Boulder editors get ready, you're about to have to keep spelling sesquicentennial.
Organizers of Boulder's 150th anniversary celebration in 2009 are already thinking of including a competition to see how many people can correctly pronounce sesquicentennial.
The first gold discovery reported in the mountains of Colorado took place at Gold Run in the Gold Hill area in 1858, and on Feb. 10, 1859 the Boulder City Town Company was formed.
Although a Web site is up and running, not much information is publicly available yet about the 150th event, but close to 90 volunteers and interested people showed up for a public discussion at the Millennium Harvest House Hotel to hear ideas and toss about some of their own.
Committees are already being organized, and chairs appointed to figure out how best to honor the pioneer days when gold prospectors first arrived at the foot of Boulder Canyon.
Although fund-raising will be taking place, the city of Boulder so far has only set aside $25,000 from its discretionary funds to get planning started. As one person pointed out, just to put up banners on the Pearl Street Mall would cost about $20,000, so the key right now is "volunteer labor" and "pro bono" services.
Former city councilman Dan Corson is leading the organizing efforts, with Marilyn Haas the point person for pulling numerous committees together.
Boulder historian and author Silvia Pettem did a presentation showing photos from Boulder's 1909 Semi-Centennial Celebration and its 1959 Centennial activities. No doubt, she'll be doing more public presentations about Boulder's history.
One of the calls going out is for Boulder businesses to start thinking about possible merchandising or promotion opportunities for the 150th. Already, Avery Brewing reportedly has said it will brew up a sesquicentennial beer.
Organizers hope that a Web site not only will keep track of everyone's events and celebrations, but include a product section where memorabilia of the 150th event can be sold.
The Boulder Chamber of Commerce is looking at recognizing "pioneer" businesses in Boulder -- how long it takes to be a pioneer not yet determined. Large city events like the Bolder Boulder and the Boulder Creek Festival also will be asked to think about how to recognize the 150th birthday party.
The Boulder History Museum and Nancy Geyer, the museum's CEO, will be heavily involved, and the museum is planning a special exhibit and seeking donations from the public related to Boulder's earliest roots. A lecture series by the Carnegie branch of the Boulder Library also is in the works.
A logo for the 150th, now on the Web site, has been designed by Mona Lambrecht, and a call for a Boulder design firm to assist with building a robust Web site has gone out. The slogan for the 150th is "Celebrating Community Through History."
Numerous ideas were bubbling up at the first meeting, with many more to come. Some of these include:
* A community stroll, perhaps starting at Boulder's Chautauqua and moving through some of the city's historic sites.
* A souvenir DVD may be created, collecting citizen photos and videos from celebration events.
* How to involve more youth and Boulder schools in activities was brought up, since clearly this is great opportunity for a community history lesson.
* Citizens also wondered how to involve Boulder's earliest residents -- the American Indian. A local historian and an expert on Indian history here is looking into a request to the Arapahoe tribe about how they would want to be involved.
* The official kickoff for the 150th will probably be at Boulder's December Parade of Lights, with local businessman Stephen Tebo already volunteering to put a few of his collector cars in the parade.
Interested in getting involved in the sesquicentennial? First of all you have to prove you can spell it. Just joking. The e-mail right now to volunteer is email@example.com.
An event like this only comes around every 150 years, and seems like a great way to attract more visitors and tourists, filling up Boulder's hotels and giving a healthy shot to the local economy. It sounds like a lot of fun.