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Creating a legacy for tomorrow by cherishing our past and
connecting with our present

Fremont, let's get the party started

By Chris De Benedetti, STAFF WRITER
Fremont Argus
September 9, 2006

FREMONT - Crystal Wittich and Gurbaksh Harika have never met, and they come from very different backgrounds. But the Fremont residents have at least two things in common:

They frequently hang out with friends at Central Park. And they say they plan to enjoy Celebrate Fremont @ the Park this weekend to salute the city they have called home for about a decade.

"I'm looking forward to all the music," Wittich said Friday while walking around Lake Elizabeth. "I've got my map and my schedule all ready."

About 50 yards away, the 71-year-old Harika performed his daily ritual of playing cards in the park with other retired seniors. Born in India, Harika has lived in Fremont since 1995. He said he will play cards again with his friends today, but addedthat they also will be coming to celebrate the city.

They will join as many as 100,000 people in the park for Fremont's 50th anniversary party, an event that's been in the works for nearly two years.

Crews spent much of Friday scurrying around the area, setting up tents, booths, stages and artwork that will comprise a list of activities nearly as diverse as Fremont's population.

Celebrate Fremont @ the Park is offering a wide range of music, dance, sports, art, food and drink. And many of the scheduled festivities are being produced by Celebrate Fremont, the all-volunteer community group that has presented the city's year-round anniversary celebrations.

The two-day event will feature 162 activities in all, organizers say.

Count Mayor Bob Wasserman among the throngs of people excited to attend Fremont's massive anniversary party. He'll start his fun at 9 a.m. today by locking arms with a couple thousand other people in "Hands Around the Lake," the weekend's kickoff event at Central Park.

"It's been a marvel to see the level of volunteerism," Wasserman said. "I've worked in five cities, but I've never seen a city even attempt something like this with almost all volunteers. It's been unbelievable."

The mayor said he will have to take care of some official business during the weekend, such as delivering a handful of brief speeches. But he also has plans to take time to enjoy the celebration, the size and scope of which are unprecedented for Fremont.

"It'll be a great thing," Wasserman said. "I think it will bring people together and make everyone proud of the city."

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