"We only celebrate 125 years once," exclaimed Los Gatos Town Manager Greg Larson Friday afternoon as he was visiting Blossom Hill Park and four others participating in the Jubilee birthday party that attracted about 1,500 residents.
"We're doing it right. Five parties at five parks at the same time. Congratulations, Los Gatos," he continued.
Larson said early on Friday, Live Oak and Bachman parks each had about 100 attendees, many families enjoying the beautiful weather picnicking. As the afternoon progressed, townsfolk continued attending the celebrations, each gathering having 200-plus people.
The party sponsors were the Los Gatos Lions Club at Blossom Hill Park, Teen Force and the nonprofit Community Against Substance Abuse, or CASA at Bachman Park, Belwood Homeowners Association at Belgatos Park, CERT at La Rinconada Park and Live Oak neighbors at Live Oak Manor Park.
Each party sponsor lined up entertainment for the parties, with the Los Gatos Lions getting The Room Shakers to rock Blossom Hill Park for the festivities.
Los Gatos resident Karen Deloumi, a member of the Los Gatos Parks Commission, attended the celebrations at Blossom Hill Park and said she thought the concurrent party was a nice gesture. "We got great weather for it and our parks are gifts to be enjoyed by everyone," she noted.
Mary Ellen Graham, president of the , explained the service organization had coordinated children's games in the park's field and had prepared free hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks, chips and birthday cake for participants.
"It's fabulous to celebrate Los Gatos this way," she said of the occasion. "I've been here for about 60 years and it's fun to see old friends gather together to recognize the town."
At 7:30 p.m., all five parks participated in a townwide birthday song and each enjoyed a full sheet of cake for participants.
Sharon Childs, executive director of the , said she had joined the Blossom Hill Park party to support the town and be with friends and neighbors. "It's a celebration of a wonderful town and a wonderful community," she said.
Former Los Gatos Mayor John Lochner, treasurer of the Los Gatos Lions Club, was delighted with the turnout at the Blossom Hill Park party. "We had no idea how many people we would expect ... We've worked so hard to make this a fun event," he said.
Emma Brezoczky, 12, a student at The Harker School in San Jose, was one of many children busy making crafts provided by, playing ball in the field or participating in sack races. "It's neat how we all came together," she said. "I love living in Los Gatos because it's pretty, it's not too crowded and there are cool shops here."
Council member Steven Leonardis, who was helping lead the celebration at Blossom Hill Park, echoed Larson's comment: "You only turn 125 years old once."
The jovial town leader happily recalled moving to Los Gatos in 1987 and celebrating the town's centennial then. "I'm so proud to be in Los Gatos ... Los Gatos represents the greatness ... of America."
To view a video of Blossom Hill Park celebrants sing Happy Birthday and America the Beautiful to the Town of Los Gatos,