Chandler will conduct dual centennial celebrations in 2012.

As Arizona turns 100 next year, so does the municipality that started when Dr. A.J. Chandler chose to turn his 18,000-acre ranch into a town site. The first office of the town that would bear his name opened on May 17, 1912.

Chandler has formed a steering committee for centennial-event planning and is seeking public input for a calendar slated to kick off in February and culminate with Centennial Celebration Weekend on May 17-20, 2012.

"It's the people of Chandler's celebration, their centennial," said Jean Reynolds, the city's public history coordinator. "We want to take all of the ideas we get from citizens and sift through them, so it's not all everything that was put together by the city staff. We want the community to have a chance to have an idea used."

The celebration slate is mostly clear, but Reynolds said that a few ideas will likely come to fruition. A community barbecue is expected at Tumbleweed Park, and there will be celebrations at City Hall and downtown. A traveling historical exhibit will be present at such annual events as the Ostrich Festival.

One event is penciled in ink: In March 1962, a time capsule was buried in the plaza at A.J. Chandler Park, to be opened in 50 years. Reynolds said that it has not been determined if the capsule opening will be in March or delayed until May.

"We're also talking about burying a new time capsule," Reynolds said. "We'd like to take suggestions on what people would like to see. What should we put in to represent who we are now, to be opened in 50 or 100 years?"

Also, a book detailing the city's first 100 years will be published.

Reynolds said that some Chandler events will be held in conjunction with the state's centennial. Arizona's 100th birthday is on Feb. 14, 2012.

For more information or to suggest an event idea, visit www.chandler100th.com or call Reynolds at (480) 782-2751.

"We may update the website in April to get some events out there and so people can see how things are developing and get feedback as we refine ideas," Reynolds said.

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