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Creating a legacy for tomorrow by cherishing our past and
connecting with our present

Crowning event anticipated

by Wes Bowers, Fremont Bulletin Staff
Fremont Bulletin
June 10, 2006

There are just 90 days left before Fremont's much-anticipated birthday party at Central Park. The group putting it on is still in need of volunteers.

Celebrate Fremont, the community-run organization heading up all of the city's 50th anniversary events, held a community update meeting at The Saddle Rack Monday to inform the public where "Celebrate Fremont @ the Park" stands.

"Celebrate Fremont @ the Park" is expected to be the group's crowning achievement for celebrating Fremont's 50th birthday.

"The good news is we're beyond coming up with ideas and concepts, and we are now in the process of implementation," event chairperson Anu Natarajan said Monday night. "We certainly want to make this event memorable, but we also want to meet people's expectations. We don't want to over-promise and under-deliver."

Natarajan said the birthday bash with be divided into three sections around Lake Elizabeth at Central Park: "Yesterday," "Today" and "Tomorrow."

There will be nine stages across the entire area, with more than six of the stages featuring local bands and entertainers, she said.

When visitors visit the "Yesterday" section of the park, they can watch every sport that has ever been played in Fremont, and see local celebrity and former Oakland Athletics pitcher Dennis Eckersley play.

Additionally, Celebrate Fremont's own Heritage Team will present oral histories of the city, show silent films and display classic cars.

A pathway from "Yesterday" to "Today" will feature several artist booths providing henna tattoos and face painting.

The "Tomorrow" section of the park will feature Fremont Unified School District's winners of Celebrate Fremont's writing contest, where students were asked to write what they thought Fremont meant to them.

Food for the event will feature tasters choice booths of several local restaurants, and for the adult visitors, a beer garden will be available for refreshments.

The event, which kicks off Sept. 9, will feature an opening ceremony of all five Fremont high school marching bands. Saturday will conclude with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra performing to a laser light show, along with Yoko's Dancers.

The event will carry over to Sept. 10, which will conclude with a ceremonial "passing of the torch" to Fremont's future.

"We wanted to make sure this event was something that was planned by the community," Natarajan said. "We have had several teams of volunteers that have spent the last 18 months putting this event together, but there's still lots more to do."

Natarajan said Celebrate Fremont is still looking for volunteers to fulfill about 1,000 more hours helping.

She added that high school students can use the volunteer hours to fulfill credits.

Vice Chairperson Suzanne Chan made a presentation assembled by Doug Tinney that reviewed other celebrations that have occurred since January.

These included the Gala Fundraiser on Jan. 20 as well as its follow up Going Gold Open House on Jan. 23 at Central Park.

Also featured have been Heritage Bus Tours, which take place every month in Niles and visit a different district of Fremont, and the Golden Spike III event in Niles.

Events still to happen this year include the Fourth of July Parade and Fremont Day at the A's on Aug. 16.

Today, Celebrate Fremont and the Fremont Freewheelers Bicycle Club are putting on the Celebrate Fremont Criterium.

The Criterium is a 0.8-mile five corner, L-shaped circuit that will feature 10-bicycle racing events along Liberty Street, Walnut Avenue, California Street and Beacon Avenue, beginning at 8 a.m.

And, after all that, there's still the Sept. 9 birthday party at Central park to think about.

"It's been over 18 months that a group of community leaders brought to our attention that Fremont was celebrating a milestone," Chan said. "Through these community meetings people have come up with some great ideas of how we're going to celebrate."

For more information about upcoming anniversary events, visit

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