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La Cañadans to celebrate once-in-a-lifetime coincidence

September 07, 2011|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com
  • Randy Strapazon, left, informs a community resident, Nina Parkinson, about the 9.10.11 event at the Farmers Market in La Canada on Saturday, August 27, 2011. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
Randy Strapazon, left, informs a community resident,…

At the 9.10.11 in 91011 event this weekend, residents of La Cañada Flintridge will celebrate the unique character of their city on a once-in-a-lifetime coincidence of the date and the local ZIP code.

La Cañada Flintridge’s ZIP code, 91011, is one of just four in the country composed of consecutive numbers, and this Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, will be the one time this century it matches the date.

Local resident Todd Andrews, chair of the event’s organizing committee, said that the idea for the celebration grew out of on offhand remark made at a cocktail party during the last year’s holiday season.

“Someone remarked that as we’re rolling into 2011, our funny little ZIP code was going to match the date for the only time in the century,” said Andrews. “And everybody, in kind of a cocktail haze, said, ‘Hey, [marking the occasion is] a great idea!”

From these humble beginnings the event has grown, with the aid of funding from City Hall and sponsorship and participation from local businesses, into a weekend-long celebration of La Cañada’s community identity.

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The weekend’s events will kick off with a party in Memorial Park from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Local band Misplaced Priorities will play its high-energy blend of classic rock favorites and pop hits from years past, while food trucks will provide dinner fare.

Andrews said he thought the party would be a success.

“Friday night is a no-brainer. It’s a party in the park, people are going to show up. The band’s going to be great, food trucks are interesting,” said Andrews.

On Saturday, local facilities like JPL, Descanso Gardens, the Lanterman House and social clubs will host open houses, while local businesses will sponsor a Zip-Along-the-Boulevard event with special sales and promotions. Restaurants like Dish and Los Gringos Locos will host community tables on Saturday, and the weekend will close with a 9/11 memorial service on Sunday.

Andrews said that the response from the community was what drove the event’s growth from a remark to a full-on celebration.

“There has not been one organization or business that’s been approached that hasn’t said, ‘Hey that’s a great idea, let’s go with it,’” said Andrews. “It’s actually been kind of reaffirming that people jumped on board.”

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