Cake and History: Happy 129th, Pasadena

Enjoy a free party with an eye on the past, at the Pasadena Museum of History.

Too often we lose one of the most endearing habits of childhood along about age 9 or so. And that's planning ahead to future birthdays, when the next birthday on the calendar can't possibly contain all of the balloons and games and ice cream and themes and pool time that you want it to possess.

With that sweet tradition of the young in mind, let us ponder what Pasadena saw for its 129th birthday, back in the 1800s when it was a mountain-close city, blessed of citrus and sunlight and those captains of industry that came from the east to enjoy the climate and light winters.

Did the town, in its early infancy, see that it would be the future home to JPL and leaders of the not-quite-invented-yet modern aerospace industry? Could it imagine its many pretty homes and museums and gardens? And did it know about its huge New Year's Day parade, a parade famous everywhere?

You can ponder such questions while digging into free birthday cake on Sunday, June 28. The Pasadena Museum of History and the City of Pasadena are throwing a sweet shindig for the Crown City — or City of Roses, if you prefer — complete with a frosting-laden treat, music by the Blair Viking Jazz Band, and cool balloonage from Mind Blowing Balloons.

History shall rule the day, too, so take a peek at the transportation of the time of Pasadena's birth (cars and bikes of ye olden days shall be on view). Two exhibitions, dealing in aerospace and the Civil War's role in Pasadena's start, are also currently on at the museum.

Getting into the museum? Free. Parking? Free. You likely won't pull up in a horse-drawn carriage, a mode of transport often seen around the city in the 1880s, but feel free to pretend your auto is clip-clopping as it pulls into the museum lot.

But those early Pasadena people didn't have to gaze too intensely into the crystal ball to fathom when the city's most famous event would officially roll, float- and pony-style, for the very first time. 

Do the math: Pasadena is turning 129 and the 127th annual Rose Parade blooms on Jan. 1, 2016. One could accurately say that Pasadena and the flowery procession are so synonymous that one only existed without the other for, really, what adds up to a matter of months.

Pasadena's 129th birthday party is on from 1 to 4 p.m. on the 28th.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us