mode of transportation, hundreds liked the idea that the streets were wide open on this day.
“This is remarkable to be able to be out here and not worry about vehicles coming at you,” said Marvin Saunders, with his girlfriend, Candy Thompson, as they walked along Mission Street in South Pasadena after riding the Gold Line light rail to get to the event. “We’re both environmentalists so we couldn’t ask for more.”
For many taking part in the Golden Streets, it was about focusing on improved air quality and the benefits of exercise.
“Can you imagine a time if we didn’t have to depend on cars?” asked Melody Turner of San Gabriel, riding a two-wheeler. “I’m a big proponent of public transportation. That’s why this event is so meaningful to me.”
The 626 Golden Streets was not a race – only miles of smiles for those braving raindrops during the early morning hours and partly sunny skies much of the afternoon.
“It’s great to see so many out of their cars on bikes, walking and having a great time,” said South Pasadena City Council member Michael Cacciotti, who helped launch the event. “People are having a great time.”
Live performances, artists, music and entertainment dotted the course, providing a variety of activities for those taking part.
The 626 Golden Streets kicked off at 8 a.m. with a 5K run, followed by opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. on Mission Street in South Pasadena, featuring comments by special dignitaries, including State Assembly member Anthony Portantino, State Senator Chris Holden, South Pasadena Mayor Dr. Marina Khubesrian, Cacciotti, and others.
“I’m having so much fun,” said Melissa Evans from neighboring Alhambra after coming to a stop on her bike. “I love the fact that we can ride our bikes on the street like this. I feel free! I love it.”
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