SOLANA BEACH — The Solana Beach singalong entered its 25th year Sept. 1 as the first event in the recently renovated Fletcher Cove Community Center.
It seemed only fitting the inaugural performance in the new building was the city’s oldest ongoing event.
On Aug. 6, 1987, about 30 people, including Margaret Schlesinger, the city’s first mayor, gathered at Fletcher Cove Community Center for the first singalong. With founder Ed Siegel at the piano, the group met at the site every Thursday since then, except when Siegel was on vacation, until last summer.
While the facility underwent a massive renovation during the past year the group continued meeting at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church.
“It was funny because we complained about the place for so long, and then when we moved I got kind of nostalgic,” Siegel said.
The restored former Army barracks wasn’t the only thing new when the group returned to the community center. Siegel provided music on a Roland HP-305 piano donated by the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society and Del Sol Lions Club.
“I could do a lot with the old piano,” said Siegel, who said he can’t read music. “But this is great. There’s a whole orchestra in there.”
City Councilmen Joe Kellejian and Dave Roberts, former Del Sol Lions president, recognized resident Carol Childs for helping the group find a temporary home during construction.
“We were happy to be able to accommodate them,” said Childs, president of the Civic and Historical Society and an elder at Solana Beach Presbyterian.
Childs then presented Siegel with a bouquet of red roses in lieu of a candelabrum since the new west-facing doors bringing in the ocean breezes would probably have blown out the candles, she said.
The group of about 35 people, including Schlesinger, then began the singalong with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” followed by the city song, “Solana Beach, Our City Proud,” written by resident Lynn Salsberg.