Next to the annual Novato Fourth of July Parade, there might not be a better event tied to city pride than the Paint the Town Red celebration. The gala affair, which will mark the city's 53rd birthday, is coming up Jan. 18 at the Margaret Todd Senior Center.
"For me, Novato’s annual birthday party highlights the best of Novato’s community spirit," said Jeanne MacLeamy, a Novato City Council member and one of the Paint the Town Red organizers. "It's a memorable night when you can strengthen old friendships and kindle new ones, sample delectable local cuisine and wines, enjoy good music with dancing and honor past and present Novato Citizens of the Year."
Dennis Hagerty said he'll never forget receiving the Novato Citizen of the Year award last January. A San Marin resident since 1981, the local State Farm agent was honored for his involvement in events and groups such as the Novato Fourth of July Parade, the Novato Festival of Art, Wine & Music, the San Marin Improvement Association, the Rotary Club of Novato plus local schools and Scouting organizations.
"Being chosen as the 2011 Citizen of the Year was over-the-top flattering and humbling," Hagerty said. "When I was called up ... I was deeply moved to see so much of my family and many close friends present. When I started making my remarks in gratitude for the honor, I choked up when I saw my son, Kyle, there. For a moment, it felt like I was in a dream as I asked myself, 'What is he doing here? He lives in Colorado!' My wife, Gilda, had carefully arranged the whole thing. I also have her to thank for her love and undying support for all my endeavors."
Each year the Citizens of the Year Committee, in conjunction with the Novato Chamber of Commerce, City of Novato and School Fuel seek nominations of people who would make a good choice. Nominations closed in November and the recipient has been chosen, and the announcement will be one of the much-anticipated portions of Paint the Town Red.
The introduction of the city’s small, large and green businesses of the year will be made by the Novato Chamber of Commerce as well. Gastronomically speaking, Paint the Town Red is a delectable treat with the featuring of Taste of Novato, a medley of hors d’ oeuvres, wines and craft beers from local businesses. Swing Set will provide danceable tunes this time around.
The event goes from 6-10 p.m. at the Margaret Todd Senior Center. The most recent Paint the Town Red events have been staged at the renovated Novato City Hall, but the construction zone at the nearby location of the new city administrative offices led event organizers to stage it at the alternative site this year. The board members are Dietrich Stroeh (president), Patty Bennett, Victoria Crawley, Aldo Gigliotti, Jennifer Goldfinger, Coy Smith and Joseph Tozzi, but dozens of others are involved.
"The driving force behind this celebration is an enthusiastic, dedicated group of community volunteers and sponsors that love Novato and think that there is great cause for celebration every year," MacLeamy said.
Tickets are $50 and can be obtained by visiting the official website.