From the warm afternoon sunshine over the Village Green, to the shine of glow lights on downtown Main Street, Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration brought thousands out to commemorate the City’s 60th year of incorporation.
Garden Grove City Manager Scott Stiles, Garden Grove Unified School District (GGUSD) Board President George West, and school board vice-president Teri Rocco officially opened the festivities, recognizing 60 years for the City of Garden Grove, and 50 years for the GGUSD. A variety of music, dance, and theatrical performances by GGUSD students ushered in the main cake-cutting event at 6:00 p.m. Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen and the Garden Grove City Council, along with other elected officials and VIP’s led the crowd in the “Happy Birthday” song before cutting the 3-tiered birthday cake. Free birthday cupcakes were available for all attendees.
“It’s our birthday and we’re turning 60-years-old, and Garden Grove gets more beautiful every day!” said Mayor Bao Nguyen before awarding trophies to winners of a 60th Anniversary classic car show.
Special guests at the cake-cutting were 100-year-old Ted Settani and 90-year-old Geri Quigley, both Garden Grove residents celebrating milestone birthdays.
Throughout the park were a number of family games and activities, including a rock-climbing wall, family photo booth, inflatables, hula-hoop, and selfie stick station.
Free giveaways included a commemorative 60th Anniversary cup, retro-candy, and 7-Eleven Slurpees. A mini-museum, coordinated by the Garden Grove Historical Society and City Commissioners displayed historical events over the last 60 years, as well as art from the GGUSD.
At 8:00 p.m., following a live performance by the band SOTO, the crowd, carrying glow-lights, paraded down Main Street for the Main Street After Party, hosted by the Garden Grove Downtown Business Association.
Playing on the main stage, behind a crowded dance floor, was the band Stone Soul. Illuminated dancers, strolling magicians, and professional theater performers complemented other events and activities, such as a street chalk art workshop presented by Black Umbrella Tattoo and Art Gallery.
On June 18, 1956, Garden Grove became the 18th city to achieve incorporation in Orange County.