January 21, 2006
— Longtime residents, business owners and
city officials donned their best furs,
glitter, satin and bow ties Friday evening
to help Fremont celebrate its 50th birthday
in style during the "White Tent Gala" in
Central Park. Hey, Joan Rivers even showed
Well, kind of.
The gala, which celebrated the incorporation
of the communities of Centerville, Niles,
Irvington, Mission San Jose and Warm Springs
to form Fremont on Jan. 23, 1956, was
attended by nearly 700 proud citizens who
love to call Fremont home. Walking in, one
couldn't help but notice the Joan Rivers
impersonator on the red carpet making "fashionista"
comments, an array of ice sculptures,
Venetian-style fountains, fresh flower
arrangements and a distinctive bar made of
ice that proclaimed the evening's motto,
"Celebrating our best and creating our
future." It wasn't just your average "tent."
vice chair of the gala, proudly proclaimed
as she stood on the red-carpet entryway:
"Only the best for Fremont."
began with an introduction from master of
ceremonies and longtime Fremont resident
Gary Williams, who read a rousing list of
"The top 10 ways you know you're 50,"
complete with jokes such as "You know you're
50 when you don't recognize any of the
introduction came a televised speech from
Mayor Bob Wasserman, who couldn't attend the
gala because he is hospitalized, battling
symbolizes the community involvement in this
city we love. No city comes close to
Fremont," said Wasserman in a videotape made
in his hospital room.
came to honor the city they love, including
Congressman Pete Stark, who lives in Fremont
"one third of the time."
about Fremont is the real sense of diversity
we have here. It's a wonderful city with a
real community spirit," said Stark as he
headed for the dinner table.
Dr. Bernard Stewart of Washington Hospital
offered a toast. "This is an incredible
place we live in," began Stewart. "So let's
honor the past and come together and unite
in a future that will benefit us all. To our
past, our present and our future." The crowd
responded with an enthusiastic "Hear! Hear!"
the crowd danced the night away to the hits
of the Groove Doctors, and anticipated the
cutting and serving of a 5 1/2-foot-tall
anniversary cake donated by hometown Vienna
Bakery. Also, paintings by local artist Jan
Schafir were to be auctioned off, all to
benefit the yearlong celebration of
Fremont's golden anniversary and the free
Sept. 9 and 10 event in Central Park.
Vice Chairman Michael Wallace was especially
enjoying the evening. "Between this event
and Washington Hospital's Top Hat event, I'm