Happy 100th Oak Harbor

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This year’s celebration of Oak Harbor’s 100th anniversary is nearing its end, but not without a few more events.

The next big public event is a vintage photo exhibit, which will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5 at Regency on Whidbey in Oak Harbor.

“It has been a joy to get this collection together,” said Sande Mulkey, community ambassador for Regency and a member of the citizen centennial committee planning the events.

“The display has kind of taken on a life of its own,” Mulkey said. “We easily have more than 100 photos that will be on display, some from the very early 1900s and maybe even before.”

Among her personal favorites, Mulkey said she never tires of looking at pictures of Oak Harbor’s old pier and some of the older homes still occupied today.

“And the old, old pictures of the downtown area,” she said. “There are some with horse and buggy. But it’s neat when you can recognize the old landmarks that are still here today.”

Mulkey has beaten the proverbial bushes to come up with historic photographs and scrapbooks. Donors include the City of Oak Harbor, Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Old Town Mall, Island County Historical Museum, the Chamber of Commerce, many of the community’s churches and several residents.

“In a small community like this, networking is what it’s all about,” she said. “The City has been very supportive and given access to many of its photos.”

The display will be staged in various rooms at Regency. The largest will be hung in the dining room and others will be displayed in the bistro, library and the scrapbooks will be in the activity room. Those viewing the collection will be able to enjoy a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres as they enjoy this piece of the anniversary celebration.

“It’s a great opportunity to see some unique photos and the scrapbooks are outstanding,” Mulkey said. “It’s part of our history and I think it’s important to save that history for our children and maybe pique their interest.”

The celebration continues…

But the celebration of Oak Harbor’s 100th is far from over. Trick or treat bags are available at the utility department through the end of the month or while supplies last.

Centennial Bingo continues through Nov. 30. To play, residents can attend certain City-sponsored events and the parks listed on the bingo card. A bingo code word is available at each park and event, and players just need to write the code word on the corresponding square on the card. Each traditional bingo completed on the card is good for an entry into the Centennial Bingo drawing in December.

In early November, City staff will plant the Centennial Oak Grove Legacy Project, located at the southeast corner of West Fakkema Road and State Route 20.

“Our Garry oak trees are so important to everyone, and this is a really good way to honor our history and give the community something beautiful that will last well into the future,” said Kellye Mazzolli, Executive Assistant to the Mayor and head of the centennial committee.

At least 100 Garry oak saplings are scheduled to be planted. Those interested in donating toward the project, which is sponsored by the City of Oak Harbor and the Oak Harbor Garden Club, may make a contribution toward the purchase of trees. Those who donate $100 will receive a certificate suitable for framing and will be recognized on the city’s website. Forms are available on the website for those interested in participating.

Anniversary festivities will wrap up with an open house from 4-6 p.m. at city hall on December 10, where bingo winners will be drawn. Similar open houses at the fire and police stations have drawn big crowds.

“We had hundreds show up at the police department open house in September where we did the Child ID program,” said Mazzoli. “We’re trying to see if there isn’t a way we can purchase our own Child ID machine and maybe do an event twice a year.”

Mazzoli said she’s been very pleased with how the centennial events have been received throughout the year. None of it would have happened without community volunteers, however.

“We have had tons of people working on this with us,” she said. “It’s just been fantastic.”

Please go to the City of Oak Harbor’s website for more information on all of the remaining anniversary activities.

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