In 1999, millennium fever gripped the United States.
In the small, unincorporated berg of Marathon, it was the thrill of independence that gripped residents of the Middle Keys.
Next weekend, the city’s residents will come together at Community Park for a good ole fashioned fall birthday celebration.
“This event is going to be a great party for everyone to come out and celebrate Marathon’s ten years as a city,” said Mayor Ginger Snead.
More than 30 vendors will set up their wares in the park, and everything from food to arts and crafts will be available for purchase. What better way is there to get a jump on your holiday shopping than by purchasing some unique gifts from local crafts people?
The Marathon Fire Rescue teams and Monroe County S.W.A.T. team will do periodic exhibitions for kids and adults alike throughout the day. Bring your little fireman (or firewoman!)-to-be down and let him or her climb aboard a truck and sound the sirens. There will also be bounce castles and carnival games and plenty of entertainment for the younger set.
Of course, no local celebration would be complete without the requisite local, musical entertainment. Several local acts will cross the stage throughout the day, and between sets, members of past councils will give presentations on the city’s history and how it came to be the great place it is today.
John Bartus, former three-term mayor of the newly incorporated city, said he became involved in the original forming of Marathon’s local government for several reasons.
“I got involved with incorporation because of the inequity we thought we were getting as residents under the governance of Monroe County alone,” Bartus said. “We also felt that financially speaking, it would better serve us to manage our own budget than to wait on monies to be distributed disproportionately from the county.”
Bartus will join the likes of Bob Miller, Karen Wilkinson, Randy Mearns, Frank Greenman, Marilyn Tempest and Chris Bull in reminiscing about the success of one of the Florida Keys’ youngest municipalities.
The celebration committee has also partnered with Florida Keys Green Living and Energy Education (GLEE) for 4R Fair. Focusing on the values of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot, participants can check out Annie’s Organics Buying Club, a waterless carwash product and learn how to qualify for First State Bank’s Green Loan Program.
At sunset, a 21-gun salute will honor the lives of veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice of service for their country.
On Friday evening, the Marathon Jaycees suit up for a softball game against the Marathon Chamber of Commerce to benefit Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Toyz for Keyz Kidz.
On Saturday, events begin at 10 am and continue throughout the day until 9 pm.