By Charlie Plowman
Outlook Valley Sun
Want to know what helps make La Cañada Flintridge a special place to live? Easy answers could be the outstanding schools and the sheer beauty of living with nature in the foothills while still being only 20 minutes from the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities and 40 minutes from the beach.
But to me — and perhaps to you, too — it’s the feeling of community, which will be on display this entire weekend at the 50th annual Fiesta Days celebration. For those of you who moved to town in the last 12 months and haven’t experienced this city’s fourth weekend in May, it’s something that perhaps you’d expect in other parts of the country, in small towns where everybody knows their neighbors.
In fact, there’s a long-running joke about our popular Fiesta Days Parade, which will proceed down Foothill Boulevard on Monday: It is said that half of our town’s residents line Foothill to watch the parade … and the other half are in the parade. And though that’s a bit of an exaggeration, there also seems to be some truth to it.
LCF is a city of 20,000 people, not exactly a small town by some standards. But small enough that I like to think of this weekend as a wonderful slice of Americana.
The three-day celebration, presented by the LCF Chamber of Commerce and Community Association, kicks off Saturday with the Kiwanis’ French Toast Breakfast and Vintage Car Show in Memorial Park, the Farmers Market and Tournament of Roses Association’s annual open house, and a family-friendly movie showing at the park.
Sunday features the Lanterman House’s Summer Whites Picnic, a family dinner in Memorial Park with music from the LCHS Jazz Band, and the park’s crowd could swell to nearly 4,000 people for a fireworks show at 8:45 p.m.
Monday starts early with the Fiesta Days Run, followed by the poignant Memorial Service at Memorial Park, a tribute that is regarded by some as the highlight of the weekend. The Fiesta Days Parade, Afternoon in the Park and the season-opening concert of Music in the Park conclude the fun-filled weekend.
So feel free to wear your patriotic attire and enjoy our city’s signature weekend. And let’s not forget what Memorial Day represents. Be thankful — and perhaps say a prayer — for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Those servicemen and women with local ties to our city have their names on the gazebo’s plaques at Memorial Park.
Have a beautiful — and safe — Memorial Day weekend.