The district officially became the City of Parks on Sept. 11, 1993.
Roughly 6,000 to 8,000 people attended the official city status ceremony 20 years ago. The event was held at Bear Creek Park and included volleyball, Greek souvlaki and deep-friend bananas at a Filipino tent.
Dozens of events were held from Sept. 9 to 12 that year to mark the new city status.
Events included a "toddler tournament" which identified the youngest person to take their first steps in the City of Surrey, and a "Mayor-thon" where mayors from 10 cities competed in "zany exploits." The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performed free concerts in the parks to celebrate the City of Parks.
In co-ordination with the celebrations, a time capsule was buried. It included items such as a District of Surrey rubber stamp, a picture of Fraser port, a tree seed kit, a Surrey souvenir pin and a letter from Chamber of Commerce president Peter Maarman and then-mayor Bob Bose.
Also in the sealed box are letters from 25 "keepers" of the capsule, explaining why they wanted to be a keeper and a commitment to return for its opening.
The time capsule was placed at a park in the Gateway Project and is set to be dug up on Sept. 11, 2018, the city's 25th anniversary.
"It was a piece of cake. Well, actually it was 400 pieces of cake." That was the lead in a story from the Now on Sept. 14, 1994, and the cake was celebrating Surrey's first anniversary as a city.
The first anniversary bash was held at Semiahmoo Park, which featured a $7,500 fireworks display. About 1,500 people attended the event.
THURSDAY: Bob Bose helps us look back at Surrey's colourful history.
The City of Surrey turns 20 this year and to celebrate, the city is holding two online contests.
Working with Surrey Archives, the city will put on a Surrey trivia contest during the week of Sept. 9. A daily archive photo will be posted in the "About Surrey" section of surrey.ca and people will be asked to visit each day and guess the current location of the photo. Each correct answer will be entered into a draw for one of three prize packages.
The other contest, which runs until Sept. 20, is the My Surrey photo contest. People are asked to submit their photos of Surrey along with a description or story through City Speaks. Visit surrey.ca.
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