By Mary O’KEEFE
The rain came and, for the first time in recent memory, the Montrose Founders Day festivities on Honolulu Avenue were canceled midway through the events.
The day began gloomy with a lot of cloud cover. The crowds were light but consistent. Crescenta Valley Youth Town Council Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow was off to a pretty strong start. Kids highlighted their creativity and business savvy as they sold items including handmade jewelry, woodcarvings and plants.
Then came the light sprinkling of rain. Although the moisture caused some temporary power issues, the Prom Plus Club performed a sampling of swing dancing on stage. But it was more like “Singing in the Rain” as the drizzle turned into a California downpour.
Montrose Shopping Park Association organized and sponsored the celebration commemorating the 102nd birthday of Montrose. Around noon, organizers threw in the (wet) towel and decided to call it a day.
“Everything was wet. The chairs under the canopy [at the stage] were soaking wet,” said Dale Dawson, business administrator/event coordinator for MSPA.
“It was unfortunate,” said MSPA President Andre Ordubegian of the cancellation.
The birthday event has always been scheduled around Washington’s birthday; however, it might be time to look at another date that is more weather predictable, Dawson said.
In 1913 developers Holmes and Walton auctioned off 300 acres of land at an event held at what now is the corner of Verdugo Boulevard and Clifton Place. The auction was actually held at a barbecue so, to remember that day, on Sunday Zeke’s Smokehouse had a special barbecue menu set outside the restaurant in the 2200 block of Honolulu Avenue. There was even a pig roasting on a spit but, unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate like it did on that sunnier day in 1913.
There was also the traditional birthday cake that was baked by Montrose Bakery. With the cancelation of the event, bakery owner Henry Baeza let restaurants around town know he had cake, quite a bit of cake, to share.
“[The cake] got distributed to local restaurants giving it out to patrons for free,” Dawson said.
Another tradition for the Founders Day celebration is the awards given to those individuals, businesses and organizations that exemplify the Montrose community.
“We will be doing the award [ceremony] on March 22,” Ordubegian said.
The awards will be given during Harvest Market at 1 p.m.