BY RIC McGINNIS
In August, it’ll be 50 years.
Much like the first graduating class of Riverbank High School in June, 1968 was a year of many changes in town.
The city fathers – the council was all male back then – spent a lot of time and energy investing in the future of Riverbank. They had acquired the downtown block of Santa Fe to Stanislaus streets, north to south, and Seventh to Sixth streets, east to west.
What they built there were facilities generations of Riverbank residents have made use of over the past five decades. The Community Swimming Pool was built, on the corner of Seventh and Stanislaus, and at 3600 Santa Fe Street, the city built its Community Center.
And, on Aug. 17, 1968, the community got together for a dedication celebration and the burying of a time capsule.
Members of the Riverbank Historical Society made a presentation at a recent City Council meeting regarding a proposed celebration. Society board member Rich Holmer said the group is requesting a partnership with the city to celebrate the center’s 50th anniversary with a ceremony recognizing the milestone.
Much like the hoopla at the time, he suggested an afternoon event in August, digging up the capsule and putting its contents on display in the center. During the afternoon, residents could view the items, then activities might follow with a dinner in the evening, with dancing and possibly other entertainment.
The festivities are planned to be much like those that originally took place, as reported by local media at the time. The event included a larger community dinner, with music provided by a Mariachi band. It reportedly included the crowning of a new Miss Riverbank.
Holmer suggested that this new event might be used to help raise money toward the construction of the Museum Annex to be located further down the street. He said they might even consider burying a new time capsule.
The 1968 capsule’s contents could be on display at the Museum after the event.
After the council asked questions about how the project might be carried out, they voted 5-0 to support it.
During the presentation, it was also noted that the city plans for renovation work to begin on the Community Center in September.