GAYLORD — Lasting a century is a remarkable achievement and the City of Gaylord paid tribute to its longevity on Aug. 13 with a parade down Main Street and a centennial celebration gala at city hall.
"A city only has a 100-year birthday once and hopefully everyone can take that away and file it in the memory bank," said Gaylord Mayor Todd Sharrard.
The centennial celebration provided a way to acknowledge the central role that the city has played in bringing economic, educational and cultural enrichment to all those who have visited or resided in the city and Otsego County for the last 100 years.
Sharrard read a proclamation honoring Gaylord, which saw approval of incorporation by a vote of 114-93 on March 13, 1922, changing Gaylord’s government structure from a village to a city.
The parade ended at city hall and hundreds came to enjoy food, refreshments and artwork from area residents on display courtesy of the Gaylord Area Council for the Arts’ “Hometown” exhibit.
In the parade was a float carrying Sharrard and four former mayors of Gaylord, Norman Brecheisen (1998-2000), John Jenkins (2010-2019), Gladys Solokis (2001-2009) and Bill Wishart (2020-2022). Various civic and fraternal organizations also participated in the procession.
A time capsule containing letters and memorabilia was sealed up and will be opened in 2072, according to Erika Peters, the city's human resources officer who coordinated the centennial celebration.
Peters said previously the idea behind the centennial is to remember all that Gaylord and the surrounding area have become, noting that the tagline for the event is "Celebrating 100 years of Community."
"The city has come such a long way and it involves everyone who has helped to create the community that we are," she said.
Cloudy skies ruled the day yet it only rained briefly in the morning. Sharrard was pleased with the turnout despite a threat of inclement weather.
"I wasn't going to let it rain on my and the city's parade," Sharrard said smiling. "It was a good turnout and I was impressed with the people who lined our streets."
Noting that it has been nearly three months since a deadly tornado touched down in Gaylord on May 20, resulting in the deaths of two, injuring 44 and causing millions of dollars in damage, Sharrard said events like the centennial help to bring the community together.
"Everyone is ready for good and positive things and the city is coming together. The houses are getting put back together and the businesses are getting refurbished," he said.
This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Parade, open house help Gaylord mark 100 years as a city