The annual downtown Hollister Street Festival and Car Show, pictured in 2021, will return this summer with a theme in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the City of Hollister. File photo

A host of local agencies, organizations, groups and individuals are working together to put on a grand celebration of the City of Hollister’s 150th anniversary.

Among them is Diego Villalpando, a junior at San Benito High School, who has offered to create a public time capsule to mark the special occasion—and to help prolong present-day Hollister’s legacy well beyond its sesquicentennial.

Villalpando, a Boy Scout with Troop 455, is leading the time capsule project to fulfill his public service requirement to earn his Eagle badge—the highest achievement in scouting. In an effort to raise awareness, gain input and, perhaps, acquire some funds for the estimated $4,400 time capsule, Villalpando presented his plans to the Hollister City Council April 18.

“My Eagle project would be my time capsule for the City of Hollister to celebrate 150 years,” Villalpando said.

The installation would be placed above ground at the Veterans Memorial Building public plaza, Villalpando explained. It would consist of a five-inch thick reinforced concrete podium next to the plaza’s flagpole, with a bronze plaque atop the podium. The plaque would include an inscription explaining the piece and recognizing Hollister on its 150th anniversary.

Villalpando said his fellow troop members would help in the design, construction and installation of the time capsule. Members of a local Girl Scouts troop will decide what “mementos” would go inside.

When asked by the council what kinds of items would go inside the time capsule, Villalpando said that is yet to be determined, and joked, “You’ll find out in about 50 years.” The items would be placed inside the capsule’s podium. 

The council didn’t commit any funds to the time capsule at the April 18 meeting, but expressed their enthusiastic support. Council members directed city staff to devote technical support to the project from the engineering department.

To fund the project, Villalpando said he will be seeking monetary aid from the Hollister 150 Committee, which was created about a year ago to plan for this year’s commemoration festivities. He added, if he needs to do any fundraising activities, he will consider an effort to sell engraved name plates that would be part of the time capsule installation.

Local Boy Scout Diego Villlalpando presented this rendering of what his 150th anniversary time capsule project might look like in the Veterans Memorial Building plaza in downtown Hollister.

Summer celebrations

The Hollister 150 Committee was created several months ago to plan for this year’s anniversary. It is composed of members from a variety of public agencies and organizations.

Committee Chair Omar Rosa—also the CEO of the Hollister Downtown Association—noted that this summer’s full schedule of celebratory events has been crafted with input and assistance from numerous groups: city staff, San Benito County officials, the San Benito County Historical Society, Youth Alliance, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, 4-H, Friends of the Library, Arts Council and the Veterans Memorial Building, among others.

Tina Garza, of the city’s parks and recreation department, has been an influential member of the Hollister 150 group, Rosa noted.

On tap is a nearly two-month bash with events scattered over several dates this summer, starting with the June 18 Saddle Horse Show Parade and culminating with a Ferris wheel and other carnival attractions in downtown Hollister in August.

Rosa said the full schedule includes:

– June 18 Saddle Horse Show Parade. Although this show and parade is an annual event in Hollister, Rosa said this year it includes a tribute to the city’s sesquicentennial as the “official preview” of the celebration.

– July 4 will see a variety of events throughout the day and night in Hollister, starting with a “Kiddie Parade” and leading to a fireworks show at night.

– July 9 Downtown Dance Party with live musical performances, arts and crafts, vendors, paint parties, dance instruction, youth activities and more, Rosa said.

– July 16 will be the Downtown Association’s annual Street Festival and Car Show, also with vendors, music and family-friendly activities. Organizers are expecting nearly 300 classic cars to be registered for this year’s show, which will feature “Hollister 150 branding all over the place,” Rosa said.

– July 23 will be another day full of activities, starting with the Family Fun Run in the morning. In the afternoon at Dunne Park, local scout groups and the city’s parks and rec department will host activities. A disc golf tournament and a kite-making workshop are on tap at Vista Hill Park, Rosa added.

– July 30 is a “Beautification Day” for Hollister. Residents are encouraged to join groups of volunteers to help clean up trash in downtown Hollister, or in their own neighborhoods.

“We’re encouraging everybody to get outside and pick up (trash) and make the entire city as beautiful as we can make it,” Rosa said.

– Aug. 6 is the grand “anniversary event” taking place all day in downtown Hollister. Events start with a parade with a “Travel Through Time” theme, and continue with a dedication of the time capsule, unveiling of an anniversary mural and comments from local dignitaries.

A Ferris wheel and other carnival games, vendors and fun activities will join the celebration well into the evening, Rosa said. A ticketed dinner with limited seating will take place at the Veterans Memorial Building.

The Hollister 150 Committee plans to meet every other Friday until the events begin, with the next meeting scheduled for April 29 at the Veterans Memorial Building, Rosa said. The committee is still seeking sponsorships for the events.

For more information and to learn more about Hollister’s 150th anniversary, visit the committee’s website at

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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