In just five decades, Rohnert Park has grown from a rural seed farm to a suburban city with a population of more than 42,000. As the community prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday, that succinct civic history is captured in a recently published photo book.
On Saturday, September 15th Rohnert Park will celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a Parade, Festival and Fireworks, a great event that combines the numerous Annivereeary activities with Rancho Cotate's Homecoming The parade will begin at Lawrence Jones Middle School at 10 a.m. traveling south down Snyder Lane and ending at Rancho Cotate High School.
The festival will be held at the Rohnert Park Community Center Complex at 5401 Snyder Lane beginning at 11:30 a.m. Here you will find a Show & Shine car show, craftors, kids games, food, beer, wine and a history display of the last 50 years, plus four live bands including Wonder Bread 5, and the Poyntlyss Sistars. Use these links to sign for the Lucky Legs contest, Tri-Cycle or Bed Races. The festivities will conclude at dusk with fireworks at the Cougar Stadium. See full schedule posted below.
Attorney Pete Golis was the driving force behind the creation of the City of Rohnert Park. His vision was for a residential community with eight neighborhoods, each with its own park, school and swimming pool, and that blueprint can still be seen in many parts of present day Rohnert Park. But after the municipality was incorporated in 1962, reports Tim Danisi, President of the Rohnert Park Historical Society, Golis' influence waned.
Even before Rohnert Park became a city, it was traversed by the railroad, even though there was never a station there. Still, Danisi says, Golis envisioned the trains being a significant presence in his town.
One other notable institution in Rohnert Park is the region's only public television and radio station. Yes, that would be KRCB. But Danisi notes it was largely through some astute negations with the city that the stations secured their home here.