10 Free Things To Do For Hispanic Heritage Month in Los Angeles

El Grito celebration on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall.

Perhaps in no city in the United States are the cultural contributions of Latinos more evident than in Los Angeles. Among its population, L.A. counts nearly 5 million Hispanic and Latino residents, more than live in any other county in the USA.

Everywhere we look we see that cultural influence in focus, from the cobblestones of Olvera Street to the mile of murals that span Van Nuys Blvd. We see it in our art and our music, our politics and our place names. And as we enter National Hispanic Heritage month (September 15 to October 15), we see it most specifically in our events.

For this week’s round-up, we’ll look ahead to the next four weeks to examine the myriad ways Angelenos can access our city’s vibrant Latino culture through local to-dos, whether via public festivals, parades, concerts, art, poetry, or dance. Most importantly, each provides a perfect outlet to spend time with family and build community.

And of course, because this is a We Like L.A. x L.A. Metro collab, you can count on two things: All events mentioned feature free admission, and all are Metro-accessible.

¿Está bien? Vámonos!

Hispanic Heritage Month To-Dos

LéaLA 2023: A Space for Spanish, Art and Imagination – > This Thursday to Sunday (September 14-17) the LéaLA, Spanish Language Book Fair and Literary Festival of Los Angeles offers a four-day series of presentations, activities, and workshops for kids, all aimed to highlight the culture and the arts of communities of Latin origin within the city of L.A. All programs are free of charge (capacity limited), and all take place at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in DTLA. If you attend on Sunday, you can also stop by Fiestas Patrias Olvera taking place at El Pueblo across the street from noon to 6 p.m. See the full schedule and get more info here.

Go Metro: Take the A, B or D Lines to Union Station.

El Grito at L.A. City Hall -> The City of Los Angeles marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month with the annual celebration of El Grito – a commemoration of Mexican Independence, to take place this Friday on the steps of L.A. City Hall. Expect food trucks, a silent disco, resource vendors, and live performances from Banda Machos, Las Colibrí, Las Cafeteras, and Banda Las Angelinas. Runs 5 to 11 p.m. Free to attend. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the B or D Lines to Grand Park / Civic Center station.

Poetry in El Norte: Poetas from Monterrey, L.A. and The Bay -> This Friday, September 15, Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center welcome authors with roots in Mexico and the U.S. for a bilingual poetry reading and discussion on contemporary narratives rooted in the northern region of Mexico. Runs 7:30 to 9 p.m., and free to attend with RSVP. More info here.

Go Metro: Take Line 33 to Venice/Shell.

Pasadena Latino Heritage Parade & Festival -> On Saturday, September 16, Pasadena’s 25th annual Latino Heritage Parade kicks off a 1-mile route originating from the intersection Los Robles and Buckeye, running south to Pasadena City Hall. The end point transforms into a public festival in the afternoon featuring live entertainment, educational booths, kid’s activities, and food vendors. Event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the A Line to Memorial Park station.

Sunday Sessions at Gloria Molina Grand Park – > The final installment of Grand Park’s 2023 Sunday Sessions series features an afternoon Latin House tunes spun by a DJ lineup of Von Kiss, Raul Campos, Juliet Mendoza, and David Montoya. The September 17 event will include a 21+ bar area plus plenty of space to picnic and enjoy the music. Runs 3 to 8 p.m. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the B or D Lines to Grand Park / Civic Center station.

Metro Bike Share Community Ride -> On Saturday, September 23, Metro Bike Share leads a group ride through Downtown Los Angeles to offer insights into Chicano/a/x history, spotlight historical moments, and use firsthand storytelling and public art to illustrate the complexity of local communities. The 2-mile loop begins/ends at Union Station, and will tread portions of Main, Spring, and Broadway. Bikes and helmets to be provided, but you have to be at least 16 years old to use a Metro Bike. Free to attend, but RSVP required. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the A, B or D Lines to Union Station.

City of Inglewood Hispanic Heritage Festival -> On September 23, The City of Inglewood hosts an Hispanic Heritage Festival spanning a portion of Market St. in Downtown featuring live bands, mariachi, local vendors, a classic car show, and plenty of food options. Runs 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and free to attend. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the K Line to Downtown Inglewood station.

Loteria at MOLAA -> On Thursday, September 28, the Museum of Latina American Art in Long Beach celebrates Latinx Heritage Month with a Loteria Night headlined by (all Spanish) vinyl tunes from La Cosecha Internacional. Runs from 6 to 9 p.m., and free to attend with RSVP. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the A Line to the 5th St. station in Downtown Long Beach

Hispanic Heritage Month Concerts at Ovation Hollywood -> Every Friday from September 15 to October 13, Ovation Hollywood celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with live music in the central courtyard featuring a lineup of artists from a variety of genres, including Latin Jazz, Mariachi, and pop. All events run from 4 to 7 p.m. and are free to attend. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the B Line to Hollywood/Highland station

18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium at LA Plaza -> The latest exhibition at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes explores the cultural resonance of the historic Olympic Auditorium, which hosted sporting events and concerts for 80 years starting in 1925. The venue was a showcase for Mexican and Mexican American athletes, and a vital seam in the social fabric of working class Angelenos who attended their events. LA Plaza’s two-floor retrospective is on view now through May 12, 2024. The museum is always free to visit, open Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. More info here.

Go Metro: Take the A, B or D Lines to Union Station.

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