The City of Miami has officially kicked off the countdown to its 125th anniversary, which is July 28 and commemorates the city’s incorporation on that date in 1896.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and local businessman Larry Gautier, senior vice president at NAI Miami and a descendent of one of Miami’s founding families, are co-chairing the anniversary effort. In the coming months, the Magic City’s history — and its future — will be celebrated through a series of events leading up to the July 28 anniversary.
“Miami is a young city in the big scheme of things, but we have made so much history here in our nearly 125 years, and we aim to celebrate our rich past in the coming months, as we count down to our 125th anniversary in late July,” Mayor Suarez said. “This is an opportunity for Miamians of all ages to learn about our history — and to envision what our city will look like in the years and decades to come.”
As part of the 125th Anniversary countdown, the city will host monthly educational events — held via Zoom — in neighborhoods throughout Miami where markers are being installed to commemorate some of the city’s most significant historically significant sites. At the same time, the 125th anniversary celebration will partner with local schools to engage Miami’s next generation.
Students will learn about their hometown’s past and be asked to share their thoughts and aspirations for what Miami’s future will look like. A student competition to design the 125th Anniversary commemorative logo is planned.
“Miami has given so much to my family and to countless others over the decades, and I’m proud to join Mayor Suarez in kicking off our 125th anniversary celebrations,” Gautier said.
“When my great grandparents arrived at the mouth of the Miami River on a flatboat in 1895, they couldn’t have imagined what that place would become. My hope is that this celebration will give our youngest residents a sense of Miami’s past and real sense of place to activate future community involvement here.
“There are so many residents that have stories to tell about their experiences growing up in Miami and the exciting thing is, they want to share them with the next generation, so Miami’s history and legacy continue on,” Gautier added. “What a wonderful opportunity to connect not only the older and younger generations, but to honor and celebrate the vast diversity that Miami has a truly dynamic multi-cultural international city.”
The city’s 125th Anniversary Committee now is finalizing a detailed schedule of events and engagement opportunities and will publish them in the near future. Initial plans call for the celebration to culminate with a community gala at Miami’s Bayfront Park in late July, open to the public and contingent on COVID-19 conditions.