Chicano Park Day Posters: A Personal Reflection

Chicano Park at 50



II. 50 Years of Posters

Our many posters of Chicano Park celebrations are as important and significant to the history of Chicano Park as the beautiful murals that exist today. Just as these beautiful and sometimes controversial murals deliver messages, so too do the Chicano Park posters give us this sense of astonishment when interpreting the art chosen to represent the year in celebration. This year in 2020, we celebrate the 50 years of Chicano Park, meaning there have been 50 posters, with the latest addition by artist Patricia Aguayo. 50 years of posters to carry the Palabra (word) that this year is going to be the best year yet, and to announce the theme for the year, and the activities, guest musicians, and special highlights for the Danzantes—a very important part of the ceremony. Each year the process usually includes an agreement of a theme, artists then prepare their own individual concepts and then the committee votes on the chosen poster idea for that said year.

Every single poster is a treasure that is a sort of time capsule, when you see each individual poster from 1970 to the current ones, you can taste the flavor in the food brought by the vendors of traditional dishes, you can hear the music of many guitaristas and timbaleros of the times, and you can feel the vibrant energy of the raza that comes to pay homage year after year. On certain occasions we get to see what has been happening in the neighborhood and even the world. You can also see that we honor our community leaders that have passed on. In 1995 we honored the life of Laura Rodriguez in the poster done by Mario Torero. In the 2006 poster we honored Corky Gonzalez and Marco Anguino, two Chicano greats that we lost the previous year. In 2017 we honored Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez who passed in October of 2016. Chunky was an enormous contributor to the park; he was on the Steering Committee for many years, volunteered countless times in community events with Chicano Park, Centro Cultural de la Raza, Barrio Station and other organizations of San Diego, and dearly remembered for the beautiful song "Chicano Park Song."



Chicano Park 1995 Anniversary Poster Mario Torero, 25th Anniversary Chicano Park Day, 1995, offset lithograph
Chicano Park 2006 Anniversary Poster Sal Barajas, 36th Anniversary Chicano Park Day, 2006, digital print