The PHS Clara Johnson Theatre at Patterson High School was packed with an enthusiastic crowd Saturday night, when PJUSD students of all ages took to the stage in celebration of the 1919 signing of the city’s charter.
Longtime Pattersonites may recall the 2009 Centennial celebration of the city’s founding, including a ceremony that featured a re-enactment, complete with vintage cars and period costumes, of the moment when T.W. Patterson asked John Cox to harvest his crops so that the town could be established here.
The city’s charter was established in 1919, providing the community with another reason to celebrate. Councilmember Dominic Farinha, who spearheaded the production as part of helping to plan the celebration, said the idea that the city partner with the school district and “pick a couple songs throughout the decades that were important,” and that would “showcase the talent of our city youth… and they did such a stellar job – one of the best performances I’ve seen in quite a while. And what was even more impressive is that the auditorium… that was one of the very few times that it was actually filled to capacity.” Farinha also expressed appreciation for “the support from the parents,” and thanked “not only the students, but the teachers involved, because there’s a lot of dedication, and a lot of training – and the sheer amount of hours.”
Farinha took the opportunity during Tuesday’s City Council meeting to express his excitement about the soon-to-be-built theatre on the newly-named Centennial Park, across from the Ninth Street side of PHS, with uncharacteristic enthusiasm: “I cannot wait – because I think that’s (Saturday night’s performance) just barely scratching the surface,” of local talent. “The city, working with the school district, is going to be breaking ground on the performing arts center, in the very, very near future. And when that comes online, boy… we’re