ESCANABA - The countdown to Escanaba's sesquicentennial celebration has begun, with a pair of co-coordinators to lead the effort.
Retired Escanaba Schools administrator Kay Johnson and consultant Lori Hertig have been selected by the Esky 150 Steering Committee to oversee the city's 150th birthday bash in 2013.
"Kay and Lori will assist us in our event planning and the search for sponsors, vendors and organizers," said Steering Committee Chair Pat Baribeau. "Having them as leaders will really help get our sesquicentennial off the ground."
The city will mark its 150th anniversary in 2013, with a slate of major activities held July 5-13 and other history-themed events to be planned throughout the year.
A fundraising drive is underway, including personal contacts and a letter campaign.
With grants and contributions, the Esky 150 group will offer monetary assistance to clubs, groups and individuals who would like to host or help run events.
Johnson said so far the Esky 150 committee has had commitments from headliners and a "150 Idol" local talent competition, former Escanaba log birlers (lumberjack show), and healthcare providers (health/fitness day).
Other events in the planning stages include: a gathering to honor local tribal traditions, sesquicentennial parade, school reunions, golf tourneys, vintage baseball, historic homes tour, old time radio show, military flyover, folk music jam and nondenominational church service.
"Now is when we need to start finalizing things," said Johnson. "So we encourage anyone with ideas or manpower to contact Esky 150."
Ways to get involved, along with comment and photo forum, are featured at the sesquicentennial website: esky150.org. Johnson and Hertig can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or leave a message at 786-0631, ext. 312.
An Escanaba native and daughter of longtime City Manager George Harvey, Johnson retired in 2010 from Escanaba Area Schools after serving as principal and teacher.
Hertig moved to Escanaba in 1999 from Green Bay, Wis., and is an independent sales representative.
Johnson said: "Whether you've lived in Escanaba your entire life or just moved to the area, next year's celebration will be one for Escanaba residents of all ages to enjoy."