SALINAS — The town that once labeled homegrown author John Steinbeck a “no-good” is hosting dinners and parties in his honor to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday.
Residents and tourists alike were to gather in Salinas and neighboring Monterey on Wednesday to mark the occasion and celebrate the enduring popularity of Steinbeck’s stories.
“So many people worldwide form a vision of California through Steinbeck’s writings,” said Amanda Holder, director of marketing for the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. “They come to look at the places he wrote about and they’ve seen themselves in the characters.”
Wednesday’s celebrations begin with city leaders, schoolchildren and Steinbeck’s son, Thom, singing happy birthday at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas.
Later in the evening, the Steinbeck House — a restaurant housed in the roomy, two-story Victorian house where Steinbeck was born and raised — is hosting a $100-per-plate birthday dinner, followed by music and festivities on Monterey’s Cannery Row.