Hayden Happy Birthday, Hayden.
The town of Hayden has made it through its first hundred years, and most people are optimistic about what the next hundred years will bring.
This weekend was the first time many of Hayden's younger residents saw fireworks. On Friday night, people braved the cold and gathered in the Routt County Fairgrounds grandstand to watch the 20-minute fireworks display to the south. Others watched the show from their homes.
"More and more people are excited about doing it again before another 100 years go by," Hayden Mayor Chuck Grobe said.
A group of middle school girls cheered and yelled as the fireworks lit the sky above the town. After the show, the girls sang "Happy Birthday" to Hayden -- twice.
"It's amazing," said Sam Cless, a seventh-grader at Hayden Middle School.
Then it was time to party. About 150 people attended the social in the exhibit hall and had their first opportunity to buy centennial celebration merchandise.
"A lot of people were on the dance floor," Sam said.
Monday was the official birthday, and volunteers camped out at the post office to cancel the postage on outgoing mail with a centennial stamp featuring the town's old water well.
Mona Weaver took advantage of the commemorative cancellation stamp by mailing 100 Christmas letters.
That night about 200 people sang "Happy Birthday," ate cake and watched a re-enactment by Hayden students of the town's first board meeting. At that meeting, the board nominated its officers, agreed to issue two liquor licenses and decided to build a jail.
Lucille Sundberg, 98, who first moved to Hayden when she was 5, joked that the centennial celebration just made her feel old.
"I can't believe it," Sundberg said. "It doesn't seem real to me."
Sundberg, like most in Hayden, sees growth as a major force as Hayden enters its next 100 years.
Kate Fatjo, a Denver native who has lived in Hayden for 11 years, calls Hayden paradise, and she hopes it will stay that way.
"I wish it would stay small, but that just doesn't happen this day in age," she said. "It'll still be there because the people will still be there. ... Lot's of good people."
Christine Epp, a Hayden native, dressed in a prairie dress similar to what women wore in the 1900s. She joined several others in a historical fashion show, which featured clothes from different time periods. Epp said a lot of her kindergarten students in Hayden were curious about the celebration, and they read a Hayden alphabet book in class Monday. The centennial celebration, for her, was all about history.
"It makes me want to learn more about the stuff I can't remember," she said. "It's fun seeing a lot of the new people interested in roots and history."
Hayden Schools Superin--tendent Mike Luppes is optimistic about Hayden's future, as well.
"I see steady growth, with a newfound pride of living in a small community with a lot of our new residents, which is already established with some of our locals," he said.
As new developments come into Hayden, the town has the right tools to manage growth, Grobe said.
"Everyone is going really well on the planning commission level, and we've worked real hard to get our town codes set," the mayor said. "I think we have our future pretty much set. ... It should go pretty smoothly."
-- To reach Matt Stensland, call 871-4210 or e-mail email@example.com