On July 10, 2111, future Arroyo Grande residents are to unearth and open a stainless steel box packed carefully with sealed items, relics from the past chosen for their historical and cultural significance.
They’d find police and fire department badges, yearbooks from local schools, historical books and old photos, Harvest Festival pins, a package of Hot Wheels, and even a BlackBerry donated by a local chamber of commerce member (no one would sacrifice an iPhone).
The items and the 75-pound time capsule were displayed Sunday during Arroyo Grande’s centennial celebrations in the Village. The capsule, donated by the 5 Cities Men’s Club, will be installed in the renamed Centennial Park along Olohan Alley.
Happily, a centennial celebration banner that was apparently taken from an event at the South County Regional Center over the weekend was found by police in a mobile home park Sunday afternoon.
Daylong activities capped months of planning and other events leading up to the 100th anniversary of Arroyo Grande’s incorporation. Events Sunday included band performances, a block party, a parade and a fireworks show.
“This is such a grand moment for all of us,” state Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian said during the morning’s opening ceremony. “It’s such a celebration.”
Twenty-five years ago, he organized the time capsule for the city’s 75th anniversary Diamond Jubilee celebration. That capsule — a brown legal box — was dug up Sunday morning, emitting a musty, slightly acrid smell when opened.
Some of the items will be repackaged and added to the new time capsule for its burial, which is still to come.
“When we buried that, I wondered who the fool is that’s going to take this out,” said Eddie Madrid, who has worked 38 years in the city’s Recreation and Maintenance Services Department. “Guess who it was.”
He recovered from the time capsule a picture of his wife of 25 years, as well as a paycheck stub.
A few longtime residents gathered to watch Achadjian and Doug Perrin, the city’s director of recreation and maintenance services, pull items out of the box: Diamond Jubilee belt buckles; a letter from the White House, signed by then-President Ronald Reagan, congratulating Arroyo Grande on its milestone; and VHS tapes with footage from that celebration’s events.
“It’s just all about community,” said Carrol Pruett, one of the founders of the then-Mid-State Bank & Trust, now Rabobank.
He moved to Arroyo Grande in 1961 and wore a towel during a rendition of “Splish Splash” in a jubilee variety show during the 1986 celebration.
“It’s so important to maintain that heritage,” Pruett said.
When asked what the 100th anniversary meant to her, his wife, Joan, said: “Memories.”
Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.