Podcast: Echo Park Community Parade Interview about History, Planning and Participants

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Echo Park Forums

“There are lot of the youth in the program…we’ve got so much talent, but where can they show their talent off? They don’t have a lot of opportunities. The parade is to show the talent of echo park in all of the local elementary schools and high schools. There are no big entries, no floats, it’s just 1,500 kids coming down the street having a good time performing and it’s amazing the talent we have here in Echo park, but who would know about it if we didn’t have a parade?” – Maryanne Hayashi, E.D. Central Civil Action Committee

On Wednesday, December 3, 2013 Echo Park Forums had the opportunity to interview Maryanne Hayashi, the Executive Director of Central Civil Action Committee in Echo Park and Los Angeles, CA.

Apart from her responsibilities as the director of the non-profit, she has also been involved in organizing the Echo Park Community Parade, something that she has done since the 1980’s.

Before discussing the interview, here are the details for this year’s Echo Park Community Parade, 2013:

Echo Park Forums

This year’s theme is:

“Neighbors Make Echo Park Beautiful”

When: Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 11:00 A.M.

Where: Echo Park, CA on Sunset Blvd. from Elysian Park Avenue to Park Avenue.


Parade route:

Echo Park Forums

Grand Marshal:

Ms. Isa-Kae Meksin

Parade Ambassadors:

The Echo Park Film Center
Mr. Bill Garcia (Echo Park DASH driver)
The office of Dr. George D. Lim, DMD

For complete information about the Echo Park Community Parade, including how to be a participant, a sponsor, and how to contact the planning committee, please visit their website at http://www.echoparkcommunityparade.com. The site also includes a picture and video gallery of past parades.

Also, if you still want to be a participant in the parade and are reading this before Dec. 14, contact them! Ms. Hayashi said they are willing to take in last-minute participants to walk through Sunset Blvd.

Audio Interview with Ms. Maryanne Hayashi

While the interview focused on the Echo Park Community Parade, we began our talk with Ms. Maryanne Hayashi discussing the history of Echo Park and Los Angeles. She tells us about her early career in Echo Park, Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles, and Pico-Union as she worked with youth gang-prevention programs. Through our conversation we move through her thoughts and experience with the 1970s, 80’s, 90’s and today.

The Executive Director of Central Civil Action Committee since 1981, Ms. Hayashi has been involved with the community parade since the 1980’s. Through the interview we get a sense of early periods of the parade, and how the parade is planned today.

She reveals the organizations and individuals we can expect this year in 2013 (listed below), and also answers some social media questions that we received for her about the Echo Park Community Parade. Enjoy!

Audio Player

To listen to the audio interview, simply click play below. You can also open the audio player in a new window. The audio player works on smart phones, tablets, or desktop computers. If you have any questions or issues, please contact us.

Show Length: 43:20

 Show/Interview Notes:

Echo Park Forums
EP Community Parade Art by Esmeralda Fernandez (Winner)

Topics We Discussed

Some of which are serious and other hilarious! 🙂

  • Ms. Maryanne’s early life and career
  • The racial make-up and local history of Los Angeles and Echo Park in the 1950’s and beyond
  • The work of youth-based non-profits in the 1950’s
  • Gangs, drugs, youth, and employment in Echo Park and Los Angeles
  • Belmont High School, Salvation Army Red SHIELD
  • Maryanne’s first involvement with the Echo Park Community Parade (parent, volunteer, organizer)
  • Parade History, Route, Planning (Dept. of Transportation sets the route)

Memorable Quotes from Ms. Maryanne Hayashi

“People realized [Echo Park] was a very charming community to live in and they moved because they wanted to be closer to the city.” 

 “A parade is a parade;  I don’t think it matters who you are…black, white…everyone likes a parade.”

“You have to be there to see the excitement and the work that the parents go into to make these costumes, and the talent that our kids have in this community. They are glowing. There’s no 1st place or 2nd place, everyone gets a trophy. We’d like a lot of people to come out and support the youth in the neighborhood because they are very talented and they deserve to be seen.”

Tentative List of Echo Park Community Parade Participants

60 entries and growing! Schoools, youth groups, non-profits, elected officials, council people…

Echo Park Time Bank

LA Bike and trains

LA Derby Dolls

Grand Marshal and Ambassadors

Young Artists in Echo Park (the winners from a local art contest for the parade, pre-k-12)

Echo Park Film Center

Ballet folklorico


Gil Cedillo

Betty Placencia Drill Team

Friends of Echo Park Library

Glendale-Silverlake Library

Little Sergeant on Wheels


Councilman Mitch O’Farrell

Mountains Recreation Conservative Authority

United States Congressman Allen Schiff

World War II Veteran Ernesto Martinez

The Young Marines

El Centro Del Pueblo Drill Team

Rosemead Drill Team

Select Patrol

Temple-Westlake Neighborhood Council

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez

Alessandro Drill Team

Youth Policy

Greater Echo Park-Elysian Neighborhood Council

Echo Park Parents and Education

Ex-LA Dodger Lee Lacy

LA Lions

Griffith Middle School

Echo Park Community Coalition

Studio for Southern California History

Artistic Chaos Drill Team

Police Captain from Rampart Police

LAPD Station Cadets

North-East Police Department

Vickson’s Athletic All-Stars

Echo Park Firestation 20

Echo Park Classic Cars

Laser After School Program

Santa Clause

….plus more groups because the list doesn’t close!

Thank you for reading and listening to the interview! — EP Forums


Photo credit: Santa, map route, Echo Park Community Parade Logo, Student Art courtesy of Echo Park Community Parade and their website.

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