The last weekend of May has arrived, and that can mean only one thing to true-blue La Cañadans: Fiesta Days are here.
This annual gift to the community from the folks at the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and Community Assn. is a time when we meet up with one another in Memorial Park, at Lanterman House or along the Foothill Boulevard parade route to celebrate the fact that school's almost out and summer is about to unfold.
Over the long weekend there will be an outdoor breakfast, a car show, family movie night, a barbecue followed by a terrific fireworks display, the Y's Fiesta Run and the ever-popular parade, of which the decades-long joke is that half the community watches it from the sidewalk while the other half is in it. Our local museum will hold its annual open house on Sunday, and the city's summer concert series will get off to a rousing start Monday afternoon.
We will also, with the solemnity befitting the occasion, honor our war dead and salute veterans at an hourlong service at 9 a.m. Monday, Memorial Day. For the past couple of years it has been organized by Vietnam vet, Glendale Community College professor, Valley Sun columnist, Girl Scout troop leader and all-around good guy Joe Puglia, who tells me he's keen on getting more of the community's youth to take active roles in the service so that they'll have a deeper understanding of its meaning.
Another poignant moment will be the honoring of our parade grand marshals, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman — and all the men and women who serve under them — for the incredible work they've done on our behalf. They're always here for us, but they did a great job protecting us during the Station fire last summer and resulting debris flows this winter. "Hats off to Our Heroes" is Monday's parade theme, and I can't imagine a better one.
Specifics for all of these events can be found in the pages of the special section included with this week's paper.
On a personal note, I invite you and your family to stop by our office Monday morning at 727 Foothill Blvd., where we'll be handing out fun items like patriotic pinwheels and foam gliders to the kids; coffee and lemonade to the thirsty.
We'll probably close up shop at about 12:30 p.m. to head to Memorial Park for the festivities there, so come on by during the parade and say hello.