Getting Ready for Founders Day


By Isiah REYES

Montrose will be celebrating its 102nd birthday by inviting everyone to enjoy music, retail booths and more on Feb. 22 in the Montrose Shopping Park.

To celebrate Founders Day, local restaurant Zeke’s Smokehouse will host a Rancho-style barbecue in the 2200 block of Honolulu Avenue at Verdugo Road alongside a beer and wine garden. Strolling mariachis will also be present to entertain diners from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The celebration of Founders Day in Montrose began more than 10 years ago with the idea of commemorating both Montrose history and Montrose community,” said Event Coordinator Dale Dawson. “It is timed to coincide with the original land sale held on Washington’s Birthday, Feb. 22, 1913, which created the subdivision of Montrose. Three hundred acres were auctioned off at Verdugo Road and Clifton Place with a catered barbecue near what is now the Mobil station.”

The regular Sunday Harvest Market and Marketplace will supplement its regular offerings with a number of added producers and retail booths for this occasion.

A nearby stage will feature performances by local dance troupes as well as the annual Founders Day Award ceremony. The Montrose Shopping Park Association recognizes members of the community who have made significant contributions to the Montrose Shopping Park and its surrounding area each year with a presentation of plaques. It will be followed by the singing of “Happy Birthday, Montrose” and the serving of the giant Montrose birthday cake to everyone present by Mary Dawson and CV Weekly publisher Robin Goldsworthy.

Awards will be presented for outstanding Community Service and Business Achievement, as well as the MSPA’s top award, the Montrose Founders Award, newly renamed the Montrose Heritage Award. This year’s Heritage Award recipient is Myrna Grijalva of Joselito’s Mexican Restaurant. Past recipients have included Frank Roberts, Bernard “Buz” Anawalt, Faye Snow, Raiford Dorsey and Val Grayson, among others. The award is given to those who have shown exceptional dedication and vision in shaping the character of the Montrose business district and the Montrose community as a whole. City officials will be invited to participate in the awards ceremony as well.

Added to the event will be local law enforcement and firefighters with vehicles on display in a section designated as the “First Responders” area. In addition, the Kids Zone has been expanded to feature pony rides and a petting zoo.

The history of Montrose will be highlighted with special booths. They will be located at the intersection of Ocean View Boulevard and Honolulu Avenue showcasing the local historical societies and the Montrose Public Library. Historian and author Robert Newcombe will be conducting a Montrose Shopping Park History Walk to unveil the newly installed brass plaques opposite the original locations of such former businesses as the Montrose Hotel and the Montrose Button Hole Company.

Overall, the event will be ideal for anyone looking to shop, dine and stroll on a historic day.

The Harvest Market and Marketplace will operate with extended hours from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The barbecue will begin serving at 10 a.m. with the beer and wine garden starting at 11 a.m. Performances will begin on the stage area at 11:30 a.m. The history walk will take begin at 1 p.m. and the awards ceremony and cake cutting will occur at 2 p.m. Event concludes at 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend the festivities.

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