GILBERT, AZ — Within the last year, the town of Gilbert's population growth was the third highest in the region according to the Office of Economic Opportunity.
2020 happens to be the 100th anniversary for the town and Gilbert's Historical Museum is clinging on to every piece of history it can.
Near the museum is a special non-profit, Heritage District South that is run by President and CEO, Kayla Kolar, who is working to keep the past alive.
"It's important to know where you've come from, to know where you're going," said Kolar.
Kolar describes the town as futuristic adding, "Many times when communities experience tremendous growth, like Gilbert has, they see a decline. Gilbert is determined not to let that happen."
She credited the new Loop 202 South Mountain for helping with the Gilbert expansion through improving travel but also by connecting the community with the rest of the Valley.
Gilbert is hoping to focus more on growth into the future.
"The town is going to be focused on transportation, continuing to keep the excellent education system that we have and continuing to bring more business and industry to the community," said Kolar.
One of those connections is the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale.
"We have a lot of fans out in the East Valley and it's always taken a little longer to get to the arena. Now, with the 202 extension, it's awesome because it saves like 30 minutes", said Tom Hoof, Vice President of Marketing at the Arizona Coyotes.
To celebrate the 100 years of Gilbert, Gilbert Town Council declared January 11 as Arizona Coyotes Day.
The town celebrated with a Farmer's Market where kids tested their hockey skills among other fun games and meet Howler with the Coyotes crew.