Atascadero is celebrating its 99th birthday this week, better known as Colony Days.
Just short of 100 years ago, E.G. Lewis carved out a utopian community from a portion of the historic Mexican land grant known as Rancho La Asuncion Y Atascadero. Of the original 45,000 acres, Lewis came to own 23,000 acres by the summer of 1913.
The celebration began last Sunday with the Atascadero Quota Club’s Colony Tea. Colony Royalty Tom and Peggy O'Malley were crowned, and Grand Marshal Ken Gouff was presented with his badge. They will ride in a place of honor in the parade.
All three shared stories of their years in the Colony, both as youngsters and adults. Tom O’Malley is running unopposed to be the city's first elected mayor, and Gouff designed both the city's logo 33 years ago and the logo for next year's centennial celebration.
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On Thursday, Rabobank will host the Colony Mixer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Also on Thursday, approximately 60 members of the California Conference of Historical Societies will arrive at the Carlton Hotel for a three-day visit of the community and the North County.
That night, guests will attend an event at the Galaxy Theatre, where vintage film of E.G. Lewis's University City and Maricopa/Taft oil drilling operations will be screened, along with a filmed talk about E.G. Lewis by his nephew, the late Will Lewis.
On Friday morning, the visiting historians will visit Tent City, then gather at the Historical Society's Colony House gardens for a luncheon and a talk about Lewis and the evolution of his Colony and finally a presentation on the restoration of the City Administration Building.
Atascadero Mutual Water Co., which is also celebrating its 99th birthday, will sponsor a historic downtown walk starting at 9:30 a.m. Friday. If you want to join the 90-minute excursion, just show up at the alley entrance to the Carlton Hotel.
Saturday morning is the annual parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Its abbreviated route starts in front of Atascadero Junior High School and continues across the Atascadero Creek Bridge to Morro Road and then north along El Camino Real to Traffic Way where it turns east, ending in front of the fire station.
You can begin the day by attending the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast starting at 7 a.m.
Following the parade will be food, game and information booths in the Sunken Gardens, historic enactments in Tent City, and a band concert at Greyhound Memorial Field starting at 2 p.m.