A section of the Los Angeles River will open for public use Monday for the first time since the river was encased in concrete in the 1930s.
Public officials will gather Monday morning at Marsh Park north of downtown for a ceremonial kayak ride down a 2 1/2-mile stretch of the river that has been designated a free recreation zone for the summer.
People can boat, walk, kayak or fish in the 2 1/2-mile section of the river between Fletcher Avenue and Oso Park from dawn to sundown until Labor Day on Sept. 2. Some of those activities have been allowed in the past but by permit only.
Public interest in river recreation has burgeoned since 2011, when city leaders opened a different section of the river for guided tours by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. Tickets for the guided summer tours sold out within minutes. After adding more trips in 2012, the program sold out within two days.