Lacey celebrates its 50th birthday

December 1st, 2016 by Ken

Fifty years ago this week, residents of the new city of Lacey were waiting to see if the results of the November 8 election would be certified, and that after a long struggle, they would have their own city.

It wasn’t the first election.  Two years previously, residents wanting to form a new city had tried the ballot box and failed.  That effort was led the Lacey Fire District Three which was concerned about the City of Olympia’s annexation of large portions of property in their fire district area.   They were concerned that Olympia would eventually take over their fire department.

The Lacey fire department was staffed by all volunteers, many of them business leaders and owners in Lacey and were concerned about Olympia’s growth efforts.

Following that first failed election, their fears were warranted,  when Olympia came out and annexed all of the industrial property along Fones Road, and all the commercial property along Martin Way to College Street.   Olympia seemed to have no concern at all for the feelings of the residents and businesses in that area.

So, two years later, Lacey interests tried again.   This time they were successful, and Lacey became a city, waiting only for the results of that second election to be certified.   On December 5, 1966, the election was declared certified and Lacey became a city.

That event is being celebrated all year long and culiminates in the city’s official birthday party this Monday beginning at 3 p.m. with ceremonies at The Hub in Woodland Square  with historical displays, dignitaries and speeches.  Then at 6 p.m. the Christmas Tree Lighting program in Huntamer Park, with a lighted parade and the singing of the new city song “You’re Never a Stranger in Lacey”, performed by the students of Lacey Elementary School.    Thanks to the Lacey Fire Department, Santa will arrive in a lighted fire engine.

An event of this magnitude can’t be over so quickly, and so the celebration will continue into next year and end with the Third of July fireworks in 2017.

For more information on the event, contact the City of Lacey at 491-3214.

(Incidently, the efforts by the City of Olympia to stop Lacey from becoming a city resulted in another election two years later when Olympia tried to annex the entire City of Lacey.   That move failed at the polls.)

Posted in History, The Real News

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