Monrovia Old Town Report (04/20/17 Issue)

- Courtesy photo
– Courtesy photo


By Pam Fitzgerald

Back in the black and white days, somewhere in 1998, Dr. Spencer Johnson published a book called “Who Moved My Cheese?” The subject matter involved dealing with life’s changes without having a nervous breakdown. I never read it, but today, in colorful 2017, I need a copy…

It’s bad enough that my new laptop feels the need to update something every night while I sleep – but then my cell phone – every morning I wake up and find my apps have moved, my touchpad is “new and improved” and my contacts are re-organized. I’m sure I’m not alone, so for those of us who still appreciate a heads-up before life-altering events. Here are a few Old Town changes coming our way…

The big one for some of our Old Town businesses will be the Monrovia Street Fair move to Library Park and surroundings which is rumored to be happening about June 30. Since we are still in the rumor stage, none of us are sure what exactly is happening (though some of us have seen the proposed new layout). The big question for many is why? The City always has its reasons, and if they know what’s best for Old Town, more power to them. Even I, without knowing the City’s logic, can think of several very good reasons for this move; however, since the fair was started by the merchants to promote Old Town businesses, and since there is nothing proposed to replace the thousands of visitors the 500 and 600 blocks of Myrtle will lose 4-5 times each month, I’m wary.  I have been known to be wrong occasionally, but this one – especially as it is timed for our peak season – gives me the heebie jeebies.

But, before the Street Fair move comes the “new and improved” Monrovia Days. On Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21, our annual celebration will include a 2-day carnival as well as the now-famous pancake breakfast and Monrovia Day Parade. The parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Myrtle this year (instead of 9 a.m.) and will once again focus on our Hometown Heroes, students, teachers, fire and police, and military all included. This was a great event last year, and the addition of the carnival will mean even more fun for the kids this year. I especially enjoyed the dunk tank last year (and so did Council Member Blackburn), and the pie-eating contest. So, mark your calendars and watch for the posters soon to arrive in Old Town!

And here’s real positive change: we now have tons of photos documenting our Old Town charm and recording our history as time goes by. A special thank-you to Shane Nichols and his drone, Don Bigger and his great photographic and editing ability, and our new-comer/old-timer, Rich Kee Photography. We struggled for years searching our emails and tiny photo collections for pictures of our on-going events (the Annual Car Show, Street Fair, Monrovia Day, the Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting, Spark of Love Toy Drive, etc.), and now we have beautiful photos to show the world. Thanks to those 3 guys and to all of you who take photos and post them on social media. You are bringing film crews, new businesses and thousands of guests to Old Town every year.

One more “thank-you” — I think one of the least known of Monrovia’s various working committees is the Traffic Safety Committee. If you take a minute and peruse one of their agendas, you’ll see how seriously the City takes traffic-related concerns brought to them by citizens. From off-sync traffic lights, to the need for new traffic lights and street signs, this committee has its collective hands full. For more information about traffic safety in Old Town, and all of Monrovia, check out and click on “Agendas/Minutes.”

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Pam has been an active business owner and lover of Old Town Monrovia for the past 26 years. She has served as both Monrovia Chamber President, Merchant Association President, and Merchant Co-op Organizer, and has been the moving force behind such popular events as New Year's Eve on Myrtle, Old Town Trick or Treating, Holiday Caroling, and Santa Breakfasts with free gifts for the kiddies. In January of 2016, Pam was appointed Volunteer Old Town Film Liaison and has worked with the City to update Old Town's Filming Guidelines and bring back profitable filming to the Historic District. Pam is currently a columnist for the Monrovia Weekly and with The Old Town Report, proudly shares her comments and updates about the town she loves.


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