November’s edition of Broxton Nights featured a holiday theme, local vendors and people roller-skating down Broxton Avenue Nov. 11.
Since starting in September, Broxton Nights – an event hosted by the Westwood Village Improvement Association, LA Skate Hunnies and Farm Habit – has become a space for community spirit and engagement through food, music and roller skating. The monthly pop-up and night market allows community members and local businesses to connect through games and a party-like atmosphere.
Michael Graney, co-founder of the tea company Teawaves, said the event helps his company reach new customers and engage with the Westwood community.
“I think anything that supports local businesses or small businesses helps other people start their own small business,” Graney said. “The more channels we have to create and to uplift local businesses gives more opportunity to local entrepreneurs, and local workers.”
Bridget Vasquez, co-founder of Neither Funny Nor Original – a local business that sells LGBTQ+ items including stickers and greeting cards – said Broxton Nights provides her brand with networking and community outreach opportunities.
“It’s allowed us to really bond with other vendors,” Vasquez said. “It’s really great – they’re trying to revitalize the area,” she said.”
Pietro Sainaghi, a doctoral student in design, robotics and manufacturing, said he was drawn to the event because of the roller-skating feature every month. He said he thinks the event could be improved with more advertising and alcoholic drinks to engage older students and community members.
“It’s (the event) definitely above average, and I got attracted by the skating,” Sainaghi said. “I’d say out of the things I’ve done on this street, it’s probably one of the more fun events.”
Claire Zhu and Cecilia Fung, who both attended Broxton Nights, said the event offered them a chance to reconnect after two years of living in different places. The event provided an opportunity for them to meet again and reminisce about old times.
“It brings people together that you normally won’t have the chance to meet,” Fung said.
Michael Russell, executive director of the WVIA, said he was excited about celebrating the holidays. This was the first time Westwood Village has had a Christmas tree, and next month’s event will feature a menorah in recognition of Hanukkah, he said.
Jennifer Yonda, founder of the LA Skate Hunnies, added that their participation in the Broxton Nights inspires more people to discover their love for roller-skating even without previous experience and allows others to rediscover their love.
“We end up inspiring other people to skate. Oftentimes we hear things like ‘Oh, I have rollerblades. I haven’t used them since the 90s,’” Yonda said. “We can actually inspire people to make changes in their life and try out things that they used to have fun with, or they’re excited about trying.”
Natalie Labejof, operations director at Farm Habit, which coordinates the vendors for Broxton Nights’ night market as well as the Westwood Village Farmers Market, said the event has a major role in supporting local businesses.
“These people are making this food … and it makes us really proud to be able to support them, and then to encourage people to support them as well,” Labejof said. “I think it’s so important for people to shop local. I think it makes such a difference.”