Archive for Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mayor supports committee search

March 30, 2006

One hundred fifty years worth of history? Check. Plans for a bronzed statue of the city's namesake? Check. An annual fall festival that incorporates performances, piles of food and blocks of vendors? Big check. And a group of motivated Eudorans to tie it all together? Not so much ---- yet.

Citizens will get the chance to make the most of an opportunity that comes along once every century-and-a-half. That is if they have what it takes to plan a once-in-a-lifetime party.

At the March 13 City Council meeting, City Administrator Cheryl Beatty and Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle announced they would begin actively looking for citizens to take a lead role in the city's sesquicentennial celebrations during the 2007 EudoraFest.

"I need your guys' input to announce to the public we're looking to begin that committee," Beatty said.

At the council meeting, the discussion was short, but the process to find people continues.

So far, City Clerk Donna Oleson, Eudora Lions Club members Tom Tucker and Bob Slapar and members from the city historical society have agreed to help.

The group will also have guidance as needed from Beatty as the city's big birthday nears.

"I've had two people talk to me who already want to be on the committee," Pyle said.

There are preliminary plans already in place for the event, including the

unveiling of a statue of the town's namesake Eudora Fish, to be crafted by Lawrence artist Jim Brothers.

With the statue as a centerpiece and the sprawling backdrop of EudoraFest standards, many things are still left for the imagination.

One goal is to reconnect citizens with the city's history.

Pyle said the statue project would be a strong step in that direction.

Both Tucker and Oleson have shared strong historical ties to the upcoming celebration.

As part of his work to help Brothers find the best image for the statue, which will feature Chief Paschal Fish holding the hand of his daughter Eudora as a child, Tucker has been studying her family history.

Oleson remembers attending Eudora's centennial celebration as a young girl.

She said it was a big thing because the city didn't have much.

"They cooked buffalo burgers north of city hall," Oleson said.

Pyle said he also remembered Miss Kansas visiting during the celebration.

She later became Miss America, Pyle said.

After two weeks, Beatty said there's still opportunity to help plan a new set of memories for the entire city.

"We're just going to have to find people," Beatty said. "We just have to start being aggressive and ask around."

The final names will be announced at an upcoming city council meeting.

"We'll get that done then," Pyle said.

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