ESCANABA - Sponsors, donations and a lot of voluntary help have gone into the two and a half years worth of planning for Escanaba's 150th anniversary. The 10-day celebration is just two weeks away from kicking off on July 5.
"There's a lot going on. The committee is working hard to bring a monumental celebration," said City Manager Jim O'Toole during his Manager's Call session prior to Thursday's regular council meeting.
Esky150 Event Co-chair Kay Johnson was the featured guest. She and O'Toole discussed the lineup of events scheduled for the sesquicentennial.
Though a lot of people have stepped up to the plate, more volunteers are needed at some events, said Johnson.
The town-wide celebration begins with a parade down Ludington Street on Friday, July 5. Throughout the 10-day event there will be concerts, contests, lumberjack shows, historical home tours, art shows, and water-ski shows. Holy Name and Escanaba schools are hosting alumni reunions.
There will be children's activities, a senior social, community picnics, and dances. Also planned are marathon races, car races, and a canoe/kayak regatta.
Dedications are planned for a new playground in the city, an addition on the historical museum, and a military monument. Harbor Hideout playground will celebrate its 20th anniversary.
A maritime festival will take place at the marina July 12-13. The Gas and Steam Engine Village will be open at the fairgrounds July 12-13.
The celebration will conclude on Sunday, July 14, with the burying of a time capsule followed by barbershop singing and then a Big Band concert and dance.
"There will be a lot of people and cars," commented O'Toole, who reminded motorists to watch out for pedestrians.
A free shuttle bus service will be provided to events during the first three days of the Esky150 celebration, he added.
Johnson noted that Esky150 events will be posted daily on a large sign outside the Delta County Area Chamber of Commerce building at 230 Ludington St.
During its meeting on Thursday, council approved a temporary waiver allowing alcohol sales to be extended until 11 p.m. in Ludington Park on July 5-6.
For more information on the sesquicentennial celebration, visit www.esky150.org or call (906) 786-0631.