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Second upcoming wedding procession gets traffic board support for La Jolla street closures

The La Jolla traffic board approved partial closure of Coast Boulevard for a baraat procession on Saturday, June 25.
(Courtesy of Reva Event)

A celebratory procession before an Indian wedding ceremony scheduled for June won support from the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board for no-parking zones and a partial road closure.

The event, set for Saturday, June 25, will close the south-side lane of Coast Boulevard to traffic and parking between Girard Avenue and the La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites, one block east, where the wedding will take place.

The baraat will be held between 9 and 10:30 a.m., according to the groom, Rohan Patel, though the closures will be in effect from 8 to 11 a.m. to ensure the procession goes smoothly.

The event originally was proposed in March as a full closure of Coast Boulevard. The board deferred its decision to April to give the couple time to gather more information about the event and its effects.

During a baraat, the groom rides a horse (or in some cases, an elephant) surrounded by his family members before being welcomed by the bride’s family at the wedding location.

Patel said during Traffic & Transportation’s April 20 meeting that he and planners from Reva Event have worked with the San Diego Police Department to plan the route, lane closure and location of barricades.

A groom rides a horse during a baraat wedding procession in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India.
(Flickr.com via Wikipedia)

Patel said the permit application is with city officials for approval.

Coast Boulevard is planned to be entirely closed from Ocean Lane to Girard Avenue for the baraat’s staging area, Patel said, with signs announcing the closure placed two weeks in advance.

He added that the staging area would be restored to use for parking and traffic as the baraat proceeds toward the wedding site, with four police officers directing traffic and clearing the barricades as the closure is no longer needed.

T&T secretary Donna Aprea voted against the proposal without comment.

Board member Ross Rudolph commended reducing the closure from both lanes to one, but he abstained from the vote, expressing concerns “about future events blocking off streets close to the beach in the summer, on weekends and holidays.”

Rudolph said other La Jolla streets could be used that can more easily facilitate traffic detours.

Noting that in February, T&T approved closure of portions of Girard Avenue and Prospect Street for a baraat scheduled for Memorial Day, T&T Chairman Brian Earley said at the beginning of the meeting that T&T would form a subcommittee to “develop criteria standards and administrative protocols for special event processions” in The Village.

“Our aim is to celebrate the pageantry of ceremonial processions, no matter the type, while minimizing street closures and disruptions to traffic flow, parking and businesses,” Earley said.

La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board members meet April 20 online.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

He said the subcommittee would present its criteria at the T&T meeting Wednesday, May 18, and at the La Jolla Community Planning Association meeting in June, then to the city’s Special Events & Filming Department, which oversees street closure permits.

Some suggested banning road closures for private events during the summer, but Patel said in an email to the La Jolla Light that Indian wedding dates are determined according to “Muhurat” time, an auspicious date and time calculated using the couple’s birth dates and times in conjunction with the Hindu calendar.

Noting that his and his bride’s Muhurat time is 11:23 a.m. June 25, 2022, Patel said the priest at the Hanuman Temple “determined this for us” using a chart.

Patel added that May, June and early July are often deemed auspicious wedding times. “After mid-July, it’s not recommended to do a wedding until October due to the lack of auspicious dates,” he said.

Alana Godoy, lead coordinator for Reva Event, which specializes in cultural weddings, told the Light that “auspicious dates are common in many cultures and are often considered for major life events and celebrations.”

“Although summer is definitely a busy time all across San Diego County and especially La Jolla, it’s so important that we share these time-honored traditions which contribute to making San Diego America’s Finest City,” she said.

Concerts by the Sea: The T&T Board unanimously approved closure of six parking spaces along the north side of Coast Boulevard in front of Scripps Park for the return of Concerts by the Sea on four Sundays this summer — July 17, 24, 31 and Aug. 7.

The free concert series has not been held since 2016 and is now organized by the Kiwanis Club of La Jolla.

Event organizer Howard Zatkin told T&T that the parking spaces, which are close to the new Scripps Park Pavilion, are needed for sound technicians and musicians to unload concert equipment.

The spaces will be blocked from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. each concert day, Zatkin said.

T&T member Natalie Aguirre said “anything that will bring locals down to The Village in the summer is a good thing.” ◆