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Brawley preparing to turn 100 years old

June 25, 2002|By DARREN SIMON

Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — The effort to organize this community's centennial celebration is moving forward with a committee formed to make the event come to fruition by October.

Nicole Gilles, executive director of the Brawley Chamber of Commerce, said this morning more people are welcome to take part in planning the celebration.

On Monday the first meeting was conducted, with some 15 residents joining a planning committee. Another eight people have committed to the effort.


A second meeting will start at 6 p.m. July 1 at the Brawley chamber and Gilles said that meeting is open to the public.

The committee has divided into groups that will work on fund-raising, entertainment, the search for historic buildings and the preparation of a time capsule to be opened in 50 years.

The North County Coalition for the Arts will be developing four murals to be painted on city walls that will showcase Brawley's culture and history.

The centennial celebration will honor 1902, when the town of Brawley was founded by those attempting to farm what had only a few years before been little but a Southwest desert. In the latter part of the 1890s engineers found a way to divert Colorado River water into the desert, making it possible to grow crops in the Valley.

From tent communities sprang homes, farms, schools and businesses. Brawley was incorporated into a city in 1908.

The celebration of the town's formation will start Oct. 4 with a chamber mixer at the Lions Center during which the Brawley City Council will sign a proclamation honoring the city's history. The event will be in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week, which means fire chiefs from throughout the Valley will attend to sign a fire safety proclamation.

Throughout the week there will be events. One such event could honor veterans; another could honor the city's most senior residents.

On Oct. 12 a parade will stretch from Hinojosa Park to Plaza Park on Main Street. The parade will involve elements of the 100th anniversary celebration and Fire Prevention Week.

Also Oct. 12, there will be a celebration in Plaza Park on both sides of Main Street with entertainment, crafts, a car show that will showcase historic vehicles and other pieces of the city's history such as historic farm equipment.

On Oct. 13 the Hidalgo Society will have its Dia De La Raza event in Plaza Park with a special prayer to be done in the city's honor. There will be food and entertainment that day.

The celebration will be just one month before the start of the Cattle Call Rodeo week, another piece of the city's history that honors the cattle industry.

Brawley Economic Development Commission Executive Director Tim Kelley and Gilles said they are looking for people to come forward with historical information they have about the city.

As part of the event, a 50-year-old time capsule locked in the city's vault will be opened. Kelley asked anyone who took part in putting that time capsule together to come forward. Gilles said she would like people to help prepare the next time capsule.

She also said she wants children to become involved. As part of that, she wants to organize a poster and essay contest.

"We definitely want to involve the children. We want to involve everyone," Gilles said.

For more information contact the chamber at 344-3160.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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