On April 7, hundreds of people celebrated spring and community at the eighth annual Earth Day Celebration and Taste of Toluca Lake, presented by the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council and sponsored by the offices of L.A. City Councilmember David Ryu and Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, the Toluca Lake Farmers Market, L.A. Digital Recording and Toluca Lake Magazine. As always, it was a tribute to the beauty and bounty of the neighborhood, with an emphasis on green and healthy living and, of course, plenty of delicious food.
Held during the weekly farmers market at Riverside Drive and Forman Avenue, the free family- and pet-friendly event showcased an array of local merchants, civic groups and entertainers. Attendees gathered information and freebies while chatting with representatives from city and county agencies, neighborhood organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and the Garden Club, and area businesses such as the Toluca Lake Tennis and Fitness Club, Shaolin American Self-Defense Academy and Ramsey-Shilling. Samples offered by local restaurants included patties and plantains from Sattdown Jamaican Grill, the Smoke House’s famous garlic cheese bread, freshly toasted gourmet marshmallows from Plush Puffs, vegan soup from Soup Goddess, pizza from Gourmet Romano, wines from Vendome Wine & Spirits and shaved ice provided by Tina Smith Homes.
Between bites, visitors could check out the LAFD’s antique fire truck and LAPD’s North Hollywood mobile sub-station, enjoy eco-friendly kids’ crafts and a bounce house, and strike a pose in the photo booth provided by Event Images. The festival also held a drive for the L.A. Department of Social Services’ Toy Loan Program; those who contributed new or gently used toys earned up to 10 raffle tickets for generous prizes from Rose & Sage, Pergolina, Stephanie Pecina, BrowZing LA and Darling Daydream.
In addition to live music from local performers including the cast of the Garry Marshall Theatre’s The Root Beer Bandits, School of Rock and Honey Pig, the audience at the main stage also had the opportunity to hear from candidates for the May 16 Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council election, who expressed their love of the neighborhood and their enthusiasm for getting involved in the effort to make it even better.