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Royalty in Model A’s to Flapper party

With colorful bow ties and pinstripe suits, Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and City officials chauffered to the iconic Prince Erik Hall in vintage Model A automobiles Thursday, April 23, 2015, could have passed for Depression-era gangsters on their way to a bank heist if we had been carrying violin cases secretly packing tommy guns.

But when the three cars rolled up at the 1924 iconic Prince Erik Hall, our trumpeted arrival by Arcadia High School students and greeting by a man wearing a green sash saying he was the representative of a Prince sounded and looked more like a ceremony befitting a royal coronation. <Story continues below the following three-minute video highlights of the event in YouTube and Adobe Flash formats (be sure to have volume on)…>

Get the Flash Player to see this content. As CEO of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, which was sponsoring the event, myself and my wife Betty, along with Arcadia City Council Member Sho Tay and his wife Sherry, City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto, City Clerk Gene Glasco, Arcadia Chamber President Andrew Gregson and Printing Control owner Jerry Dominguez felt for a moment like princely dignitaries as we were escorted down the walkway across the lush lawn to the entryway of the stately building at 2607 South Santa Anita Avenue in Arcadia. We were the guests of longtime catering service Santa Anita Gardens, which is based at 1200 South Santa Anita Avenue (contact Santa Anita Gardens at 626-444-3377 or e-mail:


Sandi McQuilkin

The celebatory and promotional ribbon-cutting and Business Mixer was showcasing the services of Santa Anita Gardens and one of their primary venues for hosting events, which is located behind the Arcadia Congregational Church.

Upon entering the building, we were part of an elegant yet festive setting that could have been created by The Great Gatsby, with AHS students as flappers dancing to the Charleston in the lovely wood-floored hall, and then led back outside through a garden patio to a chandeliered tent where fountains and beverages were flowing. More than 75 attendees, mostly Chamber members and Chamber Ambassadors, were laughing and enjoying mingling and networking amidst beautiful floral arrangements and elegant decor while enjoying a sumptuous buffet that included crab cakes, sushi, multiple pastas and much more, some of which was donated by nearby Albertson’s.

This is just one of the many types of atmosphere that Santa Anita Gardens has provided for decades for parties, weddings, and any occasion at this venue or at any location, including many events for the City of Arcadia and even at the Greek Theatre, where they have provided catering for the performers and the after-parties since 1999. Owners/operators Sandy McQuilkin and Grace Boyd were presented with certificates of thanks at the event on Thursday by The City of Arcadia, Andrew Gregson of the Chamber, and by Chamber President-elect Vicki Knight on behalf of Congresswoman Judy Chu.

Then it was back to the food and festivities, with Arcadia Historical Society President and City Clerk Gene Glasco spinning a wheel to determine and announce the winners of numerous donated prizes, including numerous prizes provided by host Sandy McQuilkin.

(To see a gallery of nearly 100 photos from the event, click here for Arcadia Chamber web site.)

— By Scott Hettrick

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