The Northwestern Pacific and Tamalpais Railroad, the Marin County Promotion League and North Coast Water Company of Marin City never saw the 21st Century.
But the institution those defunct companies helped birth financially remains alive and well.
The Mountain Play, the venerable theatrical institution that debuted on Mount Tam in 1913, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and is set to do so with a big ol’ birthday party in Mill Valley's Depot Plaza on May 8.
The Mill Valley Parks and Recreation Commission approved the party, a Wednesday evening affair that will piggyback on the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce mixer at Wells Fargo downtown that afternoon and feature birthday cake, a proclamation from Mayor Andy Berman and a children’s sing-along with music from the Sound of Music, this season’s centennial production.
“It’s not every day an organization turns 100 years old,” Recreation Director Jenny Rogers said.
The anniversary season kicks off May 19 and runs through June 16. Sara Pearson, a San Rafael resident and the Mountain Play Association’s executive director, told the commission that her organization and its hometown have been indelibly linked for as long as anyone can remember.
“We are a 100-year-old organization that has celebrated our activities and anniversaries here in this town,” she said. “We want to blow out come candles and have some birthday cake with everyone downtown."
The days surrounding the party will also feature lamp post banners marking the centennial, and several downtown storefronts will be decorated around the theme of the Sound of Music, Rogers said.
The party will culminate with a brief musical performance by cast members portraying the Von Trapp Family Singers in the Mountain Play production of The Sound of Music, chosen from a group of more than 150 youth who auditioned for seven parts.
“These are lovely, talented kids who are really anxious to be a part of this thing,” she said.