In 2013, Pleasant Hill adopted the tagline "Pleasant Hill -- At the Center of Everything."

Some might think this a boastful pronouncement and a bit jingoistic, but it is a fairly accurate description of our fair city of nearly 33,000. Pleasant Hill is virtually the geographic center of Contra Costa County.

Beyond our central location, "at the center" also recognizes we are surrounded by our good and immediate neighbors in Concord, Lafayette, Martinez and Walnut Creek, and a little bit of unincorporated County to boot.

People are drawn to our central location for many reasons, not the least of which is our renowned community and cultural events. A benefit of being mayor is I get invited to all of them! Here's a sampling of some of our upcoming events which reflects our diverse and vibrant community.

Crab feeds

I have often thought that cracking a crab was a lot of work for little reward. I don't feel that way at all however, when sharing the chore with friends.

This is the season for crab feeds, and we have plenty of communal opportunities to roll up our sleeves, put on our bibs and get cracking.

First up is the annual Senior Center Crab Feed on Jan. 24.

Tickets may be purchased at the Senior Center or by calling 925-798-8788 for more details about the event.

The Pleasant Hill Lions Club has been holding its crab feed for 40 years and it's one of the best in town.

Join them Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Senior Center for a grand evening of food, raffles, silent auction, music and dancing. For tickets, call Don Flaskerud at 925-676-5859 or contact any Lions Club member.

The same evening, Feb. 8, the Special Olympics Torch Run Crab Feed takes place at St. Andrews Church at 1601 Mary Drive.

This annual fundraiser is hosted by the Pleasant Hill Police Officers Association and is a benefit for the East Bay athletes of the Special Olympics.

For tickets, go to www.crabfeedeastbay.com.

Other upcoming crab feeds at the Senior Center are the College Park Athletic Boosters feed on Feb. 1, and the Mt. Diablo Adult Day Center feed on Feb 22.

Call the Senior Center at 925-798-8788.

Pleasant Hill Library

We can always count on the library to expand our minds and challenge our perspectives.

Beginning Jan. 14, and continuing Feb. 11 and March 4, the library is hosting a discussion series on Islamic history led by the nationally acclaimed scholar Dr. Hatem Bazian.

The events begin at 6 p.m. at the Senior Center. I commend to you to participate in this exploration of the connected histories of Islam and The West.

Community Center grand opening

The long-anticipated unveiling of our new Community Center is finally here with a grand opening celebration from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, and everyone is invited.

This new facility will be a major regional attraction for people and events.

Pleasant Hill is incredibly lucky to have a dynamic Recreation and Park District and I congratulate its board and staff on a job well done in bringing this new venue to Pleasant Hill.

Mayor's Breakfast

The Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual Mayor's Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in the Château Room at the Senior Center.

Tickets are available by calling the chamber offices at 925-687-0700 or going online at www.pleasant-hill.net/mayortickets. Spoiler Alert: Guess who the featured speaker is!

Common Core Night

On a slightly more serious note, the Pleasant Hill Education Commission is jointly hosting a Common Core Night at the Pleasant Hill Library from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Parents can find out what Common Core really looks like in the classroom and get answers from educators.

Teachers will be sharing mini-lessons in language arts, math, science and social studies.

Come Together Benefit Concert

The fourth annual Come Together Concert is on Friday, Feb. 7, at the new Community Center, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Organized by my pal, Paul Cotruvo, the event benefits teen music programs in Pleasant Hill with all performers donating their time and talent. Tickets are only $20 and are available at the Recreation and Park District office.

Annual Community Awards Night

Last, but definitely not least, the 43rd annual Community Awards Night will be held at the Community Center on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

This event recognizes those citizens, teachers, teens, employees, businesses and organizations who have contributed to making our community a better place for all of us to live, work and play.

I encourage you to nominate those people or businesses which you believe stand out above the rest.

Take note that all nominations must be submitted by Jan. 27.

For more details, contact Martin Nelis at mnelis@ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us or go to www.pleasant-hill.net/awards.

I look forward to seeing you at any one or all of these events.

Timothy M. Flaherty is the mayor of Pleasant Hill. Contact him at tflaherty@ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us.