By ERIK CHALHOUB, Managing Editor
The Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture’s annual awards dinner is always a night of celebration, socializing and bad jokes.
Saturday night was no different. But we also got a glimpse of a number of exciting things happening throughout the city over the next year.
The City of Watsonville is celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary this year, and 2018 will see many events marking the occasion.
Among those events, on March 30, the city will host a “birthday cake” celebration at the Watsonville Plaza. Later in the year, Watsonville native and Santana Band lead singer Andy Vargas will host a concert in the city.
Also in the 150-year-old club is the Pajaronian and S. Martinelli & Co., both of which will be holding events throughout the year.
Watsonville Municipal Airport Director Rayvon Williams announced that the Fire in the Sky event will be expanded this year on the Fourth of July. Besides more aerial displays and food trucks, attendees will be glad to know that there will be more port-a-potties this year. Those lines got “a hundred people deep” last year, according to City Manager Charles Montoya.
Big things are also in store for the Agricultural History Project, as CEO John Kegebein outlined in a video shown during the dinner. The organization plans to expand its site at the fairgrounds in the near future by adding a garden, orchard, livestock pens and more.
Watsonville is about to get a lot more green.
The Urban Forest Revitalization Project will kick off on Saturday during World Wetlands Day, co-hosted by Watsonville Wetlands Watch and the City of Watsonville. Community members are invited to help plant native trees along the boundaries of Watsonville Slough and Ramsay Park from 10 a.m. to noon.
Saturday’s event is part of the larger project, which calls for 300 trees and hundreds of drought-tolerant native shrubs to be planted at 10 park sites and three street corridors.
Wetlands Watch recently received a $340,182 grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to fund the tree planting program. About half of the trees will be planted at various events throughout the year, with the rest taking root in 2019 and 2020.
Erik Chalhoub can be reached at 761-7353 or [email protected]