The Big Parade is a full weekend of urban hiking, covering 35 miles and 80 public stairways in two days. Dan Koeppel, an author and pedestrian advocate, organized the first event in 2009, and it's been held annually since. Generally, a couple hundred people join in for some portion of the hike, and a hardy few manage the entire thing. The point is to showcase the public stairs of downtown L.A., Echo Park and Silver Lake. The path takes hikers through L.A. history, including the Music Box Steps, which Laurel and Hardy made famous, and the Corralitas Red Car Property, a former streetcar right-of-way. At the 2015 event things got political, as the organizers posted fliers urging the city to open a couple of gated stairways to public access. That led to a heated confrontation with a homeowner who wanted the stairway to remain private. Activists won a resolution of support from the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council and are still fighting the fight.
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