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River Falls Announces Sesquicentennial Activities

August 12, 1998

A weekend of festivities in September will help River Falls to commemorate the 150th anniversary of its founding.

The Sesquicentennial celebration is set for the weekend of Sept. 26-27, with many locally planned events. The activities will be boosted by a number of Wisconsin Sesquicentennial events that were commissioned to help the Badger State celebrate its 150th birthday.

The weekend will include a juried art fair, quilt show, historical lectures, stage shows, an outdoor mural dedication, special stamp cancellation and special touring displays.

Highlighting the weekend will be a performance of the nationally recognized Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua, which will perform its special Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Show, "The 30th Star."

The River Falls performance launches the Chautauqua's statewide tour of the new 2+hour show. It will tell Wisconsin's historical story in musical form with original songs and stories and through more than 1,000 slides gathered from public and private collections. There will be a special segment on the founding of River Falls.

The show is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, in the Robert P. Knowles Physical Education & Recreation Center at UW-River Falls. Tickets for the show are $12.50 and are available by calling 1-888-689-8247. There is a special pre-show discount that gives the fourth ticket free with the purchase of three.

Here is a schedule of events for the Sesquicentennial Weekend:

-Art on the Kinni (a juried art fair) 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday Veterans Park, Downtown River Falls. A celebration of the arts in River Falls, featuring the works of selected local artists, great food and live entertainment.

-Souvenir Postal Cancellation, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, River Falls Post Office, 218 S. 2nd St. A special postal cancellation commemorating the River Falls Sesquicentennial will be held in the post office lobby.

-Antique & Contemporary Quilt Display/Town and Country Art Show 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday United Methodist Church, 127 S. 2nd St. A display of both antique and contemporary quilts sponsored by area quilters. Held in conjunction with the 48th Annual Town and Country Art Show. Light refreshments will be available for purchase.

-Wisconsin in Letters, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, River Falls Public Library , 140 Union St. A walk-through display of 150 years of Wisconsin history in letters drawn from archives across the state. A semi-serious look at people and events in Wisconsin's past.

-Celebrating Wisconsin: Then and Now, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, River Falls Public Library. A traveling photographic exhibit from the State Historical Museum, focusing on the impact people have had on Wisconsin's environment.

-Historic Displays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, River Falls Public Library, Photos, artifacts and other memorabilia from River Falls' history, gathered by the River Falls Chapter of the Pierce County Historical Association.

-St Croix Valley Wisconsin Placenames, 10 a.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday River Falls Public Library. A presentation by historian, author and archivist Tim Ericson, sharing the origins of western Wisconsin community names.

-Wisconsin's Mineral Heritage, 11:30 a.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday River Falls Public Library. Geology Hall of Fame member Bill Cordua looks into the past and future of Wisconsin's geological heritage through lecture, slides and displays. Learn more about our state's commercial and scientific geological sites as well as great locations for collecting samples.

-River Falls Kinnickinnic Mural Dedication, Noon Saturday, Intersection of Main and Maple Streets. Dedication of the Sesquicentennial mural (on the Hallmark/Ben Franklin store) which shows the history and assets of the Kinnickinnic River. Commissioned by the Kinni Enhancement Committee.

-River Falls History Slide Show. 1 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, River Falls Public Library. Local historian Ursula Peterson presents this slide show documenting the history of River Falls. Through selected images and narration, an illustrated 150 years of city history will emerge.

-Ice Cream Social, 2:30-4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, River Falls Public Library

-Entering the Circle, 3 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, North Hall Auditorium, UW-River Falls. An original, two-act play and photo exhibit telling stories of pioneering Midwest farm women. Through letters and diaries, these women share their emigrant adventure, childhood, school days, daily work, summer festivals, religion and home life. Tickets are $5 for adults; $3 for students/seniors.

-Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua Wisconsin "30th Star" Sesquicentennial Show , 7 p.m. Saturday, Knowles Center, UW-River Falls.

-City-Wide Ecumenical Service, 5 p.m. Sunday, Ezekiel Lutheran Church, 202 S. 2nd St. Join this non-denominational service for an opportunity to pause and reflect on our rich history with River Falls residents, neighbors and friends.

For more information, call 715/425-8901 or visit the River Falls Sesquicentennial Web site at:

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