Archive for Thursday, March 23, 2006

Four major events planned for sesquicentennial

Volunteers still needed for De Soto’s 150th anniversary celebration

March 23, 2006

For De Soto City Clerk Lana McPherson, the process of planning the city's sesquicentennial celebration is much like that an artist takes with a picture -- start with the broad design and then fill in the details.

Nearly a year ago, Mayor Dave Anderson appointed McPherson coordinator of the city's celebration marking the 150th year since its founding. Subsequently, McPherson recruited 13 people to serve as chairmen of committees planning such aspects of the celebration as sponsorships, historical research, entertainment and concessions.

The committee heads agreed to the sesquicentennial's broad outline, which so far includes four large celebration dates, McPherson said.

To give the celebration a boost, the De Soto City Council has signaled a willingness to provide $25,000 for different events in the city's 2007 budget.

The first of those major celebration dates in the yearlong celebration will start near the end of this year at the annual Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting at the De Soto Community Center, she said.

The other three dates for major celebrations are in 2007 and are July 4, the Labor Day Weekend in conjunction with the De Soto Days Festival and a commemoration on Oct. 3, the date papers were signed founding De Soto.

What will make those days special will be in the details, such as a plan for an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration with an ice cream social in conjunction with the city's fireworks display, McPherson said.

The yearlong celebration would be enlivened with further details by a series of bi-monthly events, she said.

Although the organizing committee has identified 25 possible events for the bi-monthly events, its members are hoping the city's groups, clubs and organizations will step up to sponsor them, McPherson said. Similarly, there is a need for individual volunteers with ideas of their own and to help with events during the celebration.

A volunteer form has been available in City Hall, 32904 W. 84th St., or on the city's Web site,, for about a year, but response has been slow, McPherson said. It is her hope that changes as the sesquicentennial year nears.

"If people have ideas, we want to hear them," she said. "It's not my celebration, it's the people of De Soto's. We would really like as many people as possible to participate."

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