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Torrance in California.
Torrance is a city incorporated in 1921 and located in the South Bay (southwestern) region of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Torrance has 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of shore-front beaches on the Pacific Ocean, quieter and less well-known by tourists than others on the Santa Monica Bay, such as those of neighboring Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach. Torrance enjoys a moderate year-round climate with warm temperatures, sea breezes, low humidity and an average rainfall of 12.55 inches per year.
The Torrance population was 149,111 as of the 2009 California Population Estimate, the eighth largest city in Los Angeles County, and the 35th largest in the state of California. This residential and light-high-tech industries city has 90,000 street trees and 30 city parks. Torrance is the headquarters of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy and the birthplace of the AYSO – American Youth Soccer Organization.
The Del Amo Fashion Center, at 2.5 million square feet (232,000 m²), is one of the largest malls in the United States. Estimates vary between the second largest (after the Mall of America) and the fourth largest, depending on the measurements used. The current mall was created when Del Amo Center, built in 1958, merged with Del Amo Fashion Square, built in 1970. Once located on opposite sides of Carson Street, a gigantic expansion of the mall spanning Carson Street joined the two centers by 1982, making it the longest mall in the world at the time. In 2005, the east end of the original mall north of Carson Street was demolished to make way for a new open-air shopping center, opened in mid-September, 2006. The new center features upscale clothiers Anthropologie, Coach, H&M and Urban Outfitters as well as the restaurant P.F. Chang's. The housewares retail giant Crate & Barrel opened in what was once a section of the mall parking lot in Spring 2007. Torrance also borders the South Bay Galleria, which resides in Redondo Beach.
The Armed Forces Day Parade in Torrance, which was first produced in 1960, is the longest running military parade sponsored by a city. It is held annually on Armed Forces Day, and runs down Torrance Boulevard. The parade features military vehicles, school bands, and prominent community members.
The Torrance Cultural Arts Center hosts cultural events year-round. Regular performances are provided by the groups belonging to the Torrance Performing Arts Consortium, including The Aerospace Players, Los Cancioneros Master Chorale, South Bay Ballet, South Bay Conservatory, and The Torrance Symphony.
Torrance is also home to the Southern California Live Steamers Miniature Railroad. located at the Southeast corner of Charles H. Wilson Park. Free train rides on actual miniature live steam trains are given on the first Sunday and third Saturday of each month and the 4th of July. SCLS was one of the first live steam clubs in California started in 1946 with original members like Walt Disney, Olie Johnston and Ward Kimball all of Disney fame. The club moved to Torrance in 1986 after leaving the Lomita Railway Museum property.
The Torrance City Parks Department directs and maintains the thirty varied Torrance City Parks. They include:
Wilson Park, the focal point 44 acres (0.18 km2) park, which has extensive picnic and sports facilities, including a modern gymnasium, skatepark, and roller-hockey rink. Wilson Park also hosts the Torrance Farmers Market on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and is the site of the city's annual Fourth of July fireworks display.
Madrona Marsh Wildlife Preserve & Nature Center is a rare Southern California wetlands habitat with higher Coastal sage community native plants areas, wildlife and birdwatching, and a Nature center with natural gardens classes – located centrally in the city.
Columbia Park the large recreational urban regional park, with numerous picnic areas, field sports facilities, walking paths, jogging trails, and a competitive cross country running racecourse. The city's Cherry blossom tree grove, part of Living Tree Dedication program, is in Columbia Park.
Torrance Smart Gardening Center: Columbia Park features a Community Garden providing planting beds and 'community' for residents. It is one of twelve county-operated Smart Gardening Centers around the region. Columbia Park additionally serves as home to the Home Garden Learning Center, and is a backyard composting demonstration center provided by Los Angeles County.
Living Tribute Trees park program: The Torrance Parks Living Dedication Tree Program is coordinated and by the City, so that families, individuals, and groups can sponsor the planting of a new tree in the park to honor a person or commemorate an event with a living tribute Tree Dedication.
Torrance Beach Park and Rat beach (Rat = Redondo and Torrance beach, or 'Right after Torrance' beach), on the southern coast of the Santa Monica Bay. The Strand, a paved bicycle path that runs mostly along the Pacific Ocean shoreline in Los Angeles County, ends here.
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