Venerable community traditions are often saddled with heavy words, words like "hallowed" and "time-honored" and "vital" and "lofty," which are all fine and good but remarkably limited.
And, truth be told, a bit stodgy.
Because sometimes traditions can be "fun" and "light" and "syrupy" and "butter-scented," especially when they revolve around the first meal of the day.
Look to Santa Ana, and the Santa Ana Breakfast Club, an up-with-the-dawn civic group that began many decades ago. The club first formed in 1928, and the Santa Ana Breakfasteers kept the meal-oriented meet-ups going for years beyond, with sepia-sweet photos and newpaper articles telling the tale of a town that kept in touch over plates of egg, toast, and similar.
Now breakfast is back in the streets of Downtown Santa Ana, at least for one day: Sunday, June 12. Locals will pay homage to the memory of that long-ago club with a feast of chilaquiles, pancakes, coffee, and juice, eats which may be enjoyed while dining at the tables lining La Calle Cuarto, a major thoroughfare of downtown.
The City of Santa Ana and the downtown business district are the organizers of the 4th Street-based celebration, while area chefs will be at the grills, whipping up a fortifying alfresco treat.
Tickets? They're five dollars a pop. Full tables for your party? They're a hundred bucks each and can seat eight people. Going on at the same time? The Downtown Santa Ana Farmers' Market, Frida's Cinema's Sunday Matinee (look for vintage cartoons to keep the kids in stitches), and live tunes, as well as activities for the younger attendees.
It's a reminder that sweeter doings of long ago don't have to just exist within scrapbooks of the local history society.
Once and awhile a tradition as light-hearted as a street breakfast can be revisited, with charm and chilaquiles, giving neighbors a chance to catch up, hobnob, or just picnic outside on a pretty June morning.