By Ricky Richardson | Contributing Writer

(Hawthorne, Ca.)- The City of Hawthorne celebrated its 100 Anniversary with five wonderful events, July 8-12, 2022. The city held a Commemorative Dinner on Friday evening at the Hawthorne Memorial Center to kick off the celebration. 

        The second event featured a Parade and Block party. The parade started at 139th and Hawthorne Blvd., and went on to 126th and Hawthorne Blvd.  

Everyone loves a parade. Several thousand people line up on the east side of Hawthorne Blvd., for an unobstructed view of the parade. The crowd consisted of residents from Hawthorne, as well as family, friends, and neighbors from surrounding communities, in keeping with the motto “City of Good Neighbors.” 

        The parade featured vintage police cars, provided by the Hawthorne Police Officers Associations. Hawthorne Public Works Department displayed vehicles from their maintenance yard.  

        Elected officials representing the City of Hawthorne, State and Federal offices were also in attendance. Hawthorne Mayor Alex Vargas, Mayor Pro-Tem L. David Patterson, Councilmembers Alex Monteiro, Olivia Valentine, and Angie English.  

Derrel Thomas, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Ricky Richardson)

Congresswoman Maxine Waters and State Assemblywoman Tina McKinnor also participated in the parade, along with Los Angeles Dodger Derrel Thomas and members of Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and DreamTeam.

Dr. Brenda Thames, Superintendent/President, El Camino College, El Camino College Board of Trustees President Nilo Michelin, administrators, faculty, staff and students participate in the Centennial Parade, Photo by Ricky Richardson

Additional participants consisted of the Hawthorne Historical Society, various City of Hawthorne Commissioners, Marching Band, Equestrians Unit, AYSO members, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, Kiwanis and Rotary (Hawthorne, LAX and Lennox), Veterans Organizations and Educational institutes- Hawthorne School District (Ramona, Zela Davis, Prairie Vista Middle School and HMS), and El Camino Community College, Dr. Brenda Thames, Superintendent/President, Nilo Michelin, Board of Trustee, just to name a few of the parade participants. 

        Hawthorne Centennial Celebration continued after the parade with a Block Party on 126th street, in front of City Hall. The Block Party had a dozen classic, vintage cars on display, food trucks, games and jump houses.  

        Several community organizations and Departments from the City provided information and resources at the Block Party. 

Brian Beirne aka, “Mr. Rock N’ Roll” (3rd from left), Mayor Alex Vargas (center) and Surfin’  A Beach Boys Tribute Band, Photo by Ricky Richardson

Brian Beirne, aka, “Mr. Rock N’ Roll” former longtime DJ on KRTH-FM, introduced Surfin’ a Beach Boys Tribute Band. This was the perfect band to celebrate Hawthorne’s centennial with music from the legendary Beach Boys from Hawthorne, California. Surfin’ crowd pleasing journey through the Beach Boys wonderful, catalog of fresh and timeless music, brought back a lot of fond memories for the audience, during their two-hour long set. 

        LA Love Band was another terrific addition chosen to entertain the crowd with an eclectic set of oldies, reggae, blues, R&B, and soul playlist. 

        Day at the Museum, July 10th, 10:00am-2:00pm. The activities consisted of a continental breakfast and lunch for purchase, a classic car show, and an Art Show. Attendees were able to see photos, magazines, newspapers, and other memorabilia from the early days of Hawthorne. 

        State of Hawthorne with the Honorable Alex Vargas gave an overview of current events, former and future developments as well as future projects in the works. Mr. Vargas gave an outlook for the future of Hawthorne (the future looks bright for the city) at an event at the Hawthorne Memorial Center. The State of Hawthorne was attended by about 100 people, elected officials from the State level as well as the Mayors of Gardena, Inglewood, Lawndale, and Torrance. Representatives from local School boards, as well as representatives from Congresswoman Maxine Waters office and the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell.  

        The City of Hawthorne Centennial Celebration concluded with the Time Capsule Opening. This segment brought back fond memories, laughter, and a few smiles as City Officials unveiled the contents of the Time Capsule. A large crowd was in attendance for the program, including the first elected Mayor of Hawthorne, Guy Hocker, and former Mayor Danny Jaurez along with Hawthorne Mayor Pro-Tem L. David Patterson, City Councilmembers Angie English, Olivia Valentine, and Alex Monteiro.  

        Mayor Alex Vargas welcomed everyone to this important event and spoke about hopes for the city. A group photo was taken with Hawthorne elected officials and residents who are 100 years young. The Time Capsule consisted of the following items: Booklets, brochures, and pamphlets, directories, street maps and guides and PTA information. Yellow pages, keepsake photos of the Hawthorne Fire Department and other historical photos, business cards of previous City employees and business owners. Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce Newsletter and many of the local community newspapers of the time. People spoke about creating contents for the next Time Capsule to be unveiled sometime in the far distant future. My hope is that this newspaper will be amongst the items. 

        The city of Hawthorne successfully brought together a diverse, multi-cultural crowd to celebrate its Centennial. Hawthorne, California “City of Good Neighbors.”