Introduction to Lakewood, California
The city of Lakewood is a residential suburb located in Los Angeles County, California, and situated adjacent to Long Beach (11 miles to the southwest). It is also not far from the city of Anaheim (16 miles to the east) and downtown Los Angeles (about 24 miles to the northwest). Incorporated as a city in 1954, Lakewood grew rapidly during the 1950's, evolving into a well-developed city by 1960. Lakewood is predominantly owner-occupied, with the large majority of its housing comprised of single-family detached units. Approximately 150 acres of Lakewood's land mass is set aside for parks and other landscaped open space.
Lakewood is considered a pioneer in the realm of city services, as it was the first city in the nation to contract for all of its municipal services after incorporating in 1954. Most of these services are provided by Los Angeles County, with some furnished by other public agencies and the rest by private industry. Several other Los Angeles suburbs have since adopted this model.
Other interesting facts about Lakewood: It is the home of the first Denny's Restaurant, which originated in 1953 as Danny's Donuts by founder Harold Butler and was renamed Denny's Restaurant in 1959. Also, Lakewood was named Sports Illustrated's "Sportstown USA" for the State of California in 2005.
Lakewood Events and Attractions:
The Fourth of July holiday weekend is a festive time in Lakewood when one of its most successful and popular community events kicks off. The Lakewood Civic Center Block Party and Fireworks Extravaganza includes many activities for kids, food samples from several Lakewood area restaurants, community group exhibits, and a Beverage Garden. Guests are entertained by live music from late afternoon until the commencement of the evening fireworks show over the Lakewood Center Mall. Another popular family event in Lakewood is the Summer Concert music series at centrally located Del Valle Park. Commencing in June, the weekly concerts satisfy a variety of musical tastes, including country and western, rock and roll, hits of the 60's & 70's, big band, and more.
The Pan American Festival is a three-day event held at Mayfair Park every May. Started in 1945, the Festival has evolved over the years to a multi-faceted event which includes the El Comienzo Luncheon, a school poster contest, a Flags Exchange Ceremony, a poetry contest, and more. Yet another longtime Lakewood tradition is the annual Fiesta, which features arts & crafts, displays, food samplings, amusement rides, and entertainment. Over 100 community organizations are represented.
Lakewood's ideal geographic location puts it within driving distance of a wide selection of major attractions in both the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. Just a few of these include:
- Disneyland (Anaheim)
- Knott's Berry Farm (Buena Park)
- Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum (Buena Park)
- Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia)
- Universal Studios (Hollywood)
- The Santa Ana Zoo
- The Los Angeles Zoo
A similar variety of professional sports teams can be found in these same nearby areas:
- Pro basketball:
- L.A. Lakers (NBA)
- L.A. Clippers (NBA)
- L.A. Sparks (WNBA)
- Major League Baseball:
- L.A. Dodgers (National League)
- L.A. Angels of Anaheim (American League)
- Pro football:
- L.A. Avengers (AFL)
- Pro soccer:
- L.A. Galaxy (MLS)
- Major league lacrosse:
- L.A. Riptide (MLL)
- Pro hockey:
- L.A. Kings (NHL)
- Anaheim Mighty Ducks (NHL)