It is, without question, one of the biggest events in the history of Martinez. What began as the seed of a good idea last year at Art in the Park has become, through the efforts of alumni Ray Gentry (class of '64) and Mary Perez (she's not saying), an Alhambra High School reunion party of memorable proportions. Over 1,000 people are expected to attend.
The festivities unofficially started last night with a party at Perez's house, but things begin officially today with a catered dinner at the Boys and Girls Club and City Hall Plaza from 6 to 11 p.m. There will be live music, dancing, and a great deal of catching up as people who haven't seen each other in many years rekindle old friendships and relive precious memories.
There will also be a Memorial Board to honor and remember those who have died.
If you're planning to attend the dinner, parking is limited. Use the upper lot of St. Catherine's on the corner of Ferry and Henrietta streets, the parking lot of the old Laird's store (alumni will know where that is), or the parking lot of the Martinez Unified School District, 921 Susana St. Otherwise, there should be on-street parking available.
Saturday is the big day. It begins with an open house at the Martinez Museum, featuring a light breakfast and a display of items, photos and memorabilia from years gone by, from 9 to 11 a.m.
Afterward, there is a giant picnic at Rankin Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Buses will be available to transport alumni to the site. The picnic will be catered by Kinder's. And sadly, Humpty Dumpty will not be able to attend the festivities. The former Rankin Park icon has been retired once and for all, according to city officials, and will not be making any further appearances.
At 6:30 p.m., get ready for some serious nostalgia as Alhambra Avenue, Pacheco Boulevard and various side streets once again, for the first time in many years, become the scene of a classic car cruise. The starting points are Foster Freeze (now Boscoz's Burgers) and Wink's (now Fresh Start Cafe).
Starting at 7 p.m., there will be a street dance on Main Street, between Ferry and Castro streets. Alhambra alumni Robert Perry (class of '72) will be providing the sounds as alumni gather to dance, chat and enjoy the variety of restuarants up and down Main Street. A no-host bar will be available at the Veteran's Hall.
On Sunday, there will be a farewell breakfast at the Boys and Girls Club beginning at 9:30 a.m., courtesy of Christmas for Everyone. From 1 to 4 p.m., the Martinez Museum will be hosting another open house, and finally, for those who can stay, Art in the Park will be taking place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring live music, arts and crafts and food.
Every reunion event requires registration and a wristband. Those without a wristband will not be allowed to attend the events.
To all of you who are coming home for the first time in a while, welcome back. It's the same old place, but it's better because you're here.