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T hewordfor150th anniversary is sesquicentennial and it's one that's been flying around the city of Watsonville since the beginning of the year. e city is marking its 150th anniversary with a slew of celebrations throughout the year, the first of which was a community birthday party. On March 30, the day the city became incorporated 1868, city officials threw a celebration for locals, inviting citizens and some of the most storied businesses. s. Martinelli & co, Gizdich Ranch and other companies came to hear the live music and participate in the festivities. Dozens of cupcakes were arranged to write "150." Part of coordinating the events mean working with others who share the same birthday. Deputy city Manager tamara Vides is working with Martinelli's and the Register-Pajaronian, both of which are celebrating their own sesquicentennial, to make sure there aren't any events that overlap. "What this is really doing is it's building community. it's giving the community a sense of pride. an opportunity to reminisce on the past and think about the things they enjoy in their hometown," Vides said. lined up for the rest of the year are: • May 12: Wine, beer and art walk in Downtown Watsonville • July 4: spirit of Watsonville parade and Fire in the sky • aug 4-5: strawberry Festival • Oct. 6-7: concert gala with a community music event e gala will feature singer andy Vargas, a Watsonville-native and lead singer for the rock band santana. looking back at the history and legacy, the city is taking pride in his history with immigrants and agriculture. it was a site for cesar chavez during a united Farm Workers march in 1985 and has played an integral part in california's agricultural business. "a little reflection of looking back and the milestones of what our community is today," Vides said. "a lot of it has to do with history and culture. Different ethnic groups migrating into our city. e labor that came through over the years." But the celebration also focuses on what's happening in the city now. e community has tried to stimulate economic growth by creating a more appealing downtown. Murals have gone up to create a more aesthetic vibe. Part of the celebration is the city gathering memories and moments from citizens to share. to share a Watsonville memory, visit www. watsonville150.org. O ne could say the family business was wired into sharon Jurach and Patty Kulich. ey're the fourth generation in their family to own and run central electric company in Watsonville. With 106 years of history and service under its belt, the business is one of the oldest in the city's history and has stayed within its founding family since the start. "it's a family-owned business and i think each generation passed down to the next generation the pride and ownership of the business," said Jurach, an owner and cFO at central. e company has a history that dates back to before World War i. it started with John stanovich and edith DuFour stanovich, who began the company with a ladder and a bicycle. eir storefront on Main street featured appliances and fixtures but electrical work then was limited. Over time, the business survived and grew. sometimes through unexpected paths. " ey did things like repair nestlé coffee machines to supplement income. During the war years, my mom and dad — steve and Joan DuFour — said it was difficult to get wiring. so they brought china (dishware) into central electric and sold china," Jurach said. e fine china segment of the business was eventually sold to a department store in 1968. e company has persevered over the years, becoming a respected name in the region. e electrical contracting company works with customers in santa cruz, Monterey, san Benito and santa clara counties. clients can come from agriculture, hospitals or cities, depending on the year. "each year will be a combination that's different from the prior year," Jurach said. Despite the variety, the region central electric covers is relatively small, she said. and the number of employees ranges from 25 to 45, depending on how many projects are going on at once. "it's a very hard market. We are a union shop and we compete against nonunion shops and sometimes we are not on the same playing field as they are," said Patty Kulich, an owner and cOO of the company. Kulich and Jurach credit tony Kulich, the president and ceO of the company, for the company's recent success. Kulich worked for Pacific Gas and electric company before his father-in-law, steve DuFour, approached him to come into the family business. tony Kulich brought a wealth of experience in agricultural, commercial and residential electrical work. But working in the family business is nothing to sniff at. Patty Kulich remembers her parents saying running a family business isn't easy. But building the success and history of the company is something of a point of pride for the family. "i think each generation felt it was important to them to continue the business. and now we have our fi h generation who is continuing the business," she said. sesq esqui uicentenni centennial al Photo contributed - city of Watsonville Photo contributed - central electric byCalvinMen by Calvin Men WatsonvilleCelebrates150Years! KeepingWatsonvilleConnected forMoreThanaCentury FRIDAY,APRIL20,2018 SANTACRUZSENTINEL.COM |COMMUNITY | 1 C

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