HOOPESTON — Initial events last weekend officially kicked off this year’s celebration of Hoopeston’s Sesquicentennial.

There has already been a golf cart parade and ice cream social. This weekend has the start of four cemetery walks, and there’s a lot more events to follow this month and into July.

“All have a different topic,” said Marta Pierce, who is a sesquicentennial committee member and water billing clerk for the City of Hoopeston.

Pierce said Tom Sweeney and Marilyn Tyler are hosts for the cemetery walks at Floral Hill Cemetery. Donations are accepted.

There was so much information that Sweeney wanted to get into the walks, that they divided it up into four installments. Also, that way participants can choose which ones they are most interested in.

This weekend is Who’s who of early Hoopeston and Hoopeston Patriots. Next weekend is women of Hoopeston and unforgettable lore.

Pierce said the Historic Preservation Commission has a Sesquicentennial Welcome Center open on days of events, located at the former Pink Poodle building, 1016 W. Orange St. There will be flyers, maps for directions, souvenirs, information about the different events, and a Hoopeston Trivia game to win prizes. Hours vary from this weekend through July, with it being open this weekend from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Another celebration event has actor Tom “Smalls” Guiry from The Sandlot movie rolling out of the first pitch at the kickball game on July 3 between firefighters and teachers. He’ll also be signing autographs at Bricks and Ivy Sports.

“We have lots of stuff,” Pierce said about the numerous sesquicentennial activities.

She said the seven sesquicentennial committee members divided activities into categories to decide what they wanted to do.

There also will be historical items on display at businesses and elsewhere throughout Hoopeston, such as a prairie dress that a family donated, and also a mail car that will be at the post office that was used 150 years ago, to highlight Hoopeston’s past.

Hoopeston Sesquicentennial Logo

To find a sesquicentennial design, the Historic Preservation Commission had a logo contest, which was open to all past and current residents of Hoopeston. A $100 prize was offered by Just the Facts owner Lourdine Florek.

Ten entries were submitted to the commission. The logo chosen will be used throughout the year and during the sesquicentennial celebration week.

The commission had a tough time choosing the winner. But the group finally agreed on the design that was drawn by former Hoopeston resident Ann Wallace Atwell.

Actually in 1970, Ann had an idea for the 1971 Hoopeston centennial logo but as a 16-year old she did not complete the design. However, this past fall, when the commission announced they were looking for a logo for the Sesquicentennial, Ann decided she would submit this time.

Ann stated she had not drawn anything in about 20 years and was inspired by the contest. The “Created at the Crossroads” design focuses on Hoopeston railroad heritage and its long running history with corn. The logo is featured on tumblers, keychains, koozies, magnets and t-shirts.

Schedule of Events

Event dates and times are subject to change. For more information visit www.hoopeston150.com or the Hoopeston Sesquicentennial’s Facebook page.

Saturday, June 5

10 a.m. – Cemetery History Walk Topic: Who’s who of early Hoopeston; 3 p.m. – Cemetery History Walk Topic: Hoopeston Patriots

Saturday, June 12

10 a.m. – Cemetery History Walk Topic: Women of Hoopeston; 3 p.m. – Cemetery History Walk Topic: Unforgettable Lore

Monday, June 21

10 a.m. – Downtown Historical Tour; 1 p.m. – Downtown Historical Tour

Sesquicentennial Week Events

Sunday, June 27

Family Day

All Events at McFerren Park Civic Center & Lagoon

10 a.m. – Community Church Service

11 a.m. – Community Picnic

12 p.m. – Beard Contest & Youngest/Oldest Contest

1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Gospel Music

1 p.m. – Children’s Fishing Derby – Ages 0-13

Monday, June 28

Agriculture Day

8 a.m. – Sesquicentennial Farm Awards

9 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Silgan Factory Tours (Meet at City Hall)

12 p.m.-5 p.m. – Fire Department History Tours – Market St. Fire Station

1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7 p.m. – Downtown Historical Tours

Tuesday, June 29

Youth Day

McFerren Park Legion Shelter

1 p.m.-3 p.m. – Lorraine Theater Tours

5 p.m.-7 p.m. – Youth Activities and Games – 3-10 year olds. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Food provided.

7 p.m.-9 p.m. – Teen Dance w/ DJ

Wednesday, June 30

“Holy City” Day

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.- Self Paced Historic Church Tours

6 p.m. – Children’s Magic Show at the Lorraine Theater

Thursday, July 1

Ladies Day

9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Flower/Garden Tour

3:30 p.m. – Promenade Downtown

4 p.m. – High Tea at Methodist Church

4 p.m. – Library History Presentation During High Tea

5 p.m.-7 p.m.- Lorraine Theater Tours

Friday, July 2

Hoopeston’s Birthday Cake & Dance

4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. – Hoopeston Birthday Cake & Music – Downtown

6 p.m. – BINGO at Legion Shelter

6 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Senior Citizen Dance at Civic Center

Saturday, July 3

Hoopeston’s 150th Birthday Celebration

9 a.m. – Flea Market Opens – Legion Shelter Area

10:30 a.m. – Grand Parade – Downtown

11:30 a.m. – Lion’s Club Fish Fry & Rotary Ice Cream Open

12 p.m. – Classic Car Show – McFerren Park

1:30 p.m. – Girl Scout Sesquicentennial Stroll – Jaycee Shelter

1:30 p.m. – Chalk Art Contest – McFerren Tennis Court

3 p.m. – Teachers Vs. Firefighters Kickball Game – Pony Field

4 p.m. – Beer Tent Opens – Soccer Fields

4 p.m. – Back Paiges Band – Soccer Fields

7 p.m. – Logan Kirby & Band – Soccer Fields

9:30 p.m.- Fireworks – Soccer Fields

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