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The City of Ventura launches its 150th anniversary celebration

Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn  poses with Leroy “Buddy” Gibson, Jr., in front of a mural of Leroy Gibson, Sr.

Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn poses with Leroy “Buddy” Gibson, Jr., in front of a mural of Leroy Gibson, Sr.

Ventura, CA — On Sunday, November 8, the City of Ventura launched its 150th anniversary celebration at the Museum of Ventura County, located at 100 E. Main Street.

To kick off the celebration, event goers were gifted a special limited edition 150th anniversary souvenirs booklet as they took part in a rich menu of festive activities. Guests were treated to stories by a panel of descendants of historic families (Chaffee, Harrison, Smith-Hobson, and Tumamait),   great food, a local history presentation and performances courtesy of the Ventura Music Festival.

Attendees were encouraged to bring copies of family photos from past decades to post on special photo boards which will travel to various events and be on display at Pacific View Mall. Oxnard resident, Leroy “Buddy” Gibson, Jr., took family photos and shared the valuable contributions his dad, a local business owner made. “It was important for me to share my dad’s contributions because African-Americans who played a part in the rich history of Ventura County had been over looked,” said Gibson, Jr.  “My dad, Leroy Gibson, Sr., who was a businessman and from 1948-1956, owned Gibson’s Old Fashioned Bar-B-Q Pit, located 2211 ½ South ‘C’ Street. He also joined and served in the U.S. Navy Reserves.”

A video created by (CAPS-TV) Community Access Partners of San Buenaventura introduced the Ventura Legacy Project. Also on display were simulations of the 1860 census, finalists in the poster contest presented by the Boys and Girls Club, Friends of the Library and the Ventura Unified School District, and the museum’s current “Portraits” exhibit featuring local historic photos.

The sesquicentennial finale on April 2 will be a free community fair and picnic in downtown Ventura, followed by a concert in Mission Park by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

The City’s 150th anniversary is made possible by the generous donations of the Ventura Auto Center Dealers and Ventura Townehouse. This inaugural event is supported by EJ Harrison and Sons.

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