On Wednesday, June 23rd 2004, Second Life turned a year old (a year from its initial launch date into "public" status of June 23 2003), and many events were held in its honor! The celebration spanned over several days and was also known as the "Second Life First Year Anniversary Gala". The main events included a "Gala Parade" featuring floats created by residents, a festival and kid avatar contest, and the Time Capsule event with a live broadcast by Philip Linden.
There were also a lot of unofficial events held by other residents through-out the week of the celebration. These events ranged from sales, to club openings, to parties and more.
The official events were kicked off with a big parade with floats made by resident groups! The theme of the parade was "Digital Pioneers", celebrating creative progression made in the digital age, the theme was not a real strict rule applied so not all floats were tailored to the theme. Group sign ups started on 06-02-2004, any group that wished to participate was required to sign up via the forum thread. Floats would also be judged by Lindens (and general crowd consensus), and that months "Developer Incentive Awards" would then go to the floats that were judged best. First would get US$300, second place gets US$200, and US$145 goes to third place.
The parade route ran through newly added sims at the time. It ran counterclockwise west through Hiaka, Milu, Kane, then south through Ku, Akea, east to Kanalao, Apukohai, then south to Lie and ended in Mooaleo. Participants in the parade were directed to go to Bethel (1, 200) before the parade started to register and find out the order of the floats.
Parades ran at two different times in the day for the different time zones, one at 1 PM (PST/SLT) and again at 7 PM (PST/SLT). A lot of the same floats appeared at both times, there may have been some differences in float order etc.
The turnout was good with a large amount of people showing up at each time. On-lookers gathered all around the route some following the parade as it went along. There were various places to sit and watch the parade from set up along the route, grand stands, makeshift tents and decks, various benches and other random objects were seen. Road blocks were set up along water ways to help guide the parade and keep everyone on track.
Lag did play a roll in the parade causing some floats to stutter, slow, and ghost (appear they were there, but actually were not). Also sim boarder crossing and sims being full were also something parade participants had to overcome. This did not stop people from still having fun however. Other than the above the parade went off with a hitch. Various very nice floats from different groups of all kinds were seen.
On 06-29-2004 the winners of the Developer Incentive Awards were announced and posted on the forum Announcements by Haney Linden, the winners were listed as such:
SLBN (In-world television network) did coverage on the parade, the coverage can be seen Here
Linden Announcement thread for the parade can be seen here: Forum Link: Parade Announcement And Results
One Year Young Festival And Kid Avatar Events
The One Year Young Festival and Kid Avatar Events were held on June 24th, the festival lasting all day starting at 12 PM (PST) and held in Lime and Plum, the Kid Avatar Events were also held at various times through-out the day.
Both events were held by the Spellbound Events group, founded by Baccara Rhodes. Refreshments, rides, and other various other attractions were seen at the festival. Rides included the most famous rides of the past year. Refreshments served were cake, candy, drinks, ice cream and more. Also toys and other items were given out.
There were two Kid Avatar events, one was for a Best Looking Kid Avatar contest held at 2 PM (PST), and the other was a Wackiest Kid Avatar contest held at 5:30 PM (PST).
The Kid Avatar events are a concept where you must come as a Kid version of your usual avatar. Many people wore their Kid avatars all day long even after the events were well over. Kid avatar events are pretty much a common tradition.
Winners of the Kid Avatar events won cash prizes and other various surprises.
Baccara Rhodes' post on the forum event thread: Forum Link: Baccara's Event Announcement
Time Capsule and Live Broadcast from CEO Philip Linden
The last officially announced event was this great event held on June 25th at 5PM (PST) in Lime (120, 20).
It started off with Philip Linden giving a speech via the new streaming audio feature that was recently implemented at that time. This was actually a very interesting thing because he was able to be heard from any plot of land that set its URL to a specific link that was set up, allowing for anyone, anywhere, to tune in and listen to everything Philip said. In his speech Philip said a lot of things about SL's past and how far it has come.
After he was done and a well earned round of applause from all those around Philip then took the task of unearthing the Beta Time Capsule. The Beta Time Capsule was an object buried in the ground on 06/17/2003 and left open for user contribution (users could add any type of item they wished to the capsule), it was then buried on 06/22/2003, the capsule was marked to be open on 2004 (even though the stamp on the capsule said June 3001).
Through-out the time it spent in the ground the capsule gained many items within it.
A selection of items were displayed in the sim Plum inside small open air museum like setups, Plum had remained offline while Philip gave his speech and unearthed the capsule, but then it magically appeared all set up just when he said it would. Nova Linden took the task of putting everything out and did a great job setting it up. Many users then moved into Plum to look at the items and Philip then moved on to taking questions via IM. Due to the streaming audio feature Philip could take IM questions from anyone listening all over the grid, as well as those directly around him. He was able to answer them very swiftly and get a lot of things answered.
The only downfall of using streaming audio is that no real textual logs can be made (unless someone types it or catches it somehow with some software). While some did record it to MP3 formats this doesn't always stay on servers for long. Other than that streaming audio makes the whole Q and A processes a lot quicker letting more questions to be answered. Many people complimented Philip on his voice and agreed that he was easy to understand. There were a few hiccups in the stream, but nothing too terrible.
After the Q & A Philip had to take a leave, a lot of users stuck around though and checked out the items that were around, the items were on display for around a month before being taken down.
Original Beta Time Capsule announcement: Forum Link: Capsule Event Announcement