Saturday, June 13, 2015

Paso Robles and Paderewski

Statue of Paderewski In Paso Robles City Park, © B. Radisavljevic
One of the most famous of Paso Robles' repeat visitors was Ignacy Jan Paderewski. His birth and background were Polish, but Paso Robles was his American "home." He first visited Paso Robles, then known for its healing hot springs, in 1914, to try to relieve his arthritis pain. He often stayed at the Paso Robles Inn, and even bought land here. He had two  ranches on which he had almond orchards and vineyards, and he had hoped to retire here.

Every year Paso Robles honors Paderewski with the Paderewski Festival, a musical festival which features both internationally famous pianists and promising young pianists from the Central Coast. The wineries also join in the fun, and there are many other activities. The festival lasted four days in November, 2014. It began on November 6, which was Paderewski's birthday.

Plaque on Base  of Paderewski In Paso Robles City Park, © B. Radisavljevic
To honor its most famous visitor and part-time resident, the Paderewski Festival Board of Directors raised the money  to erect this 790-pound bronze statue, created by artist Jessie Corsaut. The statue is situated near the entrance of the historic Carnegie Library in the center of City Park downtown. It was dedicated on November 10, 2012. This photo shows a close-up of the plaque at the base of the statue. You can click on the photos to enlarge them so that you can read the print.