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Celebration to remember colorful Auburn resident ‘Gilbert’

By: Journal Staff Report
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A celebration to remember colorful, bike-riding octogenarian Gilbert Ortega will be held Tuesday evening at Auburn’s Central Square. Ortega – known to many simply as Gilbert – died Sept. 2 at age 82. A small committee including representatives from Old Town, Downtown and Gilbert’s family has organized a celebration starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20 at the corners of High Street, Lincoln Way and Lewis Street in Downtown Auburn. Ortega was known for his creative clothing choices, shiny bicycle decorated with streamers and pinwheels, and a friendly, uplifting spirit. “It’s going to be a really fun event,” said Old Town business owner Linda Robinson. “Gilbert would love it. It won’t be a sad occasion. It will be happy.” Participants are invited to ride their bicycles to the celebration and bring their bike horns. The event will include a chance to share memories of Gilbert. – Gus Thomson