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Party plans underway for centennial celebration

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SNOQUALMIE - Whether you travel by road, rail or river, plan to be at the biggest birthday bash of the year - all year. The city of Snoqualmie turns 100 on May 18, 2003, and there will be a variety of events to commemorate the day it was incorporated.

"We're hoping that everyone in the area will want to get involved," said Connie Schuerer of the Centennial Planning Committee. "We won't be here for the next one, so we want everyone to come out for this one."

This is the second time the city has marked a 100-year milestone. In 1989, Snoqualmie celebrated the anniversary of when the city was platted. The observance was held in conjunction with Snoqualmie Days and included entertainment by Harley Brumbaugh, a community photograph and a vintage costume contest, said longtime resident Gloria McNeely.

Next year's party of the century will be launched in four phases - one activity per quarter. The festivities begin with Snoqualmie's youngest residents using their creative artistry to commemorate the event.

Snoqualmie Elementary School students are invited to draw their favorite Snoqualmie landmark. The winning picture will be featured on the city's birthday cake at a community-wide picnic in May. Middle- and high-school students will combine reading, researching and writing skills to create an essay titled "How I traveled to Snoqualmie in 1903." Committee members will be visiting the schools to provide more information about the contests and volunteers are needed to choose the winning creations.

Just as the weather warms up there will be a centennial picnic on May 17 and 18. Food, games, entertainment and more are planned for the weekend. Then a horse-drawn carriage will escort 10 Snoqualmie residents to the Salish Lodge and Spa to spend the night at the hotel. The criterion to be chosen as an honored guest is simple - whomever has lived in Snoqualmie the longest, wins. Contest information will be published in the Valley Record early next year.

"We were just trying to pull 1903 and commemorate it one way or another," said Schuerer, who is also the regional sales manager for the Salish. "In talking to the committee, it seemed like a good way to search out and have a prize to give to the people who've been here the longest."

Sometime during the summer months the committee wants to host a barbecue cook-off to find the best griller in the Valley. Organizers are evaluating how much fanfare their $10,000 budget and money from fund raising and sponsorship can buy, so they're still discussing the feasibility of a cook-off. The committee will be selling personalized bricks for the kiosk area near the gazebo in downtown Snoqualmie. Proceeds will be used for the centennial celebration; however, brick prices have not been finalized.

The final event will be the Snoqualmie Centennial Mother-Daughter Tea at the Salish Lodge. Motivational speaker Suze Rutherford will be at the dessert and tea party, which is scheduled for Nov. 7 from 2-4 p.m. Cost will be $19.03 per person.

"We're going to try to make it fun," said Debra Whalawitsa, a member of the Centennial Planning Committee. "This is a time to come together, the whole city - old and new - to celebrate this great event."

"Being a city that's 100 years old doesn't come very often," she added.

For more information about the event or on how to volunteer, contact the Centennial Planning Committee at (425) 888-1555.

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