Despite passing away over 60 years ago, Ritchie Valens' legacy remains alive today. His hometown of Pacoima, CA in the San Fernando Valley is taking his name to the next level by naming aa stretch of the 5 Freeway after him.
Pacoima, which already has existing murals in his honor, is proof that his name and music are still relevant and important.
The Ritchie Valens Memorial Highway is to be inaugurated on Aug. 25 with a screening of the movie La Bamba and a family-friendly festival featuring performances by a Valens tribute band led by Ernie Valens, Ritchie's cousin. This is AMAZING!
If you're asking why the 5 Freeway, well the freeway itself runs through Pacoima, and as mentioned earlier, it is Valens' hometown. So now everyone will know his name!
The singer was just 17 years-old when he died in a plane crash along with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) after a concert in 1959. His musical career was very short - 8 months to be exact - but his impact was clearly great.
“Ritchie Valens exemplifies the talent and greatness that exists in this community,” Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez said in an announcement about the Valens highway naming ceremony. “Breaking barriers as one of the first Latino musicians to crossover to mainstream rock-and-roll. His music was the soundtrack for generations of Angelenos and his legacy is a source of pride for our Pacoima community.”
If you're interested in attending the movie screening and the ceremony, it will be held at the RItchie Valens Park in Pacoima (10731 Laurel Canyon Blvd.) later this month (August 25th) from 3-10 PM!
Will you be attending? I think this is amazing and I'll probably take my kids! Congratulations to the Valens family and to all of the singer's fans. This is such a big deal.
Photos: Getty Images