My family loves Pasadena. We have access to a great big city like Los Angeles, but are nestled in this gorgeous, family friendly small town that we call home. What makes Pasadena great, aside form it's cultural institutions, world-renown universities, restaurants, and oh I could go on forever, is the community. Almost every week, the Pasadena museums, fire stations, police stations, you name it, have open houses for family and friends. This is a community that truly celebrates community. So today, it was the community that celebrated Pasadena's 125th birthday.
The event took place at the Pasadena Museum of History and featured activities for everyone up to 100 - especially centenarians, who were honored at the event. We parked in the Parsons parking lot and easily took the Arts Shuttle to the museum. Upon arrival, and the huge Happy Birthday Pasadena balloons, we were greeted by old fashioned fire trucks, a Wells Fargo Stage Coach and historical cars. We then moved to the vast children's area where kids designed hats for the "royal" occasion. The children's section included a police booth where fingerprinting was available, as well as lemonade and hot dogs, grilled by local Pasadena fire fighters, were available for a kid-friendly price. The area also featured a children's theater with regularly schedules performances, and a mini chalk festival. The artist, Jessica Edelstein, barely just spent two hours on her recreation of the famous Colorado bridge. (For those interested, she'll be at the Chalk Festival next week at Paseo Colorado). We then visited a Baskin-Robbins booth where we learned that the oldest Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop - opened since 1946 - is in Pasadena right on 561 S. Lake Avenue. It was the second Baskin-Robbins to ever open and remains open serving delicious ice cream to this day!
The actual celebration was presided over by Mayor Bogaard and the celebration began with Jazz musicians, who were eventually joined by trumpeters from the Pasadena Community College band, several members of the Rose Court and an amazing cake designed and created by student chefs from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Pasadena. I was told they spent nearly three weeks building the cake, which contained recreations of famous Pasadena landmarks like the Rose Bowl, the Colorado Bridge and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They also made 15 additional sheet cakes, enough for everyone in attendance - well over 1,000 - to have a piece. The cakes were delicious. If you haven't had dinner at the local Le Cordon Bleu restaurant, you are missing out.
We finished the night eating dinner at one of the many food trucks on site, then headed out where we signed a huge birthday card. My son, who just learned to write his name a few months ago in preschool, happily signed his name. To make it an even more exciting moment, we were told that the historical society is trying to get the card framed and posted permanently in City Hall. We could not get over how exciting it would be to have our son be a part of the city's official commemoration and history! We ended the day back on the Pasadena Arts bus to our car and felt so content with the place we have chosen to call our home.