Additional Resource

Thousands Participate in Angel City Celebration in Los Angeles

Residents in South Los Angeles are the beneficiaries of the annual Angel City Celebration held each December. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Park serves as the venue for the event where toys, food, resources and services are provided to youth and families.


The Angel City Celebration started nine years ago as a food and toy giveaway sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The LA5 Rotary Club now uses this event as their major Christmas service opportunity.

The Church continues to work closely with Rotary to support the Angel City Celebration, as volunteers from the California Los Angeles Mission and public affairs work and sing Christmas carols at the event.

The celebration has grown over the years and now covers most of the park and focuses on improving the quality of life for South LA families with young children ages 4 to 10.

This is the eighth year the LA5 Rotary Club has sponsored the event. The club was founded in 1909 and is the fifth oldest Rotary Club in the world. The Angel City Celebration is the club’s largest event of the year, and LA5 partners with other Rotary clubs from throughout the district and with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Los Angeles City and County Parks and Recreation Departments.

The event, held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., recently served an estimated 5,000 people, with about 2,500 people in attendance at any given time. More than 1,250 people came early enough to have a free pancake breakfast. They also attended the health and resource fairs and the shoe and toy giveaway and enjoyed Christmas caroling.

There was also an artificial snow “sledding hill” giving children — many of whom had never seen snow before — the opportunity to slide down the hill on a snow disk. The event allowed South LA families to enjoy a day together in a safe environment.

A health fair includes free vaccinations and a wide range of physical and mental health resources. Participants are offered general wellness checkups for vision and hearing, blood tests and information on preventive care, good hygiene and healthy choices. Eyeglasses are provided to children who need them. More than 200 children received dental checkups, and hundreds more were screened for vision, hearing and general wellness. A blood drive was conducted during the event.

The resource fair provides information about, and access to, resources and services available to families in their community. The focus includes gang prevention, school enrichment programs for sports and academics, hygiene training, bike safety and healthy lifestyles and information on local government agencies and services. A bike safety class is held, and children can enter to win one of 15 bikes that are given away.

The children receive a “passport” when they arrive, and each time they visit a booth or take part in a health screening a stamp is placed on their passport. When they have accumulated 12 or more passport stamps they may visit the toy area, where they receive a pair of shoes and a fun toy.

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