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Plans Underway For Clayton's 100th

Centennial committee gives board an overview of upcoming events

August 29, 2012
April 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the city of Clayton. To mark the occasion, a year-long series of events, starting later this year, have been planned.

At its Aug. 14 meeting, the Clayton Board of Aldermen heard an overview of some of the anniversary events. The overview was presented by Judy Goodman, a former alderman and currently co-chair of the city's centennial committee.

"It has been a daunting challenge on how to make it memorable and also have value," said Goodman of the celebration. "It is a two-fold process in trying to create special events and 'centennialize' existing activities."

One of the first events will be the October release of the book "Clayton, Missouri; An Urban Story." The book, written by Mary Delach Leonard and Melissa Leonard, tells about Clayton's history and development. Goodman said that over the course of the year, the authors will hold several discussions and signings of the book. There will be 750 copies of the book published.

"It was a huge project that took a lot of time, but the end results were wonderful," said Goodman.

Several events will take place in Shaw Park to dedicate new additions there. In April, a new pavilion will be dedicated. In May, members of the family of Charles Shaw, for whom the park is named, will come in from Arizona for the dedication of a new art piece in the park.

There will also be a number of speakers throughout the year at several locations, discussing various aspects of Clayton's history. Some of the scheduled speakers are Dr. Robert Archibald, president of the Missouri History Museum, and Esley Hamilton, the longtime preservation historian for the St. Louis County Parks Department.

Goodman said there are plans to have the "party of the century" in November 2013 at the Ritz Carlton. It is expected to cost about $100 per person to attend.

To help fund the centennial celebration, the committee is requesting $50,000 from the city, said Goodman, with $40,000 in the fiscal year 2013, and the other $10,000 in fiscal year 2014. The board took no action on the request. Goodman said sponsorships and partnerships with the business community will also be sought. Some events are also expected to generate revenue.

"This looks fantastic," said Alderman Michele Harris. "It is a great way to invigorate our business community and give it a shot in the arm."

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