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Newark Days is an annual celebration that takes place in Newark, California every September to celebrate the incorporation of the city of Newark on September 22, 1955. In its current form it is a four-day event, Thursday through Sunday, in mid to late September. It is centered on Newark Community Park & Community Center as well as the adjacent MacGregor School Grounds. In addition to carnival rides, food and game booths, and stage shows, it includes a race and a parade along "the Newark Mile" (a stretch of Newark Blvd.) on the Saturday morning. Annual attendance for the celebration is more than 100,000.
What is now called Newark Days was originally planned by members of the Newark Chamber of Commerce. They later turned the festivities over to the Jaycees. In the 1960s a group called "Newark Birthday Celebration" was formed. However, the event was not put on during the late 1960s. In 1972 Shirley Sisk called a meeting to see if there were enough volunteers to plan an event for that September. Interest was high, and "Newark Days Celebration" was formed. The Newark Rotary club brought in a carnival, and the committee put together food booths and games at the Pavilion. The weekend was a huge success, and a nonprofit corporation was formed to make it a regular annual event. A volunteer 30-member committee works year-round to organize it, and more than 200 volunteers assist at the event.
In 2005, Newark Days celebrated Newark's 50th anniversary with a 1950s theme and the return of Arknew, a kangaroo that was Newark's old town mascot.
Every year, the Newark Days Celebration features a different theme.
- 1988 Every Day's a Holiday
- 1989 People, Pride & Progress
- 1990 The Magic of Newark
- 1991 Newark Then & Now
- 1992 Where Fairy Tales Come True
- 1993 Railroad Days
- 1994 The Best of the West
- 1995 Remembering When
- 1996 There's No Place Like Home
- 1997 It's a Small World
- 1998 Under the Big Top
- 2000 The Sounds of Music
- 2001 Newarks of the World
- 2002 Celebrate America
- 2003 Every Day's a Holiday
- 2004 Exploring the West
- 2005 50 Golden Years
- 2006 It's all Here
- 2007 Cirque de Newark
- 2008 Celebrate America
- 2009 Celebrating the Arts
- 2010 Color the World
- 2011 Fantasy Comes Alive
- 2012 Country Jamboree
- 2013 All That Jazz
- Newark Days website
- "NEWARK DAYS GOES WITH HOLIDAY THEME FOR WEEKEND CELEBRATION", 12 September 1990, San Jose Mercury News
- "NEWARK'S SILLIMAN TO RIDE AGAIN AS GRAND MARSHAL", 14 September 1995, San Jose Mercury News
- A PARADE WITHOUT PRETENSION, 20 September 1998, San Jose Mercury News
- Newark Days, 21 September 2001, The Argus
- Kuznia, Rob. "Ex-Raider grand marshal of Newark parade", 5 September 2002, The Oakland Tribune
- Kuznia, Rob. Newark Days' fun in the sun features Santa, Easter eggs, 21 September 2003, Tri-Valley Herald
- Hamady, Tatyana (14 September 2004). "Newark Days Invites Visitors to 'Explore the West'". tricityvoice.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- Evans, Melissa. "Rain doesn't dampen Newark Days", 20 September 2004, The Oakland Tribune
- Woodall, Angela. "Newark prepares for 51st birthday", 13 September 2006, The Argus
- Brown, Todd R. "Performers set for Newark Days", 9 September 2007, The Argus
- Jr. Aguirre, Ben. "Newark Days celebrations hitting town later this week", 14 September 2009, The Oakland Tribune
- Sisk, Shirley (13 September 2011). "Newark Days Celebration". tricityvoice.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "Newark Days 2012: Festival Schedule for Newark's 57th Birthday Celebration". patch.com. 29 August 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.