Enumclaw has big plans for 100th birthday celebration

And beginning on the city's actual birthday, Jan. 27, the city plans on kicking off a year's worth of events with a dinner themed "An Evening of Stories."

Mayor Liz Reynolds reads the city's official incorporation document

It’s not everyday you turn 100 and the city of Enumclaw is getting ready to celebrate.

January 27 marks the official centennial of the city’s incorporation and Mayor Liz Reynolds is planning a party in its honor.

“I’m so excited about this,” she said. “It’s a year of stories.”

Reynolds said she noticed the date on the city’s official incorporation document, which hangs in the city administrator’s office in City Hall, and gathered a group together to find a way to commemorate the historic event.

“The whole premise was to acknowledge the rich history and then a blessing for the future,” she said.

A small group of civic leaders and officials met to talk about what could be done, eventually settling on the theme of commemorating the past, celebrating the present and creating the future.

And beginning on the city’s actual birthday, Jan. 27, Reynolds plans on kicking off a year’s worth of events to do just that with a dinner themed “An Evening of Stories.”

Reynolds said when they thought about what it meant to for the city to reach 100 years, they came to the conclusion that “centennials are about stories,” something they are hoping to recreate in a community dinner.

“Families would gather around the dinner table and tell stories,” she said, adding, “There are gazillions of stories to be told in this community.”

The city is still looking for volunteers to staff the dinner.

The second big event of the year will be on July 4, with a large stars and stripes themed event that is still being planned.

In November of 2013, the traditional Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving prayer meeting will tack place at the fieldhouse and be open to the public. The idea is to celebrate 100 years of faith by bringing together all of the community’s religious leaders in a single event.

Finally, the centennial Legacy Project will operate throughout the year and is deigned to put all of the elements together to celebrate the past and present while providing a link for the future, in the form of celebrating the city’s buildings.

When she was elected, Reynolds moved the mayor’s office from where it was in city hall to one where she could look out a window at some of the city’s historical buildings. Inspired by her view, Reynolds is working to put together a collection of stories about various buildings in town. The buildings will receive some sort of plaque or place a QR code – the square UPC-like symbols that can be snapped with a smart phone and lead to a website – in the window that walkers can click and then access to hear about the buildings and events that took place in them.

“If these buildings could talk, what stories would they tell?” Reynolds asked. “That’s our legacy project.”

With that in mind, Reynolds said the city is always on the lookout for folks who have interesting stories about buildings in the city. She is hoping residents will call and share their tales.

“So the stories continue, even after we’re gone,” she explained.

Much about the year’s events are still being planned and anyone interested in getting involved with the centennial celebration or volunteering for any of the events should contact the city clerk’s office at mshirey@ci.enumclaw.wa.us.

The Courier-Herald is also a sponsor of the centennial events.

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