Calexico set to welcome 1,100 Elks for 34th jamboree

January 11, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — This city is overrun by 1,100 Elk.

The Fish and Wildlife Service doesn't seem concerned, though, and local hunters shouldn't get excited; no 16-pointers these.

Starting today, Calexico is hosting the 34th annual Elks south district jamboree.

Elk from all over the U.S. have booked local hotel rooms and parked their RVs around town.

Tonight the president of the California and Hawaii lodges, John Caryalho, will be feted at the Rockwood Avenue Elks lodge.

This morning, Elks played golf at Holtville's Barbara Worth Golf Resort.

Saturday morning Elks wives and Elks who aren't officers will head to Mexicali for a bit of shopping. Elks officers will stay in Calexico for a clinic.

Luis Cota of Calexico, an Elks trustee, said, "We'll be taking care of some business."

Saturday night Calexico Elks will host a "Mexican fiesta" featuring dinner, dancing and a mariachi.

To accommodate the Elks, city officials made arrangements to block off two streets.


"Well, we've got the police (today.) They're blocking off streets (today) and Saturday; Rockwood Avenue in between Third and Fourth. RVs will park there and there'll be picnic tables," Cota said.

Calexico Chamber of Commerce directors volunteered to act as guides for the visitors when they take their Mexicali shopping trip Saturday.

Cota said the whole city of Calexico worked hard to host the jamboree this year.

"We did a lot of campaigning to be selected since this is the most important event of the year," he said.

Calexico last hosted the jamboree in 1969. Other Imperial Valley cities hosted the event in the 1990s.

In all, there will be 11 south district lodges represented at the jamboree. While Elks from all over the country are attending the jamboree, the Elk lodge members migrating the longest distance south will be from Needles.

The Benevolent and Protected Order of the Elks counts 1.2 million U.S. members. The order was founded in 1868 in New York City by an English immigrant named Charles Vivian. The original name of Vivian's club, or order, was the "Jolly Corks."

The national Elks Lodge is headquartered in Chicago.

Elks contribute money for college scholarships, assist handicapped children and honor veterans, among other charitable works.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles