Pearl City Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary With Fun, Reflection, and Community Bonding
By Aaron Tefel
Pearl City, a historic neighborhood located in Boca Raton, held its Centennial Anniversary Event on June 20, 2015 to honor the community’s long history with family and friends alike from the local area.
The day- long event kicked off at 9:00 a.m. at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. From 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. there was a ceremony at the church to honor Pearl City’s pioneers and the corresponding families. During this hour-long ceremony, there was a proclamation by Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie. The church event was hosted by Reverend Henry Willis.
After the church proceedings, there was a walk from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., where event attendees walked through Pearl City and Lincoln Court to Hughes Park.
The next locale for the day’s celebration was held at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. It was here that attendees got a taste of history. With museum offerings/exhibits, people at the event were allowed to both see and hear Pearl City’s 100-year long journey through presentations by guest speakers, maps, and much more. This segment went from 10:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
The Centennial Anniversary concluded with a celebration at Hughes Park. Food and beverages were provided for guests, which included burgers and hot dogs. There was also free entertainment, music, and plenty of family activities for guests to partake in that made the day a truly fun-filled experience.
John E. Brown, a member of DISC (Developing Interracial Social Change), a group that helped to set up the event, talked about how he thought the day was a true success.
“I feel that this awesome event turned out really well,” Brown said. “It really brought together so many members from the Pearl City community and allowed us to come together as one to celebrate this great place we call home here in the Boca Raton area. That feeling of community closeness was felt all around on this day and we couldn’t have asked for more.”
Mitchell Smith, another fellow member of DISC and event organizer, reflected on the event and how he thought it turned out.
“I think the celebration was an overall success,” Smith said. “To have the descendants of the original pioneers with us to reminisce on some enjoyable and not so enjoyable past events was indeed remarkable. I would have liked to have seen more of the youth who are from the surrounding communities in attendance in an effort for them to learn more about their history.”
Pearl City was originally platted on May 30th, 1915 and was designated as a historic district by the Boca Raton City Council in 2002.