Guide to Manchester’s Sesquicentennial Celebration Week Activities
This year, Manchester is celebrating the 150th anniversary of it’s incorporation in 1867 with a week-long celebration the first week of August. Planning for this week long celebration has been overseen by the Sesquicentennial Committee, made up of members representing separate event committees themselves, meeting monthly beginning last January. Centered around the Annual Run Manchester Street Festival, with a huge number of unique, historical-focused events and activities, this is sure to be Manchester’s biggest celebration since the Centennial Celebration 50 years ago!
While most of the events and activities are free, a few require tickets. Tickets for the Fashion/ High Tea Luncheon, Agri-tour, Main Street Dinner and Historic Home Walking Tours are already available at River Raisin Antiques and Mercantile at 138 East Main Street. Tickets for the Street dinner are also available at Kellies at 112 Adrian Street. Tickets will also be available at Farmers Market located in Chi-Bro Park this week (Thursday, July 27 from 3:30-7pm) and next week (Thursday, August 3 from 3:30-7pm), and at the Kingsley-Jenter House at 302 East Main Street, whenever it is open for an event the week of the Sesquicentennial Celebration.
Official Sesquicentennial merchandise is available at River Raisin Antiques and Mercantile at 138 East Main Street. It will also be available at the Kingsley-Jenter House at 302 East Main Street during the week of the celebration. Official merchandise includes the Sesquicentennial logo. In addition to shirts, tote-bags, Christmas ornaments, pins and more, new versions and reprints of historical maps and prints will be available for sale. The sale of this merchandise goes to fund the Sesquicentennial Celebration.
Downtown streets will be blocked off during Friday night festivities and all day Saturday, which cuts down on available parking. Nearby free parking lots can be found at the Manchester Middle School located at 710 East Main Street, the Nellie Ackerson Building at 410 City Road, Luther C. Klager Elementary at 405 Ann Arbor St. and the Manchester High School at 20500 Dutch Drive.
The Manchester-Area Historical Society’s Kingsley-Jenter House located at 302 East Main Street on the corner of M-52 and Main is the official headquarters of Manchester’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. In addition to hosting an open house, the Antiques Roadshow-style appraisal event, a silent auction, and the opening and closing ceremonies, it served as the location for all of the Sesquicentennial planning meetings. The former funeral home was purchased in late 2015 by the Historical Society after more than a year of fundraising and work, and has been undergoing repairs and renovations over the last year and a half, resulting in a community meeting space, event rental location, and museum space. If you haven’t been inside the Kingsley-Jenter house, named for two of it’s most well-known residents, then the Sesquicentennial is the perfect opportunity to stop in and check it out.
While some Sesquicentennial events will involve participant fees which will help defray the costs of those events, financial sponsorships from individuals, organizations and corporations are funding much of the Sesquicentennial celebration. These sponsors will receive printed and verbal recognition at events, complimentary tickets to certain events, and printed recognition in the Sesquicentennial Commemorative Book to be published after the event. Sponsorship levels range from $25 to $1,000 and are still being accepted through the celebration. The sponsorship form can be found at http://48158.com/150years/ click on “Manchester Sesquicentennial Sponsorship Application” near the bottom of the page.
Manchester’s Sesquicentennial Celebration Week Schedule
Keep your eyes out for re-enactors at Sesquicentennial events throughout the week! Meet and talk to some of Manchester’s 19th century residents. Purchase an 1869 copy of the Manchester Enterprise from a newspaper “crier” for 10 cents.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
- Fashion High Tea / Luncheon, Manchester United Methodist Church, 501 Ann Arbor Street, noon – 3pm – includes light lunch, then tea and historical fashion show – ticket required, $10, available at River Raisin Antiques located at 138 East Main Street.
