LA block party tonight bids adieu to Villaraigosa

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LA Union Station

LA Union Station (Photo: Wikipedia)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Friday evening’s “CelebrateLA,” a finale to a year of heritage month celebrations, will double as a farewell bash for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and feature appearances by former President Bill Clinton and surprise guests.

Spring Street will be closed to accommodate the “ultimate block party” next to City Hall.

The party is free and open-to-the-public and will include photo booths, free nachos, “hipster” food trucks and cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. A mural will be created from fingerprints.

Villaraigosa will be joined by Clinton, Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti, opera singer Placido Domingo, musician Pepe Aguilar, county Supervisor Gloria Molina and Councilman Herb Wesson for some opening words. A rabbi and a reverend will offer invocations.

Actress Wanda Sykes, television host and producer Ryan Seacrest, and radio personality Dominique DiPrima are also among the special guests, with the surprise guest expected to show up at around 6:45.

The party, set to wrap up at 10 p.m., will be sprinkled with musical and dance acts. Among them will be singers and musicians from the Silverlake Conservatory of Music; powwow dancers and drummers with the United American Indian Involvement; the Plaza de la Raza Mariachi Ensemble; the A Place Called Home Jazz Ensemble; and the Sangeet Shplang Ensemble.

The event costs $265,000, of which $190,000 will be covered by donations from Wells Fargo, Disney and other private supporters. Each of the city’s self-supporting departments — the Department of Water and Power, the Los Angeles World Airports and the Port of Los Angeles — is pitching in $5,000.

The city is absorbing about $75,000 in costs for police and other city services.

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