By Dave Barron
Monterey Park will hit the 100-year mark next year. A whole century since a group of rebels headed up to Sacramento to officially incorporate the City of Monterey Park. They were out to fight off an attempt by Alhambra to place a stinky sewer farm in the heart of the community.
Recently, local volunteers have been gathering at the request of the city council to figure out how to celebrate the city’s centennial in 2016. The last celebration was held about 20 years ago when we celebrated the city’s 80th birthday.
One real obvious way to mark the event is to have a float in the Rose Parade so that we can tell the whole world that we are now 100 years old.
Besides the Rose Parade Float, the other ideas being researched include a 5k run, an essay contest, a summer concert series, a homecoming gathering with the Lions Clubs annual breakfast and an “All American BBQ” what ever that means.
The Rose Parade float would cost about $150,000. While the city has the money to fund the float entirely, that would be somewhat selfish because there may be many of us who want to donate to this fund. There are many corporations, businesses and organizations in the city that would want to be part of the project.
Those who don’t have money could contribute by volunteering their time to help decorate the float with flowers.
That way, on New Years Day, we can sit in our comfortable TV room and cheer with pride in our hearts as the Monterey Park float goes by because we had something to do getting it on Colorado Boulevard.
I hope what ever we do will be all inclusive. That is that is all segments of today’s community should be part of it planning and carrying out the celebration.
I also suggest elected officials (and maybe newspaper editors too) back off and let the people come up with ideas and take the leadership role in getting things done.
Elected officials can help by using their power to open doors, pushing the right buttons to help raise funds and prod city staff to keep moving.
Note to teachers: if your students have some ideas, they can send them to me for publication in the Journal and I’ll also pass them on to the Centennial Committee.
Even a one-sentence essay can be the seed for a great celebration.