A lot of people say that Chico may be too small for its own good. That nothing big ever happens here. Most importantly, there doesn’t seem to be any opportunity here. This started to scare me, because I really love this town. I am really hoping I can stay here after graduation and become a part of the community as a member, not a student.
This got me thinking as I was working this week: We are a public relations firm. In other words, it is our job as an agency to relate to the public. Further than that, it is our responsibility to know the community we work for. So here is what I considered:
Chico is not that small. We have almost 100,000 people living here. This means Chico is the 14th largest metropolitan area in California. Chico is small, but not tiny.
As far as “nothing big ever happens here,” well, Snoop Dog came to town recently. Not huge, but big. We might not have a huge convention center where major artists come to perform, or a national football team to cheer on or even a major highway. But here is what we do have:
- At least three farmers’ markets every week. These include live entertainment, amazing food and a great time for anyone who goes.
- Music. There is tons of music. For example, the Harlem Gospel Choir is coming to town, the North State Symphony has concerts at least every month and you can always attend dueling pianos at 33 Steaks, Booze and Jazz.
- There are always community events going on. The Home and Garden Show hits the streets in March, Frugal House brings the community together in June and everyone looks forward to Artoberfest in the fall.
- Go see a show. Between the Chico Cabaret, Chico Theater Company, performances by Chico State and everything else you can find between Oroville and Paradise, there is always a show to see.
- Downtown. Chico’s downtown, in my opinion, gives San Luis Obispo and Davis a run for their money. Great food, great shopping, great coffee and you will probably always find some new art lining the walls along the sidewalk.
- Bidwell Park is one of the best municipal parks in California. It’s massive, and has a lot to offer, especially in nice weather.
- Here is my humorous one: One-way streets. They not only keep you on your toes, but it’s always fun to watch someone go the wrong way.
My point is, as upcoming PR professionals, it’s our job to know about these things and how to use them to our advantage, even if it means selling ourselves to employers. We know how to use the community to our advantage, and to the advantage of other businesses. As an agency, we are the last ones to say, “There is nothing to do in Chico.”
I see lots of opportunity here. If 100,000 other people can find job and be happy here, so can I.