La Mesa (Spanish for ‘The Table’) is a city in San Diego County, located 9 miles (14 km) east of Downtown San Diego in Southern California. Take a look below for 15 fun and fascinating facts about La Mesa, California, United States.
1. The population was 57,065 at the 2010 census, up from 54,749 at the 2000 census. Its civic motto is “the Jewel of the Hills.”
2. La Mesa in Spanish means “the table”, or alternately “the plateau”, relating to its geography.
3. La Mesa was part of a larger tract, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, and was used by Spanish missionaries.
4. La Mesa was founded in 1869 and The City of La Mesa was incorporated on February 16, 1912. It does not have a city charter but operates under the laws of the state of California.
5. Its official flower is the bougainvillea.
6. In 2020, La Mesa was the site of civil unrest in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
7. Two days after Floyd’s murder, an unarmed black man was grabbed and shoved by a white La Mesa Police officer and arrested at the Grossmont Trolley Station.
8. The video of the incident went viral and led to more than 1000 protesters converging on the city. An African-American grandmother was shot in the face with a bean bag round from police. The officer in the trolley station incident was charged with falsifying a police report in connection with the reason for the arrest but acquitted in December 2021.
9. The City of La Mesa is served by the San Diego Trolley’s Orange Line at its stations in Spring Street, La Mesa Boulevard, Grossmont Transit Center, and Amaya Drive, the last two of which are also served by the Green Line.
10. By car, the city is served by Interstate 8, California State Route 94, and California State Route 125.
11. There is a farmer’s market in La Mesa Village every Friday afternoon.
12. On June 14, 1997, with the help of Councilmember Ruth Sterling, the City of La Mesa inaugurated its First Annual Flag Day Parade.
13. The “Walkway of the Stars” is a pedestrian walkway that has been transformed into an urban park in downtown La Mesa. The vision for a place to recognize La Mesa’s extraordinary volunteers was provided by Councilmember Ruth Sterling. The park’s theme honors the city’s outstanding volunteers who have provided 10,000 or more hours of service to the city of La Mesa. “Walkway of the Stars” is located between the Allison Avenue municipal parking lot and La Mesa Boulevard.
14. At the beginning of each October, La Mesa holds its biggest event of the year, Oktoberfest, attended by approximately 200,000 people over the three nights of the event.
15. The Back to the ’50s Car Show is an annual summer event where classic car enthusiasts come to display their vehicles. The event is held every Thursday evening during the months of June through August in La Mesa Village along La Mesa Boulevard. Admission to the event is free.