Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lakewood Day(s)

Van Nuys Days certainly seemed like a big community-building event, right? All that sense of community and a visit to Disneyland (or at least the big circus tent next to it)! I do not know if this inspired the city of Lakewood, but they tried for their own day in the sun. In honor of the fourth anniversary of the city's incorporation in March 1954, Lakewood arranged for a party at Holidayland for Saturday, March 15, 1958. Residents were able to pick up free tickets to the Holidayland event at City Hall, city parks, and some businesses in the city. Featured at the party were to be performances by the Mouseketeers at 11:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

I say "were" because this day in the sun never happened. Rather, the skies opened up and buckets of rain began to fall before dawn on that day. The city's public relations director Guy Halferty stated he "wanted to go into hiding" because of the mess the rain caused the event. He arrived at Disneyland around 9:45 to find 100 Lakewooders under the Holidayland tent. Because of the rain, Disneyland closed at 2 p.m.(!!), but not before 575 Lakewooders had visited the Park and been treated to two hour-long shows at The Golden Horseshoe, by the Mouseketeers and "other Disneyland entertainers" (the Golden Horseshoe cast?). I think they were granted free admission because of the inclement weather.

Lakewood Day was rescheduled for Saturday, May 3, 1958. The party was again to be held at Holidayland, with free tickets distributed around the city. The Mouseketeers had scheduled performances of 11:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m, the first performance following an introduction and "community sing." I wonder what a community sings at an event like this, anyway? Disneyland that evening was open until midnight, with three dance bands performing, but their free tickets didn't get them in there! Suckers! In addition to the Mouseketeers, Lakewood provided some of its own entertainment, with the Boy Scout Drum and Bugle Corps, the Legionettes and the Drillettes parading through the Park and performing in Holidayland.

I imagine if Lakewood Days were a bigger success, we would have seen photos from it turn up. There were no follow-up stories to the second Lakewood Day, so I have to assume it went off without a hitch.

1 comment:

Major Pepperidge said...

It must have been something to go to Holidayland and see the Mouseketeers perform!

The community sing probably had a mix of popular Disney songs (The Ballad of Davy Crockett, Hi-Ho, etc) and old popular songs (Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey), I'm betting $2 that I'm right!