Afternoon Festival Celebrates Washington’s 125th Birthday at the State Capitol



Submitted by Washington State Historical Society

Capitol with LakeRing in Washington’s milestone year of statehood at the Washington 125 Commemoration on November 11, with special events and welcome remarks from Governor Jay Inslee and Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

On November 11, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison signed the proclamation admitting Washington to the Union and, with this year marking Washington’s 125th Anniversary, the Washington State Historical Society and the Office of the Secretary of State are hosting a celebration to honor the milestone. Taking place on November 11, 2014, at the Legislative Building on the Capitol Campus in Olympia, Washington, the event will feature a re-creation of the telegram delivery that announced Washington’s statehood at 3:09 p.m. making it precisely 125 years ago, along with music, dancing and, of course, cake. Washingtonians and local organizations are also encouraged to participate in a coordinated tweet saying: “Happy Birthday Washington #WA125” at exactly 3:09 p.m.

The focus of the day is to celebrate the past 25 years and to marvel at how far we have come since the Centennial. The celebration will kick off at 1 p.m. with the posting of the colors by the Marine Corps League Detachment 482 color guard, followed by the Star Spangled Banner sung by the Total Experience Gospel Choir. Special appearances include a blessing by the Squaxin Island Tribe and a welcome address by Governor Jay Inslee and Secretary of State Kim Wyman at 1:10 p.m. Ralph Munro is the Master of Ceremonies. Girl Scouts will present birthday cards made by scouts all over the region to First Lady Mrs. Inslee in honor of the state’s birthday.

The opening service will end with a ceremony for the Capsule Keepers, which includes the initiation of 100 of Washington’s youth as “Washington State Keepers of the Capsule” where they will take an oath to preserve the time capsule and enlist new generations of Keepers every twenty-five years. More information on the Capsule Keepers can be found on their website.

A wide range of exciting musical and dance performances have been chosen to reflect the diversity of Washington in current times. The day will be filled with entertainment by the Olympia High School Band, Wenatchee High School’s mariachi band, Kim Archer, and the Oly Mountain Boys, a high-energy blue grass band.

Dance performances will range from b-boys to square dancing, with performances by the Massive Monkees, of “America’s Best Dance Crew” fame, square dancing by the Puddletown Squares Olympia Square Dance Inc., along with a Suquamish Tribe culture sharing.

Throughout the day, the Hands on Children’s Museum will provide activities for kids and there will be opportunities to tour the Legislative Building.

For those craving more history, a slide show will display centennial legacy projects from the last 25 years, memorabilia from the 1980 centennial celebration, the Washington State Constitution and Gilbert Stuart’s famous, one-dollar bill portrait of George Washington, courtesy of the Tacoma Art Museum. In between activities and performances visitors can peruse additional exhibitions from state agencies, heritage groups and arts and culture organizations and enjoy a piece of the five-foot long, Washington-shaped cake.

The Washington State Constitution will be on display during the day as well at the Office of the Secretary of State, along with their new exhibit Washington 1889: Blazes, Rails & the Year of Statehood. OSOS will be hosting an opening reception from 4:00 – 6:00pm.

The event is sponsored by a grant from the WSECU and has received donations from Wagner’s European Bakery & Café, Johnson-Cox Co., Crystal Springs, and Foss Waterway Maritime Museum.

For more event information, visit:


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