For those who enjoy community festivities, band music and crowds, it's been a whirlwind few weeks in Pleasanton.
It started Oct. 29 with the colorful ceremony at the newly expanded Bernal Community Park, a 54-acre, $16.5 million project that has added new lighted sports fields and an oak woodland. With three lighted multipurpose all-weather synthetic sports fields next to two lighted baseball fields built several years ago, coupled with nearby Mercer Sports Park, Pleasanton is now a Bay Area leader in upscale youth sports facilities.
Then a week later on Sunday, Nov. 6, Pleasanton hosted the 18th annual Tri-Valley Veterans Day parade on Main Street. Several thousand people lined the street as nearly 100 marching, walking and motorized units went by, making this the largest observance in Alameda County. Pleasanton's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6298 and American Legion Post 237 hosted the parade, traditionally held ahead of the actual holiday so that veterans and civic leaders can represent our city in other celebrations on Nov. 11.
Last Saturday, hundreds turned out for the dedication of the new $320,000 Veterans Memorial at the top of Pioneer Cemetery. The 2-1/2-hour ceremony included patriotic music played by the Pleasanton Community Concert Band and brief welcoming remarks by Mayor Jerry Thorne and Doug Miller, who organized the observance.
Sandwiched in between these celebrations was another festive public event, the opening of Pleasanton's new $300,000 "Cubby's" dog park. The city's second off-leash dog park, named Cubby's in honor of the police department's first canine, it occupies 1.5 acres at the staging area of the Marilyn Murphy Kane Walking Trail just off Bernal Avenue.
Tuesday night, the City Council honored those responsible for these community achievements. With the council chamber filled with sports leaders, uniformed members of the American Legion and VFW posts, organizers and planners, certificates of achievement were presented to Aidan Husejnovic, who submitted the winning name for the dog park (and who also was celebrating his 11th birthday); the Veterans Memorial Committee for having secured the location and raised the funds for the memorial; and the Play Bernal fundraising committee, which is contributing $2 million toward the cost of the new Bernal Park sports complex.
With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, everyone can now get some rest.