Residents Encouraged to Complete a Short Survey, Help Organizers Plan for Columbia’s 50th Birthday Party


Columbia’s 50th birthday is cause for celebration, and Columbia and Howard County residents can have a say in how they want it celebrated.

Residents are encouraged to take a few minutes to complete a short survey from Columbia 50th Birthday Celebration Inc., available online at Among the questions are what kind of events people would like to see, how long the celebration should last, if a new piece of public art should be commissioned to mark the community’s birthday and the ways in which people might wish to be involved in planning the celebration.

“Columbia’s birthday is also a celebration of the people who make up this great community,” said Rob Goldman, Columbia Association (CA) vice president. “We want to hear from residents, whose survey answers will help organizers plan for what Columbia’s 50th birthday party will be.”

Columbia was founded in 1967; its 50th birthday will officially occur in 2017.

“Columbia has always celebrated its birthday. It began with a homegrown affair and then grew and grew — there were City Fairs, Balls in the Mall and special events,” said Barbara Kellner, director of the Columbia Archives.

“I think the birthday celebrations give the community a chance to come together and collectively celebrate,” Kellner said. “As Columbia has grown, not everyone feels the sense of belonging and community that was possible when Columbia was smaller. Marking Columbia’s 50th birthday in a big way will be a chance to educate everyone about Columbia’s unique past, and to celebrate what Columbia is today and what it can be.”

And after completing the survey, residents are encouraged to check out the online exhibit, “Creating Columbia: 50 Years Ago Today,” which is available at this link.

Columbia did not just appear out of the blue in 1967. The community was years in the making, years filled with excitement and energy, opportunities and challenges, successes and failures.

The timeline exhibit chronicles those events, as well as the key players both in the spotlight and behind the scenes, all of which formed the foundation of all that Columbia is today. The exhibit is a fluid document that has entries appearing on the corresponding day in history, 50 years later, with materials culled from Columbia Archives’ collection of documents, photographs, oral histories and media coverage.

Each entry just scratches the surface, and readers are encouraged to visit Columbia Archives to dig deeper into the past.

Columbia Archives collects and preserves the history of Columbia. The public is welcome to visit Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, go to or contact Archives staff at or 410-715-3103.

About Columbia Association

Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit service corporation that manages Columbia, MD, a planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people and several thousand businesses. Additional information about CA is available at


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Filed under Columbia Association Press Releases, Columbia News

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