For many Bay Area residents, the annual Celebration Weekend at Sunset magazine is about gathering up family and sampling all that is new in food, travel, and home design. For Sunset employee Andres Pech, that’s also the case. But there’s a twist.
What makes Celebration Weekend somewhat unique is that it’s almost entirely staffed by Sunset employees — and their family and friends — rather than outside help. Since joining the company in 2000, that means a growing clan of fellow workers for Andres, who has become the manager of the perennial favorite Weekend attraction, the Hands On Garden Paint-a-Pot booth.
“I’m the oldest of three brothers and four sisters and almost all have participated at one time or another,” said Andres. “My Mom also participates. Now we’re dipping into the next generation. It’s a family reunion every year — the one time when we all get together.” (pictured is brother Edwin).
Andres is almost an entirely homegrown Sunset employee. He grew up mostly in Menlo and graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School just down the road. He attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before graduating from the University of San Francisco. During his college years, he was an intern at Sunset. That led to a permanent job; he’s now Sunset’s tech manager.
Managing the Paint-a-Pot both is not trivial. It’s popularity means that it’s Andres’ responsibility to keep people on task, so that the next group can take their turn. Attendees can get a free timed ticket rather than waiting in line to paint their pot.
“People arrive with their own templates and tape,” said Andres. “They come up to me and say, ‘I remember you from last year.’ They love coming to the event and taking home a new pot every year.”
At Celebration Weekend this year, scheduled for June 4-5 on the Sunset campus on 80 Willow Road in Menlo Park, Andres will have a record-breaking number of family and friends participating — 17, up from 13 last year. “There’s nothing else that brings my family together like this weekend!” he said.