Archive for Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sesquicentennial committee sets schedule for celebration

June 7, 2007

The city's sesquicentennial celebration will be a time to look toward the future, revel in the present and remember the past.

The event schedule is nearly set. The celebration will be Oct. 5 and 6 in conjunction with EudoraFest

The city's sesquicentennial committee will include a list of events for the two-day extravaganza in an information packet to be included with the city's June bills.

"I'm excited about all of it actually," sesquicentennial committee co-chair LaDonna Russell said.

Starting with summer

Forget the fact the big event won't happen until October. The city has several ways to start the celebration early.

The committee plans to establish a sesquicentennial theme for both the adult and children's parades during the CPA picnic celebration in July.

The group also plans to tie into Eudora Public Library's summer reading program with a historical perspective, Russell said.

The committee also is looking to hire several speakers to talk during the summer, Russell said.

Committee members urge citizens to start preparing for several ongoing contests.

The contests include beard growing and photography competitions. Both will be judged Oct. 5.

Citizens also can show their support for the 150th anniversary by purchasing several commemorative items.

Residents can find displays with a pin featuring the official logo of the 150th celebration scattered throughout the town. The pins are $1.50 each.

A Eudora statue T-shirt is available for $12 from the Eudora Historical Society.

The city also has received its first order of commemorative throw rugs.

The rugs showcase iconic images of Eudora including a design featuring the Eudora Fish statue, the Pilla house and the sesquicentennial logo. The throw rugs are $35 each.

Committee member Donna Oleson used plans from the historical society to help design the current rug.

"I like it. I think it looks very nice," Oleson said.

Partying for the present

Activities will start rolling early on the first day of the festival.

"I think it's going to be a fun night. It's a party," Russell said. "We will be more focusing on celebrating the current Eudora."

The first night of the festival also will be an all-out birthday party for the city, Russell said.

Citizens will celebrate the mark with cake and ice cream.

Culinary arts students from the Eudora/De Soto Technical Education Center will be baking the cake. They also will provide several specialty cakes to be sold through a silent auction at the event, Russell said.

After dark, festival goers will be treated to a fireworks show.

Residents will be treated with non-stop music starting at about 6:30 p.m.

The two headlining acts are the Michael Beers Band and Nothing Much.

"It will be a time of celebrating whereas Saturday will be working toward our beginnings," Russell said.

Recognizing the past

The celebration continues 9 a.m. Saturday.

The same celebratory spirit from the previous night will enliven games, vendors and entertainment of EudoraFest.

The highlight of the day will come during a midday ceremony where the city will unveil a 7.5 feet tall statue of the town's founder Chief Paschal Fish. The statue, sculpted by Lawrence artist Jim Brothers, portrays Fish being embraced by his daughter, Eudora, the city's namesake.

The city also will welcome descendants of Paschal Fish to the ceremony.

Three separate stages will be in use during the festival, Russell said.

The first stage will be near CPA Park and serve as the main stage for the EudoraFest celebration.

The next stage will be in between Seventh and Eight streets. The final stage will be near black lodge studios on Seventh Street.

All three stages will be filled with entertainment throughout the day, Russell said.

The event will close with an open karaoke contest at about 5 p.m.

"We'll be partying so hard Friday night, that everybody ought be worn out in early evening on Saturday," Russell said.

The sesquicentennial committee is still open to volunteers.

For more information, call Russell at 690-7241.

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