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Mon, Oct. 21

Williams: Help Chino Valley celebrate its 50th anniversary party

When you turned 50 years of age, you may not have made a big deal out of it. But that’s not the case with Chino Valley. The town will turn 50 in 2020, and the celebration will last all year!

A group of folks is meeting each month now at the community center on Road One East, focused on planning a blow-out celebration that will begin in late 2019 and end in a Golden Jubilee Celebration at our Territorial Days event in September 2020.

Although the birthday party will involve lots of moving parts, one of the most important is the 50th Anniversary Book that will highlight our first 50 years and how we’ve grown since 1970 when we incorporated. The commemorative book will contain stories from folks who were here way back in 1970 and from residents who moseyed into town since then. It will also chronical the development of town service clubs, churches, the school district, youth programs and many other important institutions within our municipal borders.

You can participate in developing our 50th Anniversary Book by telling us your own memories and experiences in Chino Valley. Go to Chinoaz/net and look for the Community drop-down menu. At the bottom of Community listings, you’ll see the Chino Valley 50th Anniversary link. Click on this link to see highlights of the celebration and videos.

You’ll also see a form for business owners to fill out and one for residents. Select your form, then tell us why you came to Chino Valley, why you’ve stayed, what you’d like to see in our town during the next 50 years and any special memories you have as a citizen of Chino Valley. Your information may appear in the 50th Anniversary Book and may even be part of a time capsule to be buried in Memory Park!

If you’d like to send us thoughts or suggestions concerning our big birthday blow-out, email us at 50th@chinoaz.net. We’d love to hear from you!

We’re still developing details for the party, but in addition to the Anniversary Book and a time capsule, we’ll have posters, stickers, T-shirts and special license plates. By the time the confetti flies, lots more excitement will be added to the docket.

Chino Valley isn’t just another typical southwestern town. One of the things that makes our town an important element in the tapestry of Arizona is that this is where the Arizona Territory was born. It all started in December 1863 when a delegation authorized by President Abraham Lincoln established the territorial capital at Del Rio Springs. It was moved to Prescott a few months later, but Chino Valley will forever be recognized as the birthplace of Arizona. In fact, our theme for the anniversary celebration is, “Chino Valley. Where Arizona Began.”

We’ve grown up with an authentic southwestern heritage in our veins. We are a place of dusty boots, worn buckles, sweat-stained cowboy hats, scenic rangeland, horses and cattle descended from a legendary past. We are a place of hard work and family. Of neighborliness. Chino Valley is the place we call home.

If you’d like to join us for our monthly 50th anniversary planning meetings, bring your thoughts and ideas to the Road One East Community Center at 6 p.m. Jan. 9.

Please be sure to stay abreast of anniversary activities on our town Facebook page, the YouTube Channel, Twitter and Instagram.

But most importantly, help us write the 50th Anniversary Book. Tell us your memories and experiences in Chino Valley.

To comment on this column, or to talk about why Chino Valley is your hometown, email wilaugust46@gmail.com.

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