Barbecue today to kick off year-long centennial celebration

Dylan Fu, Managing Editor

More than 750 food tickets have been sold in preparation for tonight’s barbecue. The barbecue is the first of four major events planned to celebrate this Palo Alto High School campus’ 100th birthday. Photo: Dylan Fu

A barbecue this evening will kick off a series of events celebrating this Palo Alto High School campus’ centennial. This event will be followed by a historical march Oct. 7 and a centennial gala in the spring.

All of these events have been scheduled throughout the school year by the Paly Centennial Committee, which consists of Paly faculty, alumni and community volunteers.

The barbecue will be free for anyone to attend; however, the food, which includes burgers and veggie burgers, costs $15 per person. The event also includes performances from some of Paly’s clubs and local performers, including Paly’s ukelele club and band, as well as taiko drum players from Stanford.

Junior Alex King is one of the many Paly students looking forward to taking part in the festivities.

“What I’m really looking forward to at the barbecue are the performances, as well as meeting some alumni,” King said.

The committee has also planned a historical reenactment of the march to Paly that occurred on the first day of school in 1918, a celebration of the Campanile publication’s 100th birthday and a centennial gala at the Lucie Stern ballroom.

“We want them [students] to be involved, we want them to have ownership and we want them to learn about the history of our school,” said event coordinator Mary Ellen Bena, the school’s event specialist.

The historical reenactment will take place on Oct. 7. Those who wish to take part in the march will meet at Paly, take buses to the location of the original campus on Channing Avenue, and march back to Paly. After the march is a dedication ceremony for the plaza in between the Performing Arts Center and the Haymarket Theatre.

The dedication ceremony will feature a number of Paly alumni, including Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Assemblyman Marc Berman and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian. The plaza, which will be named “Centennial Plaza,” will also include a monument dedicated to Anna Zschokke, who led the creation of Palo Alto’s first public school.

Both the Campanile’s birthday celebration and the gala take place on March 23. The birthday celebration will be open to the public while the gala is a ticketed event.

For more information regarding the events planned for the centennial celebration, go to