Maybe you had to be there. But for those who couldn’t celebrate Goleta’s 10th birthday earlier this month, there needs to be a summary because everybody went away with smiles on their faces.
There were two parties recently to celebrate this important event. The first party was part of a City Council meeting and was the more “ceremonial” of the two. It included cupcakes from Anna’s Bakery and recognition certificates from our government representatives and UCSB. These will be hung in City Hall, and I hope you’ll check them out at the open house from 3 to 5 p.m. March 8.
The history of how Goleta became a city was recounted. The third time was the charm, but many people were involved in the effort from the 1980s until 2002, and many of them were at the council meeting on Feb. 7.
This first party was a time for memories and old friends. There wasn’t enough time to say “hello” to as many familiar faces as everybody wanted as the council still had work to do that evening.
The Community Birthday Party at the Goleta Valley Community Center on Feb. 12 was louder, more colorful and far more fun. Few people knew what to expect, but the biggest surprise was the music. Blue balloons, historical photographs, a former mayor serving lemonade, a birthday card for all to sign and music, music, music filled the afternoon.
The band from Goleta Valley Junior High School led off assisted by many alumni who remembered the old favorites from when they played in it. Duke Ellington was featured, and from the beginning it made for a festive atmosphere. The only sad note was that they stopped for the cake cutting, then started up again, and by the time they finished the crowd hadn’t left enough cake for them!
To accompany a side show of historic pictures of Goleta, the San Marcos High School Madrigals gave us a choral presentation that had the whole audience in awe. They quieted us down with old favorites, a special male choral presentation, and finally a unique and rousing “Happy Birthday” presentation. “We didn’t sound like that when I was in high school” was a common comment in the audience. They were skilled and professional.
Dos Pueblos High School’s Jazz Band finished off the celebration with an equally fabulous presentation. Solo numbers featuring Daniel Salinas received multiple rounds of applause as he mixed both jazz and emotion in several presentations. The audience could have listened to them for the rest of the afternoon. Toes got tired tapping — it was all so good.
I left, with a smile on my face, thinking about all those teenagers who had entertained us so well. I couldn’t help thinking that their musical skills are a great indicator for our city’s future. Our city is young, and the first 10 years have been good to it. Those young women and men (and the city) are on a path that has been and will be bright. The confidence I saw in those young people seemed like a great symbol for the city.
Many improvements are on the way for Goleta. There will be challenges, but we can deal with them the same way we became a city and the same way they sang — together.
— Ed Easton is the mayor of Goleta.