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Issue date: August 04, 2000

City Centennial Celebration planned for 2002 City Centennial Celebration planned for 2002 (August 04, 2000)

Year-long series of events being planned

Mountain View will enjoy its 100th birthday by hosting a year-long centennial celebration.

Robert Weaver, chairman of the Centennial Planning Committee, said the committee wants to hold events throughout 2002 to give the maximum number of people an opportunity to participate in one or more activities.

The planning committee is working with a long list of ideas. Suggestions presented at the city council's July 25 meeting included:

* Legacy Orchard Project and Picnic:

$65,000 to $80,000

* Street Dance/Block Party: $17,000 to $25,000

* Open House at City Hall, the library, and the Center for Performing Arts: $1,500 to $2,000

* Tours of Historic Buildings: $3,000 to $7,000

* Centennial Historical Demonstrations at Pioneer Park, which would depict everyday life in turn-of-the century Mountain View: $10,000 to $12,000

* Time capsule: $1,000 to $2,000.

Council members also offered various ideas.

Council member Mario Ambra suggested holding a dance, featuring music from the 1940s and '50s at the soon-to-be renovated Adobe Building on Moffett Boulevard. Vice-Mayor Nancy Noe loved the idea of having a large party, while Mayor Rosemary Stasek thought a $50,000 picnic would be ludicrous and had little enthusiasm for the proposed street party.

Council member Sally Lieber urged the committee to "recognize the different histories of the city's ethnic groups" in planning events. She also proposed bringing the Smithsonian Institution's "Los Americanos" exhibition to town. The show, which blends art and history to tell the story of People in the Americas, will be on tour around the country in 2002.

Council member Mary Lou Zoglin thought that establishing a historical orchard during the centennial would give the city something lasting to remember the celebration by.

On hearing Weaver's suggestion that Cuesta Park Annex be the site, Noe said an orchard could not be planted there because the city council voted last year not to touch that land until land-use policies for the Cuesta Drive/Grant Road area had been revisited. The review was not selected as a council priority for this working year, Noe said.

Council member Ralph Faravelli, president of the Mountain View Historical Association, announced that the association raised enough funds to hire an author to write the city's history. However, he said the association would probably require funding from the city to cover publication costs.

Even if Mountain View spends $128,000 on its centennial events, the total for the events on the current list, it would be a modest sum compared to Palo Alto's $675,000 centennial celebration from October 1993 to October 1994.

In contrast, in Los Gatos the city council opted to spend next to nothing on its 1987 centennial.

Although historical records dating back to the 18th century exist for the area, the centennial will focus on the history of Mountain View since its incorporation in 1902.

By then, the town, which had already been home to successive generations of Ohlones, Spanish and Mexican ranchers, and migrants from the eastern United States, was a farming and orchard community with a burgeoning set of related businesses including blacksmiths, merchants, and banks.

The Centennial Planning Committee will continue discussing potential plans, which will then be brought before the city council for final approval.


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