It begins with cake! A beautiful one, and enough for all.
To honor its 125th anniversary as a city, Pasadena will begin celebrating in June, kicking off with a birthday party extravaganza hosted by Pasadena Museum of History on June 11, and followed by concerts, fireworks and more in the summer and fall.
With the theme, “Destination Pasadena: Celebrating 125 Years of Service and Hospitality,” the celebrations are a chance to discover the city’s talents and treasures while learning more about the people, places and events that play a major role in Pasadena’s reputation as a world-class city, including the Rose Bowl Stadium, Caltech, Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena Playhouse, and the Tournament of Roses.
Pasadena, now a city with 140,000 residents, was a rural hamlet when residents decided it was time to guide their town’s destiny by incorporating on June 12, 1886. The year saw rapid changes in the United States: Sears & Roebuck, Avon, and Coca-Cola were established, a dishwasher was patented, the bicycle was the popular mode of transportation, Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler each filed for patents on their motorcars powered by internal-combustion engines, and the railroad was newly arrived in Southern California. This new mode of transcontinental travel helped inspire Pasadena to become a vacation destination for people wanting to escape the harsh Eastern winters. Now there are more than 125 great ways to entertain residents and visitors!
125th celebration highlights include:
Official Birthday Party
Saturday, June 11, noon to 7 p.m. Pasadena’s official birthday party extravaganza, featuring a cake by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, displays, music, oral histories and children’s activities, hosted by Pasadena Museum of History. FREE
www.pasadenahistory.org (626) 577-1660.
Fireworks POPS Spectacular
Saturday, June 18; Michael Krajewski, Guest Conductor
Programming will include William Tell Overture, Everything’s Coming Up Roses, California Dreaming, God Bless America, 76 Trombones, 1812 Overture. Multimedia presentation features historic photographs of Pasadena.
Rose Bowl Area H. Admission charge. www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org (626) 793-7172
Americafest: Family Fun on 4th at Rose Bowl Stadium
The 85th annual 4th of July Celebration will pay tribute to Pasadena’s quasquicentennial by presenting a family variety show, Drum Corps International marching band, a military tribute, motorcycle stunts, Mariachi Divas and the Jan and Dean Show at 7 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9 p.m. Admission charge $13; Active Military with ID, and children 7 and under free. Family festival in Area H from 2 to 9:30 p.m. www.rosebowlstadium.com (626) 577-3100
Music Under the Stars
Saturday, Sept. 24, 5:30 p.m. gates open, 7:30 p.m. concert. Pasadena Symphony and POPS performs beloved classics and popular favorites with American music icons Lisa Vroman, vocalist, and the Donald Brinegar Singers. Pasadena City Hall’s Centennial Square. FREE, www.pasadenasymphony-pops.org (626) 793-7172
Levitt Pavilion Concerts
Levitt Pavilion Pasadena’s annual summer music series at Memorial Park begins June 18. FREE www.levittpavilionpasadena.org (626) 683-3230
Pasadena Central Library Exhibition, archives of Pasadena, courtesy of Pasadena Museum of History. June 1-30, FREE, (626) 744-4062
Pasadena: A Cultural Mosaic, a juried exhibition celebrating the city’s 125th birthday, The Folk Tree, 217 S. Fair Oaks Ave. June 4 through July 2. (626) 795-8733 FREE
Roots of Education in Pasadena: 1876-1920, an online exhibition. www.pasadenadigitalhistory.com (626) 744-4279
The annual ArtWalk on October 15 features “125 Years of Pasadena” competition for visual artists, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., www.playhousedistrict.org (626) 744-0340 FREE
Visit the website, www.cityofpasadena.net/125 , for:
*The viewing schedule of “Pasadena: A Heritage to Celebrate,” a 90-minute documentary airing on KPAS Channel 3 on Charter Cable and at www.cityofpasadena.net/publicaffairs streaming video.
*125+ Fun Things to Do in Pasadena
*Sites of more than 900 films and TV shows shot in Pasadena
*History and photography resources
*Books about Pasadena, and what Pasadenans in 1886 might have been reading
For more information visit www.cityofpasadena.net/125 or call (626) 744-4755.