Monterey Park celebrates 85th anniversary of El Encanto

The newely renovated Cascades Waterfall in Monterey Park. THE AZTEC/KRISTIN CHINGBURANAKIT
The newely renovated Cascades Waterfall in Monterey Park. THE AZTEC/KRISTIN CHINGBURANAKIT

Monterey Park celebrated the 85th anniversary of the El Encanto building and reopening of the Cascades waterfall, also known as Heritage Falls Park, on October 23. This park is a point of interest in the city, located at 700 S. Atlantic Blvd. Monterey Park.

The waterfall was the centerpiece of a rededication ceremony and festival, called “The Magic of the Cascades,” following a series of recent improvements, which included new colored lighting in the fountain, steps, landings, upgraded irrigation, a new flag pole, and upgraded mechanical and electrical systems in the park. This renovation was funded by a grant from the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District.

The El Encanto building was built during the Great Depression by Peter K. Snyder. Originally, it was supposed to serve as a sales office and community center for Beverly Hills of the East Side, but the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began, ending the real estate boom. Although Snyder’s proposal was brought to an abrupt end, the building and waterfall still became the symbol of Monterey Park.

The activities began at 5 p.m. with a family friendly festival featuring jack-o’-lantern decorating, a Dia de los Muertos face painting booth, a magician, the library’s Book Witch, cake walk, food, games, and music. At around 6 p.m., local dignitaries unveiled the new multi-color lighting of the waterfall. Also, Keppel’s Band and Colorguard performed a small set during the festival. Senior Lily Tsan said, “It was a great opportunity to perform at our city’s birthplace; the audience was supportive and everyone had a great time.”

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