Six miles of streets in Claremont, Pomona, La Verne, and San Dimas were filled with thousands of people on foot, bike, skate, and all manner of wheeled devices on Sunday, April 23rd when “Heart of the Foothills” presented by Metro returned to the Foothill communities after a five year hiatus.
The event kicked-off at Palomares Park in Pomona with local dignitaries, including the one and only Gabe the Sasquatch, Mayor of the San Gabriel Mountains. The larger-than-life official spokesperson for 626 Golden Streets was as usual a sasquatch of few words in thanking attendees for celebrating Earth Month with him.
Shortly after 9am the streets began filling with families and people of all ages who came out to enjoy the unique opportunity to experience miles of Claremont, Pomona, San Dimas, and La Verne devoid of cars.
Along the route live musical performances provided an eclectic, acoustic backdrop to the quiet streets. These included a rolling cumbia act pulled by a tandem bike, Poco Pocho.
Palomares Park in Pomona was the most child-friendly activity hub, featuring a wide assortment of activities for young participants, including bungee jumpers, a foam pit, inflatable ‘Hungry Hungry Hippos’, slides, soccer, and obstacle courses, dunk tank, basketball zone, giant badminton/jenga/connect 4/chess.
Attendees were also able to rent or test ride electric-assist bicycles with the San Gabriel Valley’s regional electric bike share program, GoSGV. Launched in summer 2022 the program offers monthly subscriptions for electric-assist City- and Family/Cargo- style bicycles to San Gabriel Valley residents.
Over the course of the day event organizers estimated over 31,000 people participated in the second ‘Heart of the Foothills’ ciclovia. Many local residents also strolled or jogged along the event route.
The next 626 Golden Streets - a 20 year anniversary re-staging of “ArroyoFest” originally planned for Fall 2020 - is scheduled for the morning of Sunday, October 29, 2023. For only the second time since the historic Arroyo Seco Parkway was constructed, “ArroyoFest” presented by Metro will temporarily open the oldest highway west of the Mississippi for people to walk, bike, jog, scoot, and explore. More information about upcoming 626 Golden Streets events will be available at: www.626goldenstreets.com.
Active San Gabriel Valley (ActiveSGV) is a community-based organization committed to realizing a more sustainable, equitable San Gabriel Valley, and the lead organizer of 626 Golden Streets. ActiveSGV offers a wide array of community programming, including the GoSGV regional E-bike share program (www.goSGV.org), free physical activity events (e.g., yoga classes, bicycle safety, community rides), and support for more active, healthy communities. For more information please visit: activeSGV.org.
The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) is a regional government planning agency that aims to maximize the quality of life in the San Gabriel Valley. A joint powers authority consisting of 31 incorporated cities and unincorporated communities, the SGVCOG is the largest and most diverse sub-regional council of governments in Los Angeles County, encompassing more than 374 square miles and serving more than 2 million residents. For more information please visit: sgvcog.org