LANSING, Mich. — Portland is set to celebrate 150 years of history, family, and growth on the weekend of September 20-22, 2019. Since officially becoming a village in 1869, Portland, MI has flourished despite any obstacles its people encountered. These challenges have ranged from global threats like the Great Depression, to natural disasters like tornadoes and “100 year” floods. And yet “Portland represents the very best of small town American communities” says DDA Director Tina Conner Wellman, adding “There truly is something for every interest and age during our big birthday weekend.”
With a full slate of events—more than 20 activities over the span of the weekend—everyone is sure to get into the spirit. Highlights include a parade, fireworks, a historic walking tour with docents, an artisan craft fair, “Playful Portland Streets” for the kids, a vintage baseball game, and a Farm to Table dinner featuring food from local restaurants and businesses. “ConfluxCity Brewing Company is currently working on a special beer for the Sesquicentennial celebration, which we are calling the SesQUENCHtennial Amber Ale” shared Jim and Kiley Hilligan, owners of the brewery. Natives and visitors alike will be able to sing and dance along to songs from the past 50 years performed by local and regional musicians. Julie Clement, president of the Portland Community Arts Council, commented that “It's been a blast going through a 1/2 century of great music to find just the right songs to celebrate Portland.”
Local business owner and member of the Sesquicentennial Committee Kathy Parsons stated “We endeavor to bring everyone who comes a full, complete, informed experience so folks can get the most out of their visit to Portland. Using social media and www.portland150.com [portland150.com], visitors will be able to find the information they need on events, activities, exhibits, parking and facilities to maximize their participation in celebrating our 150th Birthday Celebration.”
This event would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors and the hard work and determination of the planning committee. Composed of city representatives, members of every major organization in the area, and interested individuals, the group has been working for over a year to prove that Portland is a city that pulls together to achieve greatness—in times of celebration as well as times of crisis. All their hard work guarantees that Portland’s Sesquicentennial celebration will give residents and visitors something to talk about for the next 150 years. Perhaps Mayor Jim Barnes put it best when he said “The publications, dinner, vintage baseball, commemorative coins, music . . . everything we’re working on is intended to provide participants with a fond memory, a souvenir, or keepsake to last from Portland’s Sesquicentennial in 2019 and into the future.”
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