There was birthday cake, a climbing wall, live music and plenty of company at Oakley's ninth annual Cityhood Celebration last week, not to mention a spectacular fireworks show. But what 6-year-old Mandi Jamerson was mostly interested in was the cool grass of the Freedom Soccer Field Park and its irresistible, downhill slope.
She'll just keep doing that until I stop her or she passes out, Kathy Jamerson laughed as she watched her daughter roll down the hill and scramble back to the top once again with a pack of a half-dozen other giggling kids. She did the same thing with her friends last year; it was her biggest reason for wanting to come.
And that, said Mayor Bruce Connelley, is what the event was really all about. Every city and town should have it's own community spirit, and this is one of the things we do to encourage that.
Soaring temperatures didn't put a damper on enthusiasm, as folks enjoyed the wares of food vendors, hopped about in bounce houses or just relaxed in lawn chairs, chatting with friends.
It's neat that the city cares enough to do this every year, said Ken Trandel. We used to go to San Francisco for the fireworks, but gas is too high for that. Besides, here there's a two-minute travel time, people we know and a chance to show our appreciation for the fact that we took charge of our own destiny nine years ago.
The event also included a moment of silence in memory of Planning Commission Chairman and County Supervisor candidate Erik Nunn, his wife Tanya, and BART Police Officer Craig Wilson and his wife Michele. The four Oakley residents were killed in a plane crash a week earlier, leaving behind seven children.