April 11

Sacramento Fun Guide – 1960s

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My mom found this Sacramento “Fun Guide” from the 1960s in between the pages of a library book…which is really where all the best things are found. She passed it on to me on account of that whole “I’m the Director of Tourism” thing.

Flipping through the ol’ Fun Guide provided a great opportunity for me to reflect on how Sacramento has changed, how it’s stayed the same and – mostly – to think about all the icky germs from the 1960s that I’d spend the next 2-3 hours trying to wash off my hands.

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My initial reaction was the obvious one: Today’s marketing is seriously lacking in cartoons. I love this guy:

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Just leanin’ on a table not caring about a darn thing.

This was an awkward-phase in Sacramento’s history. You can see that it mentions Old Sacramento as “now being reconstructed.” My best guess is that this was produced in the early 1960s…which means that Old Sacramento was just a bunch of falling-apart old buildings and not the cleaned-up historic district it is today. This was around the time the Sacramento portion of I-5 was being completed …which as controversial as its placement was, did actually act as a catalyst to save Old Sac. Which, for the record, I’m totally ok with calling “Old Sac” forever no matter how many giggles it draws. Gigglin’ ain’t bad,

With the current push of “Farm to Fork” it is noticeable that “excellent restaurants” get a quick mention while hunting gets a whole designated section.

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We almost never talk with potential visitors about hunting as a draw to the area. I’ve worked for Visit Sacramento for 12 years and, embarrassingly, I don’t even know how many ducks you’re allowed to bag in a day. It’s probably like 80 to 100 ducks though. Maybe like 200. Or more. I’m assuming ducks are super-easy to shoot.

Anyhow the main reason I don’t hunt is that I have awful aim, zero patience and I’d cry the whole time because I’m a big baby. Plus, I hate it when dogs snicker at me.

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However, we have sent many tourists trap shooting, so maybe we’re missing the boat on this angle.

Speaking of boats, sign me up for this:

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Fun on the water is definitely still a part of what we do here in Sacramento. So that’s nice. The rivers are still full of kayakers, rafters, water-skiers and sun-burned party animals of all kinds and I doubt that will change any time soon. The “Fun Guide” also mentions fishing, which is still a big thing too.

Most of what the Fun Guide touts still stands up today.

Our history certainly isn’t going anywhere. If you want to pan for gold or hear about all the ghosts and legends of the Gold Rush, we can still hook you up with that.

World-class skiing is definitely nearby. So that’s still true.

And the only flaw in the claim that we have “359 golfing days a year” is that I actually golfed 360 days last year.

So maybe not too much has changed.

Right now, the main things missing from the Fun Guide that I talk about regularly are the Railroad Museum, farms and our 50,000 (approx.) craft breweries.

I mean, look at the Fun Guide’s description of Sacramento:

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Now look at this description from the the Fun Guide’s modern equivalent, the VisitSacramento.com homepage:


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Both mention dining, history and location. Plus “California’s first city” and “California beings here” are both heading down the same road. So even though it’s been 50 years, the things we love about Sacramento are still the same.

Long story short is that I’m just going to plagiarize the Fun Guide for all future marketing materials.

 

 

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