This weekend kicks off a yearlong celebration of Hayden's centennial birthday.
The town's $5 commemorative coins have arrived, the band is booked for the Saturday dance, and most people seem optimistic about what the next 100 years will bring.
Hayden is entering its second century with a comprehensive plan and revisions to town codes that will allow it to implement strategies for growth.
With a new industrial park on the east end of town, increasing sales tax revenues, residential developments and plans for two new hotels and a home center, growth in Hayden is now a reality.
"Steamboat is going to force us to grow," Town Board member and Centennial Committee organizer Lorraine Johnson said. "We were able to catch it to where we can manage it."
In order to do that, Hayden Planning Commissioner Donna Hellyer said it is important for Hayden to maintain its agriculture and to honor its heritage. Hellyer thinks the centennial should be a tribute to the town, the railroad, mining, the airport and other traditions that have supported Hayden during the past 100 years. These themes are part of the centennial logo that will be prevalent throughout the year.
"That comprehensive plan told us what the people of Hayden really want," Hellyer said. "They want to grow, but they want to remain a community."
But before the town returns all its attention to growth, residents will celebrate the centennial.
The celebration kicks off with a Lions Club corned beef and cabbage dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the cafeteria at Hayden Valley Elementary School.
Fireworks will be ignited at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Routt County Fairgrounds, and a dance will follow from 9 p.m. to midnight. A band will perform.
"I've had quite a few come in and say, 'Oh, wow, fireworks. We haven't had those in years,'" Johnson said.
Tickets for the dance will be available at the door for $2 a person, and designated drivers will be available to take people home.
The birthday celebration will continue Monday, when all outgoing mail can be stamped at the post office with a cancellation stamp celebrating the centennial. Birthday cake and punch will be served from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Routt County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. Elementary school students will re-enact Hayden's first Town Board meeting, when board members approved two liquor licenses and voted to build a jail.
Videos with Hayden residents talking about the history of the town also will be shown during Monday's birthday party.
"In putting that together, they did hundreds of interviews," Johnson said.
A fashion review also is planned for that night. A group will dress in clothes from certain eras -- each person representing someone from each of the past 10 decades in Hayden.
"We tried to come up with fun stuff that all of the town could participate in one way or another," Johnson said.
T-shirts and sweatshirts with the centennial logo and cancellation stamp design will be sold, as well as mugs, pitchers and a collectable antique-brass coin.
For more information about the centennial celebration, call Johnson at 276-3425.
-- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210
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