Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Caesar Chavez Day through the eyes of Chico

Dear Caesar Chavez Day (Chico edition),

What do these Chico traditions all have in common?
1.       Pioneer Days
2.       Greek Week
3.       Halloween
4.       St. Patty’s Day
5.       Labor Day

If you answered “I can’t remember” it’s probably because you have partaking in one of the aforementioned events at some point and time in your life. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of calling Chico home or visiting our community these are all celebrations that the city along with the past Presidents and current of Chico State have either stopped or attempted to curb from happening over the last 27 years. From former Chico State President Robin Wilson proclaiming that he took Pioneer Days “Out back and shot it in the head” to current President Paul Zingg attempt to kill St. Patty’s Day by having Spring Break coincide with the celebration of all things green. With each effort to squash a celebration or tradition another emerges. Take away Pioneer Days which dates back to 1917 and it is replaced by Greek Week. Remove Labor Day and the party moves to Memorial Day. Attempt to control the residents and the revelry of Halloween or St. Patty’s day and they will find another holiday to make their own. This evolution has now brought us the new “It” holiday in Chico….Caesar Chavez Day! Yes, Chico State is not called the “Harvard of the West” because someone thought it would look good on a bumper sticker. The past and current student body are always progressing and staying one step ahead of the establishment. Take away our costumes and green beer and we will replace it with sombreros and bad tequila! The drive downtown on Sunday afternoon and again on Monday resembled something out of an ill-advised trip to Juarez for Spring Break. You know what though…I like it. Sidewalks and yards were dotted with revelers in their best interpretation of traditional Mexican attire which usually amounted to Chevy’s issued head wear, a blanket with a hole in it that passed as a poncho, a shot glass bandoleer and a fake stash that would make Tom Selleck proud. The only thing it lacked was the constant pestering of the purchase of some “chicla” and a zebra that looks suspiciously like a donkey. The only bad decisions that were being made were there consumption of Keystone Light and cheap tequila. The best part is that as much as Paul Zingg and campus groups like to point out the racism associated with the celebratory activities taking place on the holiday, white, black and brown all shared in this attire. You see, the Chico party spirit sees no colors, only fun. The essence of Chico, the locals and students who call it home is its ability to adapt to whatever it encounters. This town is what Robert Earl Keen was singing about when he dropped the words “The road goes on forever but the party never ends.” If they succeed in their attempt to kill Caesar Chavez Day I’m looking forward to what holiday is chosen next. My vote is for Boxer Day, now that is something I can get behind eh…..

PS. Happy hump day peeps on this first Wednesday in April and remember….If Canada wasn’t our hat we would have to comb our hair more often.

#caesarchavezday #chicostate #paulzingg #empireliving 

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