Zipcode Day: Holiday Gone Postal

Claremont is known as the town of trees, PHD’s, and now…Mr. Zip!  This coming Saturday, September 17th, the city of Claremont will celebrate Zipcode Day, a celebration of the date (9.17.11) that coincides with the city’s beloved zip code. Sonja Stump, the driving force behind the organization and event as well as a local community organizer, says she first got the idea when Beverly Hills had their own 90210 festivities.  Of course, at the 90210 blowout, entrance cost $100 a head and the mayor raised over $300,000.  While not everyone has the operating budget of the ASCMC, Stump claimed she wanted to “make it something anyone could participate in.”

She certainly accomplished her vision of the holiday.  The idea began to take form at a committee meeting in May that Stump claims was “low key and simple.”  While Zipcode Day events themselves may be low key, 9.17.11 is bound to be far from simple as an estimated 5,000 people will swarm the Village and surrounding Claremont.  Among dozens of events, Zipcode Day offers a comedy club performance by comedians from the 909 area code (and one Claremonter!), Geocaching (a “real-world outdoor treasure hunting game” that includes using GPS and the internet to locate hidden treats), a vintage car exhibit, concerts, art shows, and even a 9.17.11 T-shirt that (never fear CMCers) can likely be turned into a muscle tank with the help of a pair of scissors.  The mayor of Claremont, Sam Pedroza, asserts that among other gems, the community picture at the Claremont Depot will be “an historic event.” “I may even sneak into the shot myself,” said Mayor Pedroza.

Since the inception of this holiday gone postal, Sonja Stump has been putting in at least 150 hours walking around to local businesses and recruiting participants.  She has scrounged up special offers, or “ZIPpy Treats” from quite a few local eateries and shops including special “flavors of the day” and barbeques hosted at two separate local business locations.  Claremont’s postmaster will even offer a commemorative postmark from 9 AM to 1 PM with the US Postal Service’s trademark “Mr. Zip” character.  The list of events and activities stretches on and on.  Stump said that her favorite event will be the Claremont “Love-In,” an event which she offered might be too “back in the day” for us college kids to recall. The “Love In,” says Stump, will be “a hippie-fest with music, art, weaving, henna, fair-trade products, [and a] focus on sustainability.”

There are a few events targeted at 5C college students especially.  From 4-6 at City Hall there will be a Welcome Students Party that offers maps and a list of 35-40 businesses giving away free stuff.  Stump says it’s “like a scavenger hunt or trick-or-treat” to get familiar with village businesses. Students who have made the trip once, she says, often return each succeeding year to stock up on free goodies.

Most importantly, this impromptu celebration is the perfect time to exhibit obscene and over-the-top levels of pride for Claremont.  Mayor Pedroza says it’s all about the community on this special day and claims “I always felt that if you pluck Claremont residents and place them in any town in the U.S.A., that town would be as special as Claremont.”  Stump agrees that on top of all the booths, tours, comedy shows, and “music all over the village” what’s most important is to “love your community, love your earth.”

This historic celebration of community pride will only come around once a century, by which time even stragglers and 4+1 majors will have long since graduated, so make the time to head down to the village and experience the holiday for yourself.  Mayor Pedroza adds that, “This will certainly be our best Zipcode day of the century, but knowing Claremonters, our organizers will make this the best Zipcode day of any zip code.” So before you don your Greek garb or togas, make sure to head down to the village for a once in a lifetime Claremont pride fest based on those five numbers that bring your Netflix, care packages, and online shopping products to you in a timely manner.



Some of the events on Zipcode Day:

  • Pancake Breakfast 7AM -12noon
  • Claremont Memorabilia Exhibit 9AM-1PM
  • Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden 8AM-5PM
  • Claremont Colleges Walking Tour 9:30AM-12noon
  • “Ice” Skating 10AM-6PM
  • 91711 Geocaching
  • Bike Station Open House 11AM-3PM
  • Vintage Car Show 11AM-4PM
  • Love-In 12noon-4PM
  • Art Festival for Kids 12noon-4PM
  • McCrevasse Bros Concert 12noon-2PM
  • Historical Walking Tour of Claremont Village 1PM-2:15PM
  • The Uncalled For Concert 2PM-4PM
  • The Village Rocks the Claremont Colleges 4PM-6PM
  • Claremont High School Concert 4:45PM-5:30PM
  • Community Photo 5:30PM
  • Flappers Comedy Club 10PM

And many more!  Visit for locations and more information.