New Richmond turns 150 years old in 2007, and a few people are working hard to make sure area residents celebrate in a big way.
A Sesquicentennial Committee has been formed and is meeting each Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Bean Bag Coffee House in New Richmond. The committee's first meeting was just two weeks ago.
The group has already developed a logo to commemorate the birthday celebration. The city has committed some money to help the committee plan and coordinate Sesquicentennial events.
The committee has already set Saturday, Aug. 4, 2007, as the date for the actual birthday bash. The plans aren't final yet, but the day's activities could include a street dance, giant birthday cake and people dressing up in historic clothing. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome at this point.
The main goal of the Sesquicentennial Committee is to identify at least 150 events that will occur in the community in 2007. They also hope that more than 150 volunteers agree to help with planning the various events.
Sue Franchere, New Richmond Heritage Center director, said churches, schools, businesses, organizations and individuals are asked to fill out a form (available through the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce) detailing their planned events or gatherings.
"It's all the different things going on," she explained.
Eventually a master list of events will be developed and distributed. It will likely be posted on the Chamber website or a possible new Sesquicentennial website.
The committee encourages anyone planning an event in 2007 to think in terms of the city's 150th birthday and give their plans "a little twist" to give it a historic flavor, Franchere said.
"Be thinking 150th," she said. "That's what we're asking the community to think about."
Russ Korpela, Chamber director, said everyone needs to get involved as the activity list is developed.
"It will include everything from a church social or pancake feed, all the way up to Fun Fest," he said. "Don't be shy about submitting those events. There are obviously some activities that we're not yet aware of."
The hope is to unify all of the events under the Sesquicentennial umbrella, so that every event can benefit from greater participation, Korpela said.
Even though planning has just begun, things seem to be falling into place, committee members say.
"I think it's all shaping up very nicely," said Jerry Brown, president of the New Richmond Area Economic Development Corporation and a committee member. "There is a lot of energy behind this thing now."
Brown said he jumped at the chance to help New Richmond celebrate its past.
"I like history and I like this town," he said. "I can just see the possibilities ... celebrating 150 years of what we've done and where we've come from."
For more information about the 2007 celebrations, or to join the Sesquicentennial Committee, contact Franchere at 246-3276 or the Chamber of Commerce at 246-2900.
People wishing to submit an activity to be included on the list of events is also urged to contact the Chamber. They will have hard-copy forms or electronic forms that can be filled out.