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Holyoke to celebrate its quasquicentennial PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Lee   

Planning meeting to be held Oct. 8 for next year’s April 2013 anniversary

Holyoke’s 125th anniversary, or quasquicentennial (kwos’kwi-sen-ten’ee-ul), is just around the corner.

April 24, 2013 will serve as Holyoke’s 125th anniversary. Committee members are currently being sought to help put together some sort of event to help Holyoke celebrate 125 years of existence.

Holyoke City Council members briefly discussed the topic during their Tuesday, Sept. 18 regular meeting.

“We need to be doing something, but I don’t know what,” Mayor Orville Tonsing said.

Tonsing suggested they contact the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce to get something rolling. Councilman Brian Akey, who serves on the Chamber board, was one step ahead.

A meeting will be held Monday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Peerless Theatre for those interested in helping plan 125th anniversary ideas.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 25, those interested in helping include Marianne Sullivan, Kim Kramer, Sherry Simms, Linda Langelo, Kathy Olofson, Mary Tomky, Bret Miles and Chris Lee. Phillips County Museum will also be involved in some way or another.

Akey said the Chamber spoke and would like to see multiple people from different organizations come together to make it more of a community event.

“They (the Chamber) would like to know very soon,” Akey said during last week’s city council meeting as the Chamber board’s next meeting is Monday, Oct. 1. He said committee members will help come up with what they want to see done and how they want it done.

“We’re open for ideas,” Tonsing said.

Nearly 25 years ago, Holyoke went all out with 100 days of celebration for its centennial year. Of course events weren’t scheduled for every day, but numerous community activities took place up until the Phillips County Fair.

The 100 days kicked off Sunday, April 24, 1988 with a celebration at the Holyoke High School gym where attire from throughout the 100 years was worn by many of the 800 people in attendance.

Many community organizations were involved including the Boy Scouts, American Legion Post 90, VFW Post 6482 and the HHS band.

Many recognitions were held during that first day, and items were on display from the time capsule buried during Holyoke’s Diamond Jubilee in 1963. It was dug up near the flag pole at Phillips County Courthouse weeks before the 100th anniversary.

Included during the 100-day celebration were the Lions Club centennial beard contest and centennial cookbook tasting supper, which gave the community the chance to sample recipes from the centennial cookbook that was made.

The centennial commission also visited the Colorado State Capitol to invite then-Governor Roy Romer to be involved somehow in the 100-day celebration.

Holyoke Post Office employees really got involved as they celebrated their own 100th anniversary by dressing up in clothes from earlier years, delivering mail in a 1929 Model A two-door Ford Sedan and had the mail delivered to Holyoke by a team of mules and a stagecoach.

Bradley’s Body Shop constructed a huge cake that made appearances at every centennial event during the 100-day period.

A few weeks after the opening celebration, a centennial style show was held at HHS auditorium, which featured past, present and future clothing.

A couple of Old-Fashioned Saturday Nights were held throughout the summer, giving people another chance to get together and celebrate.

The Holyoke Enterprise published a 40-page special centennial edition outlining the previous 100 years. It was full of history and outlined many of the long-time businesses.

Fun was had around the 4th of July weekend with a centennial parade and the Centennial Motorsport Spectacular which featured the original “Big Foot” monster truck at Phillips County Raceway during the races. There was also a community church service which drew around 500 people.

Saturday, July 30, a celebration was held, and it was there the bell at the Lions Club Mini Park was dedicated. A time capsule was buried and sealed, set to be opened in 2038 during Holyoke’s 150th anniversary.

The 100-day celebration ended Aug. 2 with the Louise Mandrell Show. Committee members for the 100th anniversary included Gladys Baldwin, Larry Thompson, Dorothy Scott, Nancy Lockwood, Bud Colver and Everette Lappart.

Holyoke Enterprise September 27, 2012