When her family first moved to Lynwood in 1925, Lucille Walker says, she realized they were really moving to the country. After all, they were leaving a city, Los Angeles. And in Lynwood there were all these dairy farms, and dairy farmers.
"When I saw all those people wearing those plain old overalls, I thought we'd reached a new low," Walker said. She is reluctant to tell her age, but admits to being just a few years older than the town where she has made her home ever since.
That means Walker is in her 70s because Lynwood will mark its 70th anniversary beginning today and continuing through next weekend. There will be a variety of activities, including a custom car and hot-rod show today, a carnival from Wednesday to July 21, a talent competition that starts Monday and concludes Friday, and a parade Saturday. It is a celebration of a community that has seen many changes since it was founded in 1921.
Perhaps the biggest change has occurred in the city's ethnic distribution, said Councilman Louis J. Heine, 73, another longtime Lynwood resident. He has lived in the same house on Cornish Avenue since 1946 and has seen his neighborhood, like the city, change from mostly white to mostly black and then, in recent years, to predominantly Latino.
That ethnic mix will be celebrated as part of the 70th anniversary activities, particularly during the Lynwood International Unity Festival, a street fair scheduled from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday along Bullis Road, between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Platt Avenue.
Visitors to the street fair will be able to sample various international foods. They can peruse various displays and exhibits, some of which will have items for sale. They can examine crafts, watch dancers, listen to singers. And, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., get a reminder of Lynwood's rural history at a petting zoo.
Also on Saturday, there will be a black-tie dinner and dance, getting under way at 6 p.m. at Bateman Hall. The special invited guest is television and movie personality Arsenio Hall, who is scheduled to present an award to youths from the community. Tickets, at $35 per person, will be available until Monday morning. Call the Lynwood Chamber of Commerce at 587-6484.Other information about the 70th anniversary is available by calling the Lynwood Recreation and Parks Department at 603-0220.
All in all, it will be a birthday party to remember. For Lynwood residents, it will be a chance to show off their hometown and what it has to offer.
And that includes a few residents who were less than impressed at first, such as Lucille Walker. Today, after 66 years in Lynwood country, she says, "I'm very proud to be a Lynwoodite."
Lynwood's 70th Anniversary
Cost Starting Event Day to Public Time Location Custom Car Show today free 8 a.m. Community Center ($20 entry fee) Talent Show Monday- $5 for 6 p.m. Bateman Hall Friday adults Carnival Wednesday- $1 per varies Dymally Park Sunday attraction Parade Saturday free 10 a.m. Begins at Carlin Ave. and Long Beach Blvd. Petting Zoo Saturday nominal 10 a.m. Bullis Road charge Street Fair Saturday free noon Bullis Road Dinner, Dance Saturday $35 6 p.m. Bateman Hall