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Chandler prepares for 125th celebration, launches new website

CHANDLER -- The planning began back in April 2009, according to Doran Christoffels from the Chandler Economic Development Authority, but now the city's 125th anniversary celebration seems right around the corner, he said.

The celebration will take place in Chandler June 24-26, and to keep people posted on developments in the plans, the city of Chandler and the 125th committee created a website at

"It was a joint effort between the city and the committee," said Chandler Mayor Gary Stoner. "The city will keep it going in the future."

The website contains information regarding the history of Chandler, from its beginnings in 1886 to the construction of a U.S. Air Force base in the 1950s to the F5 tornado that hit the town in June 1992. There are website pages that contain pertinent phone numbers and city council minutes, and a page that contains links to area businesses. There's a page for community announcements and one for upcoming events.

The upcoming events page includes the schedule for the 125th celebration. People can register with their e-mail addresses to receive updates and information about the all-class reunion, the T-shirts and glass mirrors commemorating the event and the tentative plan of events for the celebration.

T-shirts, sweatshirts and pullover hooded sweatshirts are available at the State Bank of Chandler, or an order form can be printed off the city website. An 8 inch by 11 inch painted mirror featuring the Chandler School or both the Chandler and Lake Wilson schools can be purchased at the bank, but shipping is not available.

Christoffels and Stoner said most of the events during the celebration will take place in Chandler's city park or somewhere nearby. The kickoff event to the weekend will be the Chandler Fire Department's Relief Association fund raiser supper, followed by entertainment by Jerry Buse.

"He is originally from Lake Wilson," Stoner reported.

Buse will sing on Friday night, but during the day on Saturday he will bring a team of horses to pull a trolley.

"He'll give rides around town, and he serenades while he does it," Stoner added.

Saturday's events include a 5K run/walk, a soap box derby race, a Belgian waffle breakfast and inflatable toys in the park.

There will be an antique car show and a model airplane show by Sky Hawks Air Show Team. Another event is being planned, but right now the committee isn't exactly sure what will take place -- an "Amazing Race" type competition or something closer to "A Minute to Win It."

"Some type of event like that, so we can get more of the teenagers and young adults involved," Christoffels explained. "We really want to have something for all ages."

He and Stoner gave a few hints about what they are referring to as a "surprise event" that involves the help of veterans from the 787th Air Squadron.

"They are helping us with the event," Christoffels said. "Keep watching the website for more information."

Although he said a few more members of their 125th committee are needed, Christoffels said the whole town has been coming together to support the celebration.

Written invitations were sent out for an all-school reunion, and Stoner said the response has been good. The reunion dinner will take place at the city park under a big top tent. More details about all-school reunion plans will be released through e-mail notification and on the city website as events are planned.

The committee is looking for floats and entries for the grand parade, which will take place at 1 p.m. June 25. Anyone interested can contact the committee at