Sara Swanson

Sesquicentennial events schedule tentatively set

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Forty-two people attended the second sesquicentennial planning meeting at the KJ House last Tuesday.

Last Tuesday evening, organizers welcomed attendees to a second Manchester Sesquicentennial planning meeting at the Kingsley-Jenter House. Two and half hours later, something like a tentative schedule emerged, with leaders identified for each event.

Organizer Ray Berg stated, “Our January 24 planning meeting at Kingsley-Jenter House was very successful! My thanks to the 42 people who showed up, expressed their ideas, volunteered to lead or work on activities, and otherwise added momentum to the project. We collected extensive feedback and new ideas on both activities and the multi-day event schedule.”

While this is all of up for modification, as the schedule stands now, events will begin the evening of Wednesday, August 2nd with an opening reception at the K-JHouse.

On the afternoon of Thursday, August 3rd, the farmers market will host special sesquicentennial activities like a corn roast and hand-cranked ice cream social. Later in the evening, The Dodworth Saxhorn Band, America’s Premier 19th Century Brass Band, will perform the greatest hits of 1867 at the weekly gazebo concert in Wurster Park.

Friday, August 4th, will begin with an agriculture bus tour of local farms based on an agri-tour developed by the Manchester DDA and previously held in October 2015. During the afternoon, everyone will have the opportunity to independently visit local factory open houses to learn what they make at Amcor, CEI, Martinrea and more. At 6:30 pm, the sesquicentennial parade will wind through downtown. The MHS marching band is already signed on to participate, and organizers are hoping to include both horses and wagons, and costumes in the style of 1867, as well as 1967 cars and costumes.

Saturday, August 5th is going to be an even busier day, kicking off with the annual Run Manchester. Sesquicentennial events will begin shortly after with an “Antiques Roadshow” style event with local appraisers in the K-J House. To help celebrate the refurbishment of Kirk Park, a historic baseball game will be held in the afternoon. A beard and mustache contest will be held during the late afternoon. Throughout the day, two different guided walking tours of historic area homes will be offered, one featuring the homes on the village green skirting Wurster Park, and a second of the homes built during a post-Civil War economic boom on Ann Arbor Hill. That evening either a street dance or indoor dance is being planned. It may be a 19th century period costume ball, a 1960s costume “sock hop” or a come-as-you-are square dance.

On Sunday, a large, outdoor dinner, modeled after the farm-to-table dinner held in Chelsea last summer will be held either on Main Street or the village green. Tickets will be sold ahead of time and local chefs will each make a dish for the meal. A “centennials reunion” will be held t the K-J House, a gathering for anyone who attended Manchester’s centennial fifty years ago.

In addition to these scheduled events, art and craft classes will be offered by local artists to children and adults through out the week, featuring traditional and modern craft techniques. An antique tractor show is being organized. A traditional afternoon tea will be offered one of the weekend days. Historical activities and games for children will be offered at different locations and during events. Histories, souvenir booklets, and maps will be printed and available. And there is discussion of a time capsule.

Organizing Manchester’s sesquicentennial celebration is a huge undertaking. If you are interested in working on any part of it or you have ideas of your own you would like to volunteer to oversee, email Ray Berg at rayberg@att.net or join the organizers Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Sesquicentennial/ or attend the next planning meeting on Tuesday, February 21st at 7 pm at the K-J House.

Ray Berg of the Manchester Area Historical Society ran the meeting.

Ray Berg of the Manchester Area Historical Society ran the meeting.

35 people attended the second sesquicentennial planning meeting at the KJ House.

The official logo for Manchester's sesquicentennial was designed by Sue from Moxie Graphix. It incorporates the oldest known image of Manchester which is an 1854 sketch from atop of Ann Arbor Hill.

The official logo for Manchester’s sesquicentennial was designed by Sue from Moxie Graphix. It incorporates the oldest known image of Manchester which is an 1854 sketch from atop of Ann Arbor Hill.

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