Olvera Street’s Blessing of the Animals Is Back – NBC Los Angeles

Cooing over your cuddle buddy several times a day?

You likely do so, for our cats, dogs, and cute critters seem to grow more cuddlesome when we speak softly to them, and say kind and loving words, words that are always full of emotion and kind-hearted connection.

And while such meaningful murmurs occur regularly in our homes, there are community traditions built around animal-directed statements of hope, sweetness, and joy.

One of the best-known and perhaps dressiest of all the seasonal pet-focused festivities is the Blessing of the Animals at Olvera Street.

It’s a ceremony that will mark its centennial in less than a decade, but you don’t need to go all the way back to the early ’30s to appreciate that many, many animals have received a kind benediction, focused on the animals’ ” good health,” from our local archbishops over the decades.

The outdoor event, a longtime staple of the Saturday before Easter, was on hiatus over the first two years of the pandemic, but it will return, on Saturday, April 16.

All are invited to attend the free and celebratory gathering.

But wait: You say you don’t live with an animal? Plenty of people call upon the historic destination to admire the quirky queue of puppies, turtles, goldfish, geckos, llamas, and the occasional cow.

Some smaller pets ride in red wagons decorated with Easter gewgaws, or are lovingly held close in their person’s arms, while others stride in rocking leashes, some covered in pretty paper flowers.

It’s all happening from 2 to 3 pm, Archbishop Jose Gomez will deliver the beasties’ benedictions, and the line will be located in front of the Pico House.

As for when you and your bestie can queue up? You can join the line starting at 1 o’clock.

Read more about the history of this charming event, an alfresco fiesta that draws Angelenos closer to the animals they adore, and to their neighbors and community, too, on the eve of Easter.

Getting there? Do read up on street closures, where to go, and what to expect before you begin planning your furry one’s festive attire.

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