Big parties. New trees. Re-enactments. Treasure hunts. Those are among the dozens of suggestions Clayton residents made Tuesday night for commemorating the city's 100th anniversary next year.
"We really see November 2012 as the kickoff," said parks and recreation director Patty DeForrest during an overview of events already on the calendar.
The brainstorming session happened from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Center of Clayton. Charlie Brennan, a 10-year Clayton resident and KMOX 1120 AM radio personality, moderated the event and wrote audience members' ideas on large sheets of paper. He also reviewed celebrations held by other U.S. cities for their 100th year, including Burbank, CA; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Westminster, CO; and Delray Beach, FL.
City officials also want to add a centennial theme to regularly scheduled activities such as Clayton Restaurant Week, the Best of Clayton business spotlight and All That Glitters in winter.
Mayor Linda Goldstein said Tuesday that she asked Ward 1 Alderman Judy Goodman and former longtime alderman Elizabeth Robb to head up efforts for the centennial. She also thanked the Clayton Century Foundation (CCF), which has been engaged in fundraising for projects benefiting the city and also is donating a logo to commemorate the anniversary.
The meeting featured the unveiling of three variations on the logo by Tom Twellman of Kuhlmann Leavitt. Photos of each are attached to this article. One audience member suggested the designers consider incorporating into the logo a James Surls sculpture planned for Shaw Park in 2013.
Twellman indicated his office would look into the possibility.
A book documenting the history of Clayton's schools, parks, businesses and other areas is in development, and a book signing is planned sometime during the week of Nov. 12, 2013.
The city also will try to incorporate other 2013 anniversaries, such as the 20th year of the Saint Louis Art Fair and the 100th year of The Wilson School.
"The primary purpose of this is to celebrate our past and to look forward to the future," Goldstein said.
Among the ideas proposed at Tuesday's meeting:
- Walking tours of Clayton history and architecture by St. Louis County historian Esley Hamilton
- Bravo String Ensemble performance
- Front-yard gardening contest
- Baseball cap
- Walking challenge
- 1913-era clothing pageant
- One day without cars in downtown
- Bike/bus tours
- Get additional green space
- Organ crawl featuring musical performances at Clayton churches
- Window displays describing Clayton's past and present
- Plant centennial trees at Shaw Park and Oak Knoll Park, and provide residents with the opportunity to plant their own at home
- Street fair with celebrations of each decade over the past 100 years
- Blowout event with Ralph Clayton and other celebrities from Clayton's history
- Clayton Community Day parade featuring School District of Clayton, Clayton Chamber of Commerce and others
- Get Clayton students to document centennial events with video, and create a YouTube channel so that people can see things they missed
- Hanley House celebration
- Community orchard
- Bring in well-known Clayton personalities such as Andy Cohen
- Tell stories of famous people with ties to Clayton in the form of a memorial
- Recognize 100 famous moments in Clayton history, 100 famous people and so on throughout the year
- Invite people to submit photos of Clayton's past for displays to be shown at The Center of Clayton and at kiosks elsewhere
- Bring longtime Clayton residents into elementary classrooms to discuss the city's past with children
- Treasure hunt or geocache
- Decal for Clayton High School seniors graduating in 2013
- Cookbook featuring recipes from Clayton chefs, caterers and residents
- Weight-loss challenge for people living on the same block
- Passport to be stamped while visiting various Clayton locations or attending centennial events
- CHS play commemorating Clayton history
- Use Clayton's CityViews newsletter to spread word about centennial, identify important history such as multi-generation Clayton residents or school attendees
- Involve Fontbonne University, Concordia Seminary and Washington University in centennial festivities, give them the opportunity to highlight themselves
- Bury a time capsule
- Sponsor a major sporting event
Those with suggestions for centennial events are encouraged to email DeForrest at firstname.lastname@example.org. People interested in volunteering for a specific event during the centennial may sign up by emailing Janet LeMay at email@example.com.