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
- Raising of the 37-star flag, Wurster Park on Main Street, 5:30pm
- Sesquicentennial Opening Reception and Program, Kingsley-Jenter House, 302 East Main Street, 6:30pm – “1867 – What Was Going On Then?”, will include unveiling of 2017 Drone’s Eye View of Manchester, reproduction of oldest known Manchester Enterprise still in existence (Oct. 7th, 1869), and more! – FREE
Thursday, August 3, 2017
- Industry Tech Walk, 1- 5pm – several local manufacturing businesses will open their doors for plant tours and demonstrations including Fastener Advance Products, CEI Composite Materials, Post Production Solutions and Obertron Electronic Manufacturing, flyer and map can be downloaded at www.48158.com/150years – FREE
- Manchester Farmers Market, SPECIAL LOCATION – Wurster Park on Main Street, 3:30-7pm
- Emanuel UCC Annual Ice Cream Social, 324 West Main Street, 4-7pm, dinner and ice-cream, more than 100 years of tradition – prices vary
- Gazebo Concert, Wurster Park on Main Street, 7-9:30pm – featuring the Dodworth Saxhorn Band, America’s premier 19th Century community brass band, includes sing-a-longs, children’s activities, and crowning of the Sesquicentennial Queen – FREE, but free-will donations accepted
Friday, August 4, 2017
- Agri-Tour, 9am-3pm – one-of-a-kind bus tour includes stops at a crop/livestock farm that has been owned by the same family since 1869, a Centennial Farm where the family’s sixth generation owner will explain the milking and dairy cattle operation, a certified organic farm, United Producers-Farm Supply/Livestock Auction, and a Heritage Farm where participants will walk through their fully restored 1800’s log cabin and visit the operating blacksmith shop, farm outbuildings, and traditional gardens found on the property – ticket required (price includes lunch), $30 adult or $15 child (12 & under), available at River Raisin Antiques located at 138 East Main Street, ticket must be purchased by July 31st!
- Sesquicentennial Parade, down Main Street, beginning on Duncan Street near Alumni Fields, along Beaufort Street to Main Street, through downtown on Main Street, to Emanuel Church, starts at 6:30pm – parade announcer near M-52 corner
- Manchester Fire Department Open House, 275 South Macomb Street, starts after parade – 9pm – includes tractor display outside – FREE
- Sesquicentennial Street Dance, Main St. near M-52, stage on Main Street, 7:30-11:30pm — Luke Schaible calling a few square dancing numbers then shifting into modern with 3614 DMP of Tecumseh – FREE
Saturday, August 5, 2017
- 9th Annual Run Manchester, 5K, 10K & 1 Mile Fun Run, start & finish on Main Street course runs east through town, along Hibbard, Dutch Drive, and M-52, Fun Run begins at 10am, 5K & 10K begin after Fun Run is completed – 5K & 10K Registration $30 (includes T-shirt), Fun Run FREE, (registration form available at manchesterstreetfestival. org)
- 4th Annual Manchester Street Festival – Main Street downtown, Adrian Street, Clinton Street, 10am-8pm, – includes street food, live music, kids activities, vendor booths (until 4pm) & more – FREE
- Manchester Mens Club Classic Car Show, Main Street west of Clinton, 10am-4pm – FREE to show, $10 to enter car to win cash prizes
- Manchester Area Historical Society’s Open House – Kingsley-Jenter House, 302 East Main Street, 10am-4pm – includes artifact and document display – FREE
- Heritage Arts/Studio and Garden Art Walk, Five stops: 610 City Rd., 319 Morgan St.,115 East Main, and 912 City Road, 10am-4pm – visit the studios of two of Manchester’s widely known artists, Margaret Shaw & David Nelson, watch blacksmithing demonstrations (from noon to 4pm) at the Manchester-Area Historical Society’s John Schneider Blacksmith Shop, check out displays of demos by traditional crafters at Sesquicentennial Heritage Arts located inside the Blacksheep Tavern building, and see a special display of traditional quilts at the Manchester District Library and the historic turbines in the lobby of the Village offices right next-door (from 10am to 2pm), flyer and map can be downloaded at www.48158.com/150years – FREE
- Antique Tractor Show, Washington Street (north and south of Main St.), 10am-4pm – at least 75 tractors, include examples of all 6 sold in Manchester over the years – FREE
- Showing of “The Carrier” (day 1) – Manchester District Library Village Room, (lower level) 912 City Road, 10am-2pm – watch the 1988 horror movie filmed in downtown Manchester, many Manchester residents played extras, note: this movie is rated R and may not be appropriate for children under 18 – FREE
- Manchester Area Historical Society’s “Antiques Roadshow”, Kingsley-Jenter House, 302 East Main St., 11am-2pm – bring in your antiques and artifacts for appraisal by professionals from Schmidt’s Antiques – FREE – While you are there, stop by Manchester Area Historical Society’s Silent Auction and bid on vintage and antique treasures. Auction purchases can be made with cash or check.
