“The Party of the Century” was all that and more! It was scheduled to begin in downtown on Olive Avenue by the City Hall at 5 p.m., but the crowds started arriving from noon on. San Fernando Boulevard was closed early, as booths and tents were being set up for vendors and exhibits. I arrived around 5 p.m., and I was astounded to see a crowd of over a thousand people already there!
I could see in the distance a stage set up for the delightful program planned for the evening and all seats were already taken! I couldn’t get closer, but there were nearby booths and vendors with lines already formed with anticipation felt everywhere for this once in a lifetime event. Burbank had attractive tote bags given to everyone, and the graphic artist Larry Hansen, who designed the event posters, was autographing them for spectators.
Everything was over the top! There was a ten foot tall birthday cake, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse were next to a display of hundreds of cupcakes baked by our local bakeries, Porto’s, Yummy Cupcakes and Martino’s Bakery, which were given to those lucky enough to be close by. Music was blaring from the stage where the program chairman, Fritz Coleman, was introducing speakers and welcoming guests, while our local NBC Channel 4 was filming this outstanding event. It wasn’t long before the Bob Hope Airport was involved in the most amazing fly-over of numerous historic aircraft to the delight of the crowds. Also on display was a statue of Bob Hope. Then a parade began on the ground involving our schools, Disney characters and much more. Exhibits included an 18 ft T-Rex from the movie Jurassic Park, Steven Spielberg’s 1997 classic that was filmed partly in Burbank. All around both sides of Olive Avenue were many vintage cars to see, as well as displays from Bob Hope Airport, Gordon Howard Museum and much more. All evening the swing bands were rockin’ through the ages while spectators danced their hearts out. The finale of this special evening was spectacular fireworks overhead. The city went out of its way and beyond expectations in giving “The Party of the Century.” Congratulations to the city of Burbank and to the many individuals involved in making this a night to remember. It was the best party ever! Share your comments with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.