The Pasadena Museum of History holds fundraiser for city’s June birthday celebration
By Carl Kozlowski 05/24/2012
After Pasadena celebrated its 125th birthday last year with a City Hall extravaganza, one might think that there would be little energy left for a follow-up this year. But the Pasadena Museum of History is, in fact, planning a “Happy Birthday Pasadena” event that’s so huge the museum is hosting a benefit cocktail party to meet the expenses for the planned June 23 festivities.
The fundraiser takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at El Portal Restaurant and features cocktails and appetizers for the $15 admission price. The restaurant will also donate 15 percent of lunch and dinner purchases that day to the celebration, which will feature photos from the 2011 Happy Birthday Pasadena Timeline for viewing and purchase.
“This year’s June birthday celebration will take place on the museum grounds and will have some of the usual things, like birthday cake with the mayor, children’s entertainment activities and live music,” says Jeanette Bovard, media consultant for the museum. “But we’ve got lots of other great things happening, too, like a display featuring six things that are in the news today that weren’t in the news 100 years ago, local writers with national renown who are going to read their works, and a visual presentation on Pasadena’s historic movie theaters.”
The HBP event will also honor two prime Pasadena businesses that have been active in Pasadena for a full century: Anderson Business Technology (which started as Pasadena Typewriters), and Pasadena Water and Power. And with the 2012 Summer Olympics in full swing in London at the time, the museum will also be bringing in former Olympians from Pasadena for visitors to meet and will display extensive memorabilia from the Los Angeles-based 1984 Olympic Games.
Add in a tribute to Pasadena’s resident centenarians, as well as a look at the “hidden treasure” homes to be found in the city’s beautiful neighborhoods, and one might think it’s a full day. And yet, there’s still more, as the museum also pays tribute to bicycles with a display of vintage two-wheelers — a head-scratching idea until one hears the deep ties Pasadena has to the cycling world.
“We were the bicycle capital of the US 100 years ago,” explains Bovard. “The Pasadena Freeway was originally meant to be a cycle way from Pasadena to Los Angeles, as it was 13 miles from one downtown to the other, and fairly flat. Bikes were the primary mode of transportation for both men and women and freed women from being stuck at home, so men didn’t like that.”
The Pasadena Museum of History Benefit Cocktail Party will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at El Portal Restaurant, 695 E. Green St., Pasadena. Tickets are $15 at the door. Visit pasadenahistory.org or call (626) 577-1660.