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Celebrate Grand Central Market's centennial with a one-story birthday cake and 13,000 balloons

Grand Central Market
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman Grand Central Market

A few things of note happened in the Los Angeles of 1917: Culver City officially became part of L.A. County, Frank Lloyd Wright began sketching designs for his first Los Angeles project—Hollyhock House—and Grand Central Market opened its now-storied food and retail stalls.

This week, Downtown’s most delicious destination celebrates its 100th birthday with a party that would put most others to shame—after all, who else has a 100-plus layer cake that towers one entire story high? This Friday, head to the historic food hall for a day of festivities, including a 10:30am address by GCM enthusiast Mayor Eric Garcetti before he blows out the candles on the enormous cake. 

Who in their right mind would take on such a culinary task? As it turns out, the baker in question is Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections, one of the market’s current beloved vendors. Gordon’s creation combines 390 pounds of butter—sweet Jesus—with 1,750 eggs, 325 pounds of sugar, 125 pounds of chocolate and 90 six-layer cakes, which all form one massive celebratory sweet. Most importantly, the market will provide free slices of cake for all who attend its unveiling. As it all begins, you'll see a 13,000-balloon installation from artist Jihan Zencirli, who's been busy designing the spectacle that you’ll see rise over the Hill Street side of the market.

Come back on Friday night—or just hang out and eat at the market all day—because from 6 to 10pm, vendors will be offering old-timey food items and specials, and there’ll be live music, a costume contest (dress in period attire from 1917, on), a photo booth and signings of Grand Central Market’s new cookbook. When you stop by for the evening festivities, be sure to grab a token for free Angel’s Flight rides, so you can really revel like it’s 1917. If that doesn’t take the egg, we don’t know what does.



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