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Vero Beach's Year-Long 100th Birthday Celebration

Tania Ortega-Cowan

On October 26, the City of Vero Beach officially turns 100! That means we are right in the middle of a year-long party.

TB: We started on October 26, 2018.

That’s Tammy Bursick, the City Clerk for the City of Vero Beach and co-chair for the Centennial Celebration.

We sat down with her and her co-chair…

TY: Colonel Councilman Tony Young

They have already had bonfires on the beach, a Veteran’s Parade downtown and extra special Christmas Boat Parade.

TB: It is just so nice that everyone that we have talked to in this community has wanted to be a part of it So it just keeps growing and growing even though we’ve been almost 6 months into this Centennial, we still keep talking to people who are interested and wanting to be a part of it, and that’s what we want.

It’s full of activities, so we’ll focus on the big events.

Next up is Airport Heritage Day on March 16. It’s an open house-style day-long event with airport historical nostalgia, aircraft displays, vendors, food and weather-permitting aircraft rides.

Then the next big day on the calendar is May 26.

TB: Yes, that’s our Family Founders Day and we are planning a huge event for that!

It’s from 1:30 until 4 pm at Riverside Park and Riverside Theatre. Church choirs from all over the community will be there singing! And it will be loaded with children’s activities.

Then there’s July 4th!

TB: The City usually has a nice July 4th but this year it’s just going to be a BANG!

And for the big birthday itself, comes the Grand Finale.

TB: We will end on October 26, 2019

There will be a morning parade, a big outdoor community party with bands and vendors.

TB: And then we will end that night with fireworks, so everybody wants to keep that day on their schedule

A big part of the Centennial effort involves the planting of trees.

TY: The lead committee that got this ball rolling was the Tree and Beautification Commission. And they said we would really like to have something that would last the years as a tangible evidence of this celebration.

So, they’ve been planting trees all around the City.

TB: And the plan is to put plaques on all the trees so people will remember when they were planted.

Speaking of art, the Centennial has inspired artists! 

TY: The spontaneity and creativity of the people has been phenomenal! I mean I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that we would have a corn maze formed out of our logo!

There is a Vero Beach Coloring Book, a Centennial Quilt. Every school held a poster art contest. One high school performed a play. Another school….

TY: Even wrote and performed a song – I mean how much better can you get! A Centennial Song for Vero Beach!

We ask Tony Young about his family roots in Vero Beach.

TOC: And of course, your family goes back to---

TY: The start.

His grandfather, A.W. Young, was one of the earliest residents and Vero Beach’s first mayor.

TY: It was a new opportunity. Florida was a new frontier.

He tells us about seeing a photo recently at a Centennial historical event.

TY: And one of the first photographs that we have of Vero back in the day was with a big steer oxen – and I said ‘that was the 1905 Chevy Pickup truck.’ Which is exactly the case. I mean think about it – we didn’t have electricity, you know, mosquitoes were everywhere. You had sandy road. You had to get along in the river. And basically, to make your way in those days it was oxen carts and muscle power. 

There is a guided Historical Trolley Tour the first Saturday of each month. Learn more visiting www.verobeach100.org.