- Kids Beard Contest – 100 block of East Main Street, 11am-3pm – kids can stop by and craft a beard for free or bring one from home to enter – FREE
- Historic Home Walking Tours (day 1) – learn about historic homes and buildings on Ann Arbor Hill, the Village Green, Exchange Place, and the Kingsley-Jenter House on this self-guided tour, two homes and two churches will be open for interior tours, noon to 5pm – OR take the docent- guided tour which will leave from the Kingsley Center House at 2pm – Purchase of one $10, 54-page tour book per family is admission ticket into interiors, tour books are available at River Raisin Antiques at 138 East Main St. or at the Kingsley-Jenter House located at 302 East Main St. on the day of the tour.
- Street Festival Duck Race – Main Street Bridge, 2pm – rubber ducks with numbers on the bottom will be dropped off the bridge, the first few to make it downriver to the finish line win cash prizes, this is a fundraiser for the Co-op Preschool – $5 per duck number, numbers available at Andrews Family Chiropractic, 101 West Main Street
- Street Festival Bed Race – Clinton Street, 3pm – come watch area businesses race beds up and down the street
- Historic Base Ball Game, Kirk Park, between Clinton and Adrian Street – 3pm – Manchester’s historic baseball team, the Manchester Handlers Club will take on the Monitors Baseball Club of Chelsea, in the Western Washtenaw Historic Baseball World Series, concessions will be for sale – FREE
- Manchester Ladies Society Sesquicentennial Beard and Moustache Competition – stage on Main Street between Village Tap and Over the Edge, with side tables for registration, registration noon – 3:30pm, judging 4-9pm – nine categories (including 2 crafted beard categories for women) – $5 entry fee
Sunday, August 6, 2017
- Studio and Garden Art Walk, 610 City Rd.,319 Morgan St., 10am-4pm, – visit the studios of two of Manchester’s widely known artists, Margaret Shaw & David Nelson, and see a special display of traditional quilts at the Manchester District Library and the historic turbines in the lobby of the Village offices, both at 912 City Road, 1-5pm, flyer and map can be downloaded at www.48158.com/150years – FREE
- Main Street Dinner, Wurster Park along Main St., 1-4pm – includes meal provided by local restaurants and caterers, entertainment – $8 adult or $5 child, tickets available in advance at Kellie’s located at 112 Adrian Street, River Raisin Antiques located at 138 East Main Street, at the Kingsley-Jenter House at 302 East Main Street, whenever it is open for an event the week of the Sesquicentennial Celebration, or at the event itself.
- Centennials Reunion, Wurster Park, 1-4pm – did you attend Manchester’s Centennial celebration 50 years ago? Come visit with other attendees during the Main Street Dinner
- Showing of “The Carrier” (day 2) – Manchester District Library Village Room, (lower level) 912 City Road, 1-5pm – watch the 1988 horror movie filmed in downtown Manchester, many Manchester residents played extras, note: this movie is rated R and may not be appropriate for children under 18 – FREE
- Historic Home Walking Tours (day 2) – learn about historic homes and buildings on Ann Arbor Hill, the Village Green, Exchange Place, and the Kingsley-Jenter House on this self-guided tour, two homes and two churches will be open for interior tours, 1 to 4pm – OR take the docent- guided tour which will leave from the Kingsley Center House at 2pm – Purchase of one $10, 54-page tour book per family is admission ticket into interiors, tour books are available at River Raisin Antiques at 138 East Main St. or at the Kingsley-Jenter House located at 302 East Main St. on the day of the tour.
Monday, August 7, 2017
- Sesquicentennial Closing Program – Kingsley-Jenter House, 302 East Main Street – “Manchester’s Founding in 1833”, 6:30pm – FREE
Manchester’s Sesquicentennial Celebration Map
Download the official Sesquicentennial brochure here.