Bellevue Mayor to Host Porch Party to Kick Off Sesquicentennial Celebration

Mayor Charlie Cleves is welcoming the community to his home to kick off the City of Bellevue's 150th birthday celebration.

Cleves is hosting a porch party at 212 Fairfield Avenue to begin the sesquicentennial festivities. It is scheduled for Thursday, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Food and drinks will be provided. Local band, Another Colour, will provide live music. The formal unveiling of the city’s sesquicentennial logo will also take place during the event. 

The Mayor’s Porch Party is the first of several events planned throughout the city during the yearlong celebration in 2020.  

Mayor Charlie Cleves said in addition to the more significant events planned for the sesquicentennial over the next year, the city will focus on smaller events throughout the year to encourage community engagement.

“One of the central themes of our sesquicentennial is celebrating the members of our community, past and present, who have contributed to making Bellevue what it is today,” said Cleves. “We want these celebrations to not only serve as a reminder of the of what makes our city great but to further enhance the connectivity of our historic community.”

Bellevue City Administrator Frank Warnock said porch parties and other small events planned for the sesquicentennial serve to deepen the sense of community and introduce the newest residents to those living in the city for generations. 

“Bellevue's renaissance has escalated in recent years,” Warnock said. “And while the city is changing, everyone who lives here chooses our city for the same reasons. We are a close-knit community, we have great walkability, and neighbors who truly care about each other. These events are inspired to continue that tradition.”

Tina Neyer, a volunteer with the city’s communications committee, said the broad range of events planned for the sesquicentennial has taken genuine group effort by members of the community. 

“Residents have stepped up in numerous ways, from gathering historical research to creating the branding for our sesquicentennial logo,” Neyer said. “Because of these volunteer efforts, we have events that celebrate our city, bring us closer as a community, and tell the stories of the past so that we can build a foundation for our future.”

Neyer said the unveiling of the sesquicentennial logo at the Mayor’s Porch Party is also a highly anticipated event. 

Bellevue resident Jason Neyer spearheaded a branding exercise at Darkness Brewery to get the community’s creative input on the logo design. Resident Mark Kerley, owner of Lucky Rabbit Studios, volunteered his graphic-design talents to design the sesquicentennial logo for the city.

The first major event of the 2020 sesquicentennial celebration will take place on March 15 with a vintage baseball game at the newly renovated Bellevue Vets Field and will culminate with a gala event in October.

“It is such an exciting time, and so many wonderful things are happening in our city,” Cleves said. “I honestly just feel so lucky to be the mayor.” 

-Staff report

Photo: Avenue Brew on Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue