Sesquicentennial party on tap for Star City

Posted March 24, 2009, at 9:24 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11 a.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — An official birthday party marking the 150th anniversary of the day Presque Isle was incorporated will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 4, on the Northern Maine Community College campus.

The event, which is part of the city’s yearlong Sesquicentennial Celebration, is free and open to the public. The events at the Edmunds and Christie buildings at NMCC will include children’s activities, crafters, a County photo exhibit, entertainment, carriage rides, food vendors and the cutting of Presque Isle’s Sesquicentennial birthday cake.

“Presque Isle was first incorporated as a town on April 4, 1859. The Presque Isle Historical Society is pleased to join with Northern Maine Community College, in celebration of National Community College Month, to host this commemorative event. It offers something for all ages, history buff or not. I strongly encourage every one to stop by and join us for a piece of history — and birthday cake,” Kim Smith, president of the Presque Isle Historical Society and chairman of the sesquicentennial committee, said in a press statement.

Smith has been working collaboratively with a team of NMCC employees for the past several months.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the community to a birthday party 150 years in the making,” said Jason Parent, NMCC director of development and college relations and a member of the event planning committee.

Musical entertainment will include the Wednesday Evening Fiddlers, Gallagher Brothers, area barbershop singers, and the Presque Isle Middle School Jazz Band. The performances will be held in the Edmunds Conference Center, which will serve as the entertainment center for the event, and include a ceremony at 12:30 p.m. with local and state dignitaries on hand to read official proclamations and cut the “Star City” cake. Sentiments are expected from Gov. John Baldacci, U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, 2nd District Rep. Michael Michaud, the Legislature and the city of Presque Isle.

A crafters pavilion in the college library will feature several artisans demonstrating traditional crafts. The exhibit, coordinated by NMCC business administration student Buffy Guyan, will include a wide variety of crafters, some of whom will have items available for purchase.

The library and the Edmunds building lobby will feature an exhibit of photographs of Aroostook County landscapes by Caribou photographer Ray Burby. The collection will be on display throughout April. Also a slide show display of historic Presque Isle photos, arranged and narrated by Smith, will be shown on television monitors throughout the event.

Children’s events will include a potato-picking challenge, stringing beads and painting fabric lunch bags, among other activities. Coordinated by Heidi Broad-Smith, NMCC early childhood education instructor, the events will be a mix of traditional activities children enjoyed in the late 1850s when Presque Isle was incorporated and activities from today.

There also will be a trivia quiz prepared by the Presque Isle Historical Society and transformed into an electronic format by NMCC’s information technology department. Participants will be entered into a sesquicentennial prize drawing.

Weather permitting, there will be outdoor horse-drawn carriage rides provided by Maple Meadow Farms and Model T Ford rides provided by Presque Isle Historical Society member Craig Green.

For more information, contact the NMCC college relations office at 768-2808.

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