SACRAMENTO — Like an ethereal visit by a patron saint, a giant inflatable Mickey Mouse appeared before the state Capitol early Wednesday morning, as bemused bureaucrats speculated that it must be the Legislature's way of celebrating the 137th anniversary of California statehood.
But officials in charge of the Admission Day party on the Capitol lawn insisted that the mouse, which was at least three stories high, was an uninvited guest. The invited ones included a brass band in period costumes of the 1850s, a uniformed park ranger with a camera and one genuine elected official, Assembly Speaker Willie Brown (D-San Francisco).
A spokeswoman for Gov. George Deukmejian said he "was celebrating in his office."
With the Legislature struggling to decide hundreds of bills in the hours remaining before its Friday adjournment, few lawmakers were able to attend the celebration. Looking out at the largely empty Capitol lawn, Dave Vincent, director of the Capitol museum and the official in charge of the party, told the tens of celebrants, "I'm sure all of you have marked Admission Day on your calendars and have been looking forward to it for many days."