What is it about the annual Blessing of the Animals at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument that keeps heathens like me and my wife Susan coming back year after year? Sure it’s a fun and unique tradition — a rite of L.A. spring, if you will — that showcases a wild and crazy cross-section of creatures great and small and the people that love them, and it’s a great reason to get Buster our Russian tortoise out of the house to receive the blessing for herself as well as for our two dogs and four cats who think anything east of Echo Park is plainly pagan. Plus it’s for an easy excuse to scarf down some of the local fare and mas margaritas. On top of all that it’s the only day of the year that you can parade yourself with your pet(s) past Cardinal Roger Mahony while he flings the holy H2O on all involved with a reckless religious fervor that’s more than a little frightening (just kidding… and the water only burns a little).
This’ll be our fourth straight spraying. If anyone else out there plans to participate, look for us chauffeuring Buster around the plaza in a decorated basket and donning a smart sombrero.
What: 77th Annual Blessing of the Animals
Where: El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument
When: Saturday, April 7, noon to 5 p.m. (procession before the cardinal is scheduled to begin around 2 p.m.)