Cherokee's 150th Birthday Celebration is set for Thursday through Sunday, June 29 through July 2.
The theme for the Cherokee Sesquicentennial is "From Prairie to Present, With Pride Into The Future."
Organizers, led by co-chairs Evan Knapp and Jim Adamson, have been meeting regularly for several months and have established a Souvenir Shop at 204 W. Main St. It is currently open Thursday nights from 5-8 p.m., and Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon.
Available at the shop are many collectibles and souvenirs marking the City's 150th Birthday, including hats, T-shirts, Polo shirts, tote bags, mugs, crocks, playing cards, cook books and much more. Call the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce at 225-6414 for more details.
In addition, the Cherokee Area Archives group is publishing "Remembering Yesterdays," a pictorial history of Cherokee County. The book is now available and the initial printing is 1,200 copies. For more information, contact the Cherokee Area Archives in the City Library at 225-3498. The Archives office is open from 1:30-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Barry Johnson of Johnson Machine Shop has arranged for a special commemorative rifle with special laser engravings of Cherokee landmarks. There will be 150 numbered rifles for sale starting at a date to be named later, and one of the rifles will be made available to the All-School Reunion to raffle off and proceeds benefiting the Sesquicentennial Committee. If the rifles sell out, Johnson will arrange for more of them to be sold, but they would not be numbered.
Jan Deedrick will also be writing a series of articles about fellow Cherokeans and they will be published in the special Sesquicentennial Edition to be published by the Chronicle Times.
Deedrick also is working with the Cherokee Regional Medical Center Auxiliary to create an Historical Quilt containing images of Cherokee landmarks. The quilt will be displayed throughout the celebration.
The energetic schedule of events begins Thursday, June 29, featuring a display of children's art work at the Sanford Museum & Planetarium from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Pioneer activities at the Museum from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. offered by Ginger Vietor, Cherokee County Conservation Naturalist, and the Museum staff, including butter making, ice cream making, and Pioneer games.
Also on Thursday, a Chamber Golf Outing at the Cherokee Golf & Country Club featuring a 4-person Best Ball format, with a 10 a.m. shotgun start. Cost is $30 per person (no cart) and $40 per person (cart included)and includes 18-holes of golf. Reservations are due by June 23.
Also, a special Planetarium Program is set for the Museum at 2 p.m., and there will be Historical Melodramas presented by the Cherokee Community Theater at the Cherokee Community Center at 7:30 p.m.
Exciting Opening Ceremonies are set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Washington High School Auditorium, to be followed by a special presentation of "The History Of Cherokee" by Professor Rudy Daniels, Ph.D., of Sioux City. This will be followed by music by Charlie Leissler, the incomparable Cherokee troubadour.
On Friday, registration for the All-School Reunion is at WHS from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Tours of the WHS and IC schools, and coffee and cookies will be available for a free will donation.
Book signings will be offered in the WHS Library by legendary IHSAA director Bernie Saggau, Ann Loughlin (WHS Class of 1970), and Shari (Schissel) Lemke (IC Class of 1967).
There will be a quilt display at the St. Paul's United Methodist Church, and a repeat of the Children's art work display, and Pioneer activities at the Museum, along with the Planetarium. There will be tours of the renovated Illinois Central Railroad Depot.
Also on Friday, there will be tours of the Cherokee Mental Health Institute Museum and Cemetery. Astronomy Night will be held beginning at 10 p.m. at the north end of the ballfields in the Sam Doupe Athletic Complex off Indian Street. Telescopes will be set up by museum staff and a program on constellations will be offered.
There will be a Cavaliers 4-H Club Reunion at 6 p.m. at the Cherokee County Fair Grounds, with a potluck fun night for past, present and future Cavalier members. At 2 p.m. is the Sanford Museum and Planetarium program.
The Bright Beginnings Duck Splash and Bake Sale is set for 5:30-7 p.m. at the Depot, drawing at 7 p.m.
There will be meals served at various churches and family fun and games scheduled throughout the downtown area. Historical Melodramas will be offered by CCT members at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Center. The night will end with a dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the VFW Club, featuring "100 Proof."
On Saturday, registration for a 5K run/walk begins at 7 a.m. at the Wellness Center on the CRMC Campus, and the run/walk begins at 8 a.m. Also, registration for a Bicycle Ride sponsored by the Little Sioux Spoke Folks is at 7 a.m. at Wescott Park.
The Museum programs mentioned above also continue on Saturday, as do tours of the ICRR Depot.
The Sesquicentennial Parade is at 3 p.m. Saturday, the route running from WHS to the Fairgrounds. Contact the Chamber at 225-6414 for more information and for entries.
A Car Show & Shine is set for p a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Greenspace Area off East Main Street. Entry fee is $2 and the first 50 receive a dash plaque. Music is by Ralph Schneider. A Car Cruise will follow. Contact Ron at 225-5749 for more information.
The All-School Reunion Picnic is set for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Cherokee Middle School, also featuring the All-School Reunion Band and Choir.
A Disc Golf Tournament at the River's Edge Course near Koser-Spring Lake Park will be held at 10 a.m. Call 225-2715 for more information.
Also, a Co-ed Softball Tournament is on for Saturday and Sunday at Wescot Park. Call Judy Claussen at 225-1321 for more details.
An "Old Fashioned Fair" will be conducted from 4:30 -8 p.m. at the Fair Grounds, with games, contests, food, events and more old time fun for the entire family.
The renowned Cherokee Symphony will perform a concert at WHS at 7 p.m. Saturday, and the Historical Melodramas again are offered in the Community Center.
From 6 p.m. to midnight, there will be a street dance on West Main Street. Opening act at 6 p.m. is the acclaimed Cherokee Jam Band, followed by the headliner "Something Underground," at 9 p.m. A beer garden and food court will be available.
On Sunday, a Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Cherokee Airport.
Guest Organist Paul Anderson will perform with the All-Church Bell Choir and Choir at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, the bell choir and choir directed by Dave Hickman. Other churches have yet to schedule events.
The Museum and Planetarium events will again take place, and tours of the ICRR Depot continue. A special event - Cowboy U - will take place at the Cherokee Horse Arena from 2-4 p.m. Sunday east of U.S. Highway 59 South, north of the Little Sioux River Bridge. There will be a greased pig contest, hay stacking, chicken catch, rope-a-steer, stick horse barrel racing, and water race. Contact Duane Heschke at 434-2361, or Bob Leach at 225-1228.
Historical Melodramas will again be offered at 2 p.m. in the Community Center.
All Sanford Museum programs and events are free and open to the public. Face painting also will be offered all four days at the Museum.
On a future date, a full schedule of events brochure for the Sesquicentennial Celebration will be circulated to all Cherokee County residences in the Chronicle Times Area Advertiser. They also will be available at the Chamber of Commerce office and City Hall.