CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — With picture perfect weather and a festive atmosphere, hundreds of residents and visitors gathered to celebrate the community’s 100th anniversary July 2.
The event was part of a yearlong series of activities to highlight the community’s coming of age.
A parade kicked off the daylong celebration, traveling down Newcastle Avenue from the Post Office to Glen Park. With Grand Marshall Marion Ross, the actress of “Happy Days” fame and a Cardiff resident, leading a band of merry-makers, local groups, civic leaders and businesses took part in the parade. Late entry Hooping 4 Happiness featured dozens of children and adults in festive costumes hooping their way down the street.
The celebration also featured more than 55 local arts and crafts vendors, live music and a historical exhibit from the Friends of the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library at Glen Park. Photos depicting the history of Cardiff, compiled by local resident Jim Schuck, were a hit with the crowd.
“Some of these things are completely new to me,” said Darius Covington, a Cardiff resident of six years. It really gives a person like me a link to the past, to know what existed before I got here, way before, and how important it was to the building of the town.”
In fact, the exhibit gained such recognition that it will be on display at the Cardiff Library’s ribbon-cutting ceremony after construction is complete on the new wing next month.
As the parade traveled down the street, onlookers waved to friends and some even joined in at the last minute.
“I’m not officially in the parade but I thought I’d ride my bike along,” said Pam Helter, who wore a Fourth of July themed outfit. “This is absolutely the best day.”
Longtime residents Bob Gooding, 85, and Lola Larson, 87, watched the parade as well.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in Cardiff,” Gooding said. Larson, whose birthday falls on the Fourth of July, was overjoyed. “Cardiff is a special place and this is a great way to celebrate my birthday a little early,” she said.
The event was sponsored by the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association, Cardiff Seaside Market, The Cardiff Town Council, Barbara & Warren Cobb, Sullivan Solar Power, San Diego Medical Services and The 101 Artists’ Colony.
The festivities continued after the parade concluded with a picnic in the park. Several residents were already talking about making the event an annual affair.
“I think Cardiff needs to do this every year in July,” said Sharon Perkins. “It’s a great excuse to dress up in red, white and blue and come out and see your neighbors and friends. While organizers didn’t make a firm commitment to establishing a tradition, many were open to the idea.
As one of five communities that comprise Encinitas, Cardiff has maintained the most autonomy over the years through preserving its own zip code and school district. “Many of us don’t consider ourselves from Encinitas,” said Barry Montague. “We live in Cardiff, plain and simple. That doesn’t mean we don’t welcome new people or are exclusive,” he said, “but we do think we’re pretty special.”