By Cecilia Chan, GSN Managing Editor

Gilbert is planning to throw the mother of all birthday parties when it turns 100 in 2020.

Although the milestone is two years away, town staff is already planning for the centennial celebration with a kick-off meeting in February.

“A centennial happens only once in 100 years,” Town Manager Patrick Banger said. “It’s important to mark this for future generations.”

The event will be celebrated year-round and tied into events such as Gilbert Days, according to Dana Berchman, chief digital officer.

Branding is integral to that celebration’s cohesion, she said, unveiling the town’s new logo during the council’s annual two-day fall retreat last week.

Gilbert’s old logo, which resembles a swirl, has often been compared to a toilet-bowl swish, among other things, Berchman said.

The new logo features colorful symbols of the town’s past and future such as the iconic water tower, a graduation hat and a plate and utensils, a nod to its growing food hub.

The town will ease into the use of the logo, such as putting it on town vehicles as new ones are ordered, Berchman said.

Staff also expects to unveil a town flag along with the logo in July 2020. Berchman said Gilbert has never had a town flag, and the plan is to ask the public next July to participate in its design.

The centennial celebration will officially launch at the mayor’s Digital State of the Town address in January 2020.

Staff for the celebration, which will pay tribute to the town’s past and look to the future, plans to get the whole town involved, Berchman said.

“It will be a town-wide effort,” she said. “We will bring all the groups together who want to participate in the birthday.”

Berchman said the town will have a calendar of events and a digital tool kit on its website where people can download the graphics, fonts, color scheme and guidelines of how and where to use the new logo.

Banger suggested the town do some sort of commemorative project to note the occasion for future generations.

He pointed to examples, including a stained-glass sculpture in the shape of a water tower that lights up at night in Brookyn, New York, a clock tower and an archway.

The project doesn’t have to be grandiose or expensive, he said.

He pitched for staff to come up with some concepts and get a range of costs for council to review, which Mayor Jenn Daniels agreed to.

“We have a really good start,” Berchman said. “We will out-do any city that has had a centennial.”

The current town logo, left, will be replaced over time by a more colorful one that celebrates Gilbert’s 100th birthday.