Monday, October 20, 2014

#Ottawa150: Celebration by the dozens

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 8/18/2014

A community picnic complete with birthday cake awaits Ottawa residents who congregate 5:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at Forest Park, 320 N. Locust. St., for the community’s 150th birthday — or “sesquicentennial” — celebration.

But that’s only the icing on the birthday cake.

A community picnic complete with birthday cake awaits Ottawa residents who congregate 5:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at Forest Park, 320 N. Locust. St., for the community’s 150th birthday — or “sesquicentennial” — celebration.

But that’s only the icing on the birthday cake.

The three-day celebration begins 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday with an artists’ reception, “Discovering Our Roots,” at the Carnegie Cultural Center and will include more than two dozen activities and events Saturday, starting with a 5K run at 8 a.m. and concluding with fireworks at sunset. Sunday’s activities include a museum exhibit and a play.

Friday, Sept. 5

Two Native American artists will be the focal point of the “Discovering Our Roots” art exhibit 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Carnegie Cultural Center, 501 S. Main St.

“We wanted to tie in the Native American aspect of the city’s origin, and this was an ideal way to do that with the Ottawa Community Arts Council,” Jeanny Sharp, The Herald’s editor and publisher and chair of the Ottawa Sesquicentennial Committee, said.

The display, which will include other exhibitors as well, is to be showcased with a public reception to thank sponsors. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, Sharp said. Exhibitors also will have artwork for sale.

Following the reception, Act Ottawa performers plan to stage the Agatha Christie courtroom thriller, “Witness for the Prosecution” in the courtroom of the historic Franklin County Courthouse, 315 S. Main St., Ottawa.

“Act Ottawa is going to perform ‘Witness for the Prosecution’ over two weekends at the Franklin County Courthouse,” Sharp said. “Their last live performance in the courtroom was ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ and it was well received, and this time it will have central air [thanks to recent courthouse renovations]. I’m looking forward to seeing the play.”

“Witness for the Prosecution” performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5, 1:30 p.m. Sept. 6 and 3 p.m. Sept. 7 at the courthouse. The performances are expected to last about two hours.

Franklin County will play host to an ice cream social at noon Sept. 6 on the courthouse grounds before the play’s performance that day, Sharp said.

For those who cannot attend the play during the 150th birthday celebration, Act Ottawa also will perform the play the following weekend at 7 p.m. Sept. 12, 7 p.m. Sept. 13 and 3 p.m. Sept. 14 at the courthouse.

Saturday, Sept. 6

Ottawa Recreation Commission plans to sponsor a 5K run titled “Ottawa: Through the Years,” starting at 8 a.m. at Forest Park.

“The ORC 5K run Saturday morning should be a lot of fun,” Sharp said. “It’s a dress-up 5K, and some runners have been encouraged to dress like Abraham Lincoln, who was president when Ottawa became a community. I think they are planning to do prizes for best-dressed, fastest and other categories. I think it’s really neat that ORC is putting the 5K on — it’s a one-of-a-kind event tied to the sesquicentennial.”

Other events Sept. 6 include:

• Walking/Kiosk Tours, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in downtown Ottawa.

• Kids art activities, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Edward E. Haley Community Park, 201 S. Main St.

• Free exhibit, Old Depot Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 135 W. Tecumseh St.

• Ottawa 150 Video, 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., Plaza Cinema, 209 S. Main St.

“I am looking forward to watch the Ottawa 150 video,” Sharp said. “I haven’t seen the video yet. It’s debuting that weekend.”

• Ice cream social, noon, Franklin County Courthouse lawn.

• Dedication of the Buffalo Woman Statue, 1 p.m., Franklin County Courthouse lawn.

A female member of the Ottawa Indian tribe will be portraying Ottawa University’s original mascot Giego during the statue dedication, Sharp said. The Ottawa University mascot may only be portrayed by a member of the Ottawa Tribe, according to Herald archives.

Also as part of the celebration, Sharp said, people can receive a free temporary tattoo of the Ottawa Tribe’s beadwork used for the celebration. The tattoo also features #Ottawa150, Sharp said, and can be worn as an arm band.

• “Witness for the Prosecution,” 1:30 p.m., Franklin County Courthouse.

• Ottawa 150 booth, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., shelter at Forest Park.

• Classic car cruise-in and display, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Forest Park.

• Tractor display provided by the Power of the Past organization, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Forest Park.

• Historic trolley tours, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., originating at the swimming pool parking lot, Forest Park.

• Old-time games and Healthy Living station, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Forest Park.

• Vendors, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Forest Park.

• Sulky horse race reenactments, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Forest Park.

“I’ve never seen a sulky horse race live, and I know [organizer] Peach Madl has an announcer planned with all the original hype and a winner’s circle,” Sharp said. “It should be a lot of fun and reflective of a time when sulky horse races were popular.”

• Dog agility demonstrations, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Bark Park at Forest Park.

• Ceremonial mulch throwing and tree planting, 4:30 p.m., east side of Forest Park.

“Forest Park is home to Kansas’ largest Swamp Oak tree, and a new Swamp Oak tree is to be ‘planted’ in the canopy of that tree on the east side of the park,” Sharp said.

• Wagon rides, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Forest Park.

• Community photo, 5 p.m., Forest Park main gate.

“Locust Street will be closed off in front of the park from about 4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. for the community photo,” Sharp said. “It will be a landscape portrait by Ottawa photographer Ron Clevenger. The community portrait should be a lot of fun. We’ll be putting it on social media so people can either have it emailed to them or tag themselves in the photo. We’ll be doing some things on Instagram.”

Follow the celebration on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus at #Ottawa150, #Sesquicentennial, and #yournewsyourway.

• Community picnic with birthday cake, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Forest Park.

“Arvest Bank is providing all the food, and the birthday cake is coming from Queen’s Price Chopper,” Sharp said. “COF participants will be serving the food that day. We’ll be singing happy birthday. There’s also going to be a bouncy house in the shape of a birthday cake that will be free for the kids to do.”

• Musical entertainment featuring the Ottawa City Band, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Forest Park.

“They will be playing a lot of patriotic favorites,” Sharp said.

• Autographs with Sesquicentennial poster artist Matt Gifford, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Ottawa 150 booth, Forest Park.

• Firework at sunset, Forest Park.

Sunday, Sept. 7

• Free exhibit, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Old Depot Museum.

• “Witness for the Prosecution,” 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Franklin County Courthouse.

A host of volunteers still are needed to help with traffic control and a variety of events at the park, Sharp said. People who would like to volunteer to help with the event may contact Jodie Garcia, (785) 242-4700 at the Ottawa Herald. People interested in a vending booth at the celebration may contact Kristi Lee, (785) 242-1411 at the Franklin County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Sesquicentennial coins and posters also will be available for sale throughout the three-day celebration, Sharp said.

“It will be a great weekend in town,” Sharp said.

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