Fremont's 50th anniversary celebration,
scheduled for Sept. 9-10, will feature
dozens of performances and activities to
honor the city's rich history.
by Chris De Benedetti, Staff Writer
July 21, 2006
But to kick
off the two-day party, organizers say they
have planned something so unusual, it may
become part of Fremont lore for years to
Around the Lake," a human chain of more than
3,000 people holding hands, will encircle
Central Park's Lake Elizabeth the morning of
the weekend-long celebration's first day.
to be "a dramatic start to the whole event —
sort of like an opening ceremony," said
Fremont Councilmember Anu Natarajan, who
also is chair of the Celebrate Fremont Event
Committee. "The rest of the two-day event
has tons of things happening."
be a great way to start the celebration,"
said Douglas Tinney, Celebrate Fremont's
head of marketing and promotion. Celebrate
Fremont is the community-based planning
organization spearheading the city's
year-round anniversary festivities.
hope to attract 3,500 volunteers to form a
chain covering the 1.8 miles around the
may register to participate by downloading a
form from the Celebrate Fremont Web site —
They may either fax or mail the form with a
$5 payment. They also may register online
with a credit card, or call the Celebrate
Fremont office at (510) 790-9352 to receive
deadline to register is July 31, but
participants should do so as soon as
possible, as space is limited, organizers
taking part in "Hands Around the Lake" will
receive an orange T-shirt with a
commemorative logo. The T-shirt's color was
chosen to fit in with the two-day event's
general visual scheme, which Natarajan said
was partly inspired by the work of Christo,
the artist who draped New York's Central
Park in orange fabric last year.
that the idea was inspired by "Hands Across
America," a 1986 charity event where
millions held hands across more than 4,000
miles nationwide, creating a chain of
people between New York City and Long Beach.
It raised $20 million to combat hunger.
Around the Lake" may be smaller in scale,
but its goals are no less important.
of more than 3,000 locals standing
shoulder-to-shoulder in a city as ethnically
diverse as Fremont will provide a powerful
symbol of unity, said Tinney, a Fremont
resident since 1975.
may have 137 languages spoken, with people
from 155 countries, but we are a community
with one common goal — creating a place of
peace and security for our families," he
Elizabeth and Central Park are the jewels of
the community, he added, making them the
perfect spots for the anniversary
"I think it
will be a stunning visual to see this
continuous ribbon of orange around the
lake," said Tinney, a graphic designer who
created the city's 50th anniversary logo.
"Celebrate Fremont @ the Park," the weekend
celebration will include a wide-ranging
combination of music — by locally and
nationally known performers — along with
entertainment for all generations, an
arts-and-crafts pavilion, various food and
drink areas, athletic clinics and much more,
residents looking to help start the Fremont
celebration in September still have the
chance to participate. All they have to do
is lend a hand.
"We had a
lot of ideas creating visual representations
of Fremont coming together, but nothing was
as dramatic as 'Hands Around the Lake,'"
Natarajan said. "It is about reinforcing our
connectedness and embracing our diversity."