This article was written by BenitoLink intern Marisa Sachau
The city of Hollister turned 150 years old on Aug. 6. It’s a town that has greatly changed from having two stop lights to a community of nearly 43,000.
There was a parade at 10 a.m. and a carnival from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on San Benito Street. To top off the night, there was a Sesquicentennial Gala from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m at Veterans Memorial Building.
Commemorating the occasion was the sealing of a time capsule in front of Veterans Memorial Building on Aug. 6. Boy Scout Diego Villalpando and Girl Scout Maddie Rosa worked together on this project as a gift for the future residents of Hollister to open.
The ceremony began at 11:30 a.m. with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9242 providing color guard for the American flag. Then Jenny Medolla Arbizu, a BenitoLink reporter, sang the national anthem. Maria Spandri, Commander of VFW Post 9242, thanked everyone who participated in the gathering including Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez, Hollister City Council Members Rick Perez, Rolan Resendiz, and Dolores Morales, City Manager Brett Miller, Police Chief Carlos Reynoso, and Fire Chief Bob Martin Del Campo.
Velazquez said he was proud of the hard work Villalpando put into the time capsule and how important it is for our city.
“This is a historical moment,” he said. “I will not be here in 50 years but I need Diego to tell everyone the story of this day.”
Velazquez said he felt lucky to call Hollister home and praised the community.
“Now Hollister and the history of Hollister is something special,” he said. “We all know it. All of you are what they call so special.”
He said when he first came to Hollister he immediately felt he was home. It was where he wanted to raise his family.
Spandri thanked Rosa and Villalpando for all of their hard work for the time capsule and said it was an “incredible” gift to Hollister on its 150th birthday.
A photo album of the contents of the time capsule will be on hand at the Hollister Historical Society.
Sally Bierdsdorff, co-founder of the South Valley Fleurs Garden Club that serves both San Benito and Santa Clara counties, spoke on behalf of her organization as they donated the Blue Star Memorial By-Way plaque.
The Blue Star Memorial By-Way plaque honors families who have an active member in the military. The plaque reads, “A tribute to the Armed Forces of America.”
“We are proud to be a part of this country that honors and applauds every branch of the military,” said Bierdsdorff. “The Blue Star plaque is a statement of gratitude for the service of all of our veterans.”
A new mural has been painted on the side of the Mmm Churros building by Hollister artist Venecia Prudencio. It happened coincidentally that the mural was ready for Hollister’s 150 celebration. Jennifer Laine, executive director of San Benito Arts Council, said the mural was a way for the community to come together after the pandemic.
Laine said the mural “celebrates our local identity, our pride, and what makes us so special as a community.”
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