Pasadena Celebrates 132 Years of Roses and Rockets Today

History Museum director praises tradition of community support and cooperation

Published : Wednesday, May 30, 2018 | 5:32 AM

Did you know that the City of Pasadena is celebrating its 132nd birthday this Sunday? And while we know you didn’t get her anything, she has given you a lot.

According to Jeanette O’Malley, executive director of the Pasadena Museum of History, where the official birthday cake will be served today, the Museum has partnered with the City of Pasadena and Baja Ranch Supermarkets, who have provided that really big birthday cake for the celebration.

The event’s Sci-Fi theme will feature visitors from other planets and Museum’s otherworldly current exhibition, the “Science Fiction History of Pasadena,” explained O’Malley in an interview Tuesday, saying, “It really reaches a wide variety of interests and age groups.”

The museum will feature a far-flung dozen of its community partners in the celebration as well, including The Shakespeare Club, Star Wars groups, along with the Pasadena Police department.

The afternoon will also feature makeup demonstrations and representatives from the Carnegie Observatory.

As O’Malley happily explained, “It’s really a wonderful opportunity for the public to experience a dozen or more venues, in addition to the Pasadena Museum of History, in one visit.”

“The museum itself began in the 1920s, as the Pasadena Historical Society,” said O’Malley Tuesday.

“Our roots go back to the 20’s with a passionate group of people who felt the need to save Pasadena’s history,” she said. “You can apply that same thinking to the group of people involved with the Pasadena Museum of History today. We seek to not only save the history, but share the history of Pasadena. We do that not just through our exhibitions, but we have a historic 1906 home fully furnished with beautiful deco arts and paintings which shows a very interesting story of Pasadena. So when you visit the museum, you have the opportunity to experience the lifeways of Pasadena.

Which brings us to the future.

Said O’Malley, “We have a very robust exhibit committee that worked on the science fiction exhibit, and it’s people from all walks of life; from sister institutions. One of the strengths of this museum is the community of Pasadena—there are so many opportunities in the city and so many people willing to work on behalf of our community.”

Pasadena is a rich combination of yesterday and tomorrow, as O’Malley notes, with Mars landing vehicles being tracked from the Caltech JPL center, and 100 year-old homes preserved to their 1920s sheen.

As O’Malley told Pasadena Now, “It’s amazing that through the decades all the way through today, there seems to be a feeling about the city of Pasadena, whether you are new to the city or you’ve been here for decades. People admire the city and want to support the city.

“You will find people who support many institutions that their interest and their time, their talent, and obviously their resources are generously put forward,” she continued.

“I am amazed, I continue to be amazed, at the amount of support shown through non-profits to improve the Pasadena Museum of History on the list.

“We have 11,000 hours a year in volunteer efforts here at the museum, continued O’Malley,” saying, “When somebody volunteers, there’s barely room to find a place to work. The idea of giving back is the strongest message that seems to span all of these decades and continue, it’s really quite beautiful.”

See you at the party. No gifts necessary.

City of Pasadena 123rd Birthday Celebration, Sunday, June 3, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 4 the Pasadena Museum of History, 470 W. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91103, (626) 577-166o. The official cake cutting ceremony with Mayor Terry Tornek, City Council members, and other VIPs is scheduled for 2:00 pm.

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