Hannah Stuercke (left) and Jennifer Hargrove put the finishing touches on a new water tank mural at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds in King City on June 19. (Photo by Sean Roney)

KING CITY — Beautification Week, a 28-year tradition in King City, has kicked off this week in a much different format, though residents are still being asked to do one thing to improve the appearance of their property.

Gone this year are the group events, with a kickoff barbecue typically held to get the week rolling, as well as community awards and a trash pickup. These cancellations are due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“They didn’t want people getting out and doing things that aren’t a good idea,” said Karen Jernigan, chairperson for Beautification Week, regarding the health reasons for canceling the trash pickup.

Normally the pickup involves leaving extra dumpsters in the King City High School parking lot for people to place excess trash.

“They will reschedule that when they feel it is safe for their employees,” Jernigan said about the likely delay rather than full cancellation of the trash pickup.

As residents and businesses continue to work on improving the town’s appearance during Beautification Week, which lasts through Sunday, June 28, one such beautification project was recently completed at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds.

Local artists Hannah Stuercke and Jennifer Hargrove have put the finishing touches on a new mural at the fairgrounds in King City. The water tank artwork features a barrel racer on one side and on the other sides, FFA and 4-H members along with fair animals.

The project took seven days to paint, and leading up to the painting the artists reviewed historic photos from the fair to decide on the imagery.

Jernigan said June has usually been a good time to focus on cleanup efforts, but the Covid-caused hitches in planning should inspire cleaning anytime.

“Beautification is something we need to be thinking about year-round,” Jernigan said. “It doesn’t have to happen in June. It can happen anytime people think they can make things look better.”

For more about Beautification Week, read Jernigan’s guest column here or in the June 24 issue.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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