Sarnia plans to start centennial year with a bang

Members of the 1st Hussars help Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley unfurl the centennial flag. Today is the city's 99th birthday and a year-long celebration is being planned for next years' 100th celebration

Members of the 1st Hussars help Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley unfurl the centennial flag. Today is the city’s 99th birthday and a year-long celebration is being planned for next years’ 100th celebration

Organizers plan to start Sarnia’s 100th birthday with a party people won’t soon forget.

The city, which was founded 99 years ago today, is planning a massive Centennial Celebration and one-year out organizers are revealing some of the plans for the year-long event.

“We’re going to start off the year with a bang, literally,” says Michelle Smith, one of the people in charge of special events for the Centennial Committee announcing a New Years’ Eve celebration to ring in Sarnia’s 100th year. “Streets (in the downtown) will be cordoned off, there will be a large stage (with music), buskers, we will be encouraging business to stay open and decorate for the occasion. And there will be a large ball drop.”

Smith says local engineers and students at Alexander Mackenzie Secondary School will design and build the Times Square-esque ball to drop at midnight. “Then there will be fireworks to start our party year.” The New Years’ celebration will also feature a kids’ event in the afternoon.

Smith says other organizations with long-standing events throughout will also feature the Centennial theme including Kids Funfest. There will also be an airshow in June.

Students from Lansdowne Public School joined the celebration of Sarnia's 99th birthday at City Hall Tuesday. The group sang Is Someone Singing, a song written by Chris Hadfield and sung during Music Monday

Students from Lansdowne Public School joined the celebration of Sarnia’s 99th birthday at City Hall Tuesday. The group sang Is Someone Singing, a song written by Chris Hadfield and sung during Music Monday

But Smith says perhaps the biggest event will be “The Gathering” at the end of June. Anyone who graduated at any of the Sarnia high schools is invited to come to the RBC Center for a massive school reunion. Smith hopes people who have left town will return for the event to catch up with old friends and look at some of the historic displays about the high schools.

The committee is working to attract “good hometown, big name” talent to entertain the crowd as well.

Liz Kenny, the Centennial Committee Chair, says all the events will be publicized on a new website which goes live May 25. Kenny says http://www.sarnia110.ca will feature what’s happening during the centennial, contain information about the Legacy project – a revamp of the Dow People Place and the surrounding area of Centennial Park, and keep track of famous people who hail from the city.

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