The Big Civic Celebration

On March 16 of 1926, the first civic celebration on record for Hillcrest was held to celebrate the installation of decorative lampposts on University Avenue between Third Avenue and Park Boulevard, on Fourth Avenue from Robinson to Washington and on Fifth Avenue from Robinson to University.

In contrast to the current 100th anniversary celebration, we thought it would be interesting to share how Hillcresters were celebrating 81 years ago.

Decorative Lampposts installed on University Ave. in 1926

4:30, 5:30, 6:30 & 7:30pm — Explosion of four aerial bombs 1,000 feet in the air to call attention of the city to evening program. The last bomb will be the signal for the parade to start, and for the flashing on of the new lights. Each bomb will release an American flag. The return of these flags to the Hillcrest Shoe Store, at Fifth and University, will be worth a dollar each. C.E. Cameron, Dr. C.E. Dewey, H.W. Merkley and The Hillcrest News will award prizes.

7:30pm — Turning on of the streetlights.

7:30pm — Automobile serpentine parade. Lines form on Third, Fourth and Fifth streets facing north. On signal, move east on University Avenue following band and escorted by city traffic officers. Mayor Bacon, President Edgar F. Hastings and speakers will ride in the official car donated by the Chrysler agency. Other officers of the association and distinguished guests will follow in official cars donated by Paige-Jewett and Elcar agencies. Everyone is invited to join parade, blow horns, and throw serpentines or confetti. The parade will move in a zigzag from lamp to lamp as far as Normal, then east to Park Boulevard in a straight line, before doubling back to the speaker stand at the intersection of University and Cleveland avenues.

8pm — Music by the band.

“Why Hillcrest Celebrates” by Edgar F. Hastings
Introduction of and speech by Mayor John Bacon
Speech by A.G. Bush, University Avenue booster

8:30pm — One-hour fireworks display followed by music by the band and dancing in the street.

First published in HillQuest, an Urban Guide to 92103 & beyond, volume 5

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