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Gridley Fest to celebrate town's 150th

Gridley Fest to celebrate town's 150th

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GRIDLEY - Gridley Fest organizers say residents will have a special reason to celebrate at the annual event this summer because the village will commemorate its 150th birthday.

"We've got a great celebration planned," said committee member Wava Kaupp. "We began working on it last January, but there's still a lot to do."

The festival, which will be June 22 through 25, will begin with a 100-member choir composed of members from the village's three churches and a neighboring church. Other festivities will include plays in the park, a horse show, live nightly entertainment, fireworks and a parade.

"It will provide everyone a taste of the past," said Kaupp. "We may even have a time capsule."

A memorial sesquicentennial book also is in the works. Beginning in the fall, book committee members began reviewing village newspapers, censuses, Village Hall records and local resident Perry Klopfenstein's history of Gridley.

"We hope to have the first draft completed by the end of this month," said committee member Shirley Oakes. "We won't finish writing the book until the end of the sesquicentennial so we can have pictures of it. The last chapter will be about the celebration."

Kaupp said profits from food sales at the annual community sale typically pay for Gridley Fest, but this year's sesquicentennial celebration has made the festival more expensive. To raise more money the committee will sell T-shirts, afghan throws and a cookbook.

The community sale will be on April 1 this year.

The festival began in 1988 as the County Fest when a group of residents decided to have a summer festival similar to Lexington's Taste of Country Fair and El Paso's Corn Fest. The celebration continued to grow and became the Gridley Fest in 1994.

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