■ Miss Nebraska has lofty goals. PAGE 2.
■ Editor’s note: Included with this issue is a separate 32-page special supplement reviewing the history of Imperial as it celebrates its 125 years since the first homesteads were established. Many of the business messages review the history of their business and/or the building in which they are now located. The special keepsake, “A Glorious Past...A Promising Future” was an effort several months in the making by The Imperial Republican staff.
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
After months of planning, Imperial’s 125th quasquicentennial celebration arrives this weekend, July 2-4.
The center of activity will be hard to miss with a large, 40 x 60-foot tent set up between 7th and 8th Sts., on Broadway, which will be raised Thursday afternoon. Events kick off under the tent Friday night.
Activities and special programs will be under the tent, in the Lied Imperial Public Library, St. Patrick’s new hall and the fairgrounds all weekend.
As residents of Imperial, Chase County and surrounding area recall the city’s 125 years of history, the quasquicentennial planning committee has combined events both old and new into the schedule of activities.
A square dance, homemade pie contest, quilt exhibit, old-time carriage rides, horse “gentling” and a pie and ice cream social were built into the schedule to recall activities Imperial’s homesteaders may have enjoyed.
Mixed in are other “newer” activities such as an appearance by Miss Nebraska, an art show, foot races, cake decorating contest, face painting, turtle and frog races and, of course, fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July.
People won’t want to miss Friday night’s opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. under the tent, when special guests will include Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan and Mark Mercier Jr. and wife Sherie of Spring Valley, Ariz. He is a great-grandson of Imperial’s co-founder Thomas Mercier.
A full day of events is scheduled Saturday, concluding that night with fireworks at the fairgrounds.
On Sunday, a non-denominational service starts at 7 a.m., followed by breakfast. In the afternoon, people can take in the IVFD Firemen’s Fun Day and FFA mud volleyball tournament at the Wellington St. football field.
Except for a few instances, nearly all of the events are free this weekend. Here is a recap of some of the highlights.
What would a birthday celebration be without birthday cake?
Competition is building for Friday night’s cake decorating contest which will kick off the weekend activities. Judges will choose winners in both the business and open classes, and the audience will get to choose “People’s Choice” winners in each division, as well.
Dianne Way of the 125th committee said decorators need to be ready to begin at 5 p.m. Cakes must be finished for judging by 6 p.m.
Cakes will be provided, but contestants must bring their own frostings, decorations and utensils.
A kids’ (12 and under) cupcake decorating contest will also be held at the same time. All of the items for the kids will be provided.
Michael Walworth, husband of K-6 music teacher Amy Walworth, will provide background music Friday evening.
Early this week, 32 had already registered for Saturday morning’s 5K, mile run/walk and kids’ half-mile races.
Runners need to check in before the races under the tent on Broadway at 6:30 a.m. The races will start with the kids’ half-mile at 7:15 a.m., followed by the 5K and mile events at 7:30.
People who didn’t preregister can still compete in any of the races, according to Jo Leyland of the 125th committee.
Mark and Renae Bottom are coordinating the event, which will include medals to winners and drawings for additional prizes afterwards.
Registration is $18 for the adult events. The kids’ half-mile is $6. All registrants will receive a T-shirt with the 125th celebration logo.
Wild Horse Ministries
Paul and Joanna Daily and family of Trout, La., will make their first visit to Imperial Saturday morning with their Wild Horse Ministries demonstration at 9 a.m. at the fairgrounds.
Daily, who has given over 1,250 such demonstrations across the U.S. and Canada, will attempt to train an untamed two to three-year-old colt, drawing comparisons in that effort to man’s relationship with God.
Members of the Silver Spurs 4-H Club will be assisting the Dailys Friday as they set up and during the show Saturday.
A free will donation will be collected after the demonstration to help cover the Dailys’ expenses.
A running pictorial display of old Imperial photographs and Charley Colton’s Imperial postcard collection are among the highlights included in Saturday’s history display at Lied Imperial Public Library from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Several organizations, Chase County Schools and the hospital will also have displays, and there will be other city memorabilia throughout the library Saturday. Historical books put together by Anoma Hoffmeister will also be available, along with other old photos, news articles and more.
Library Director Beth Falla and staff are working closely with the committee in getting the displays ready.
Art, quilt shows
At least 15 Chase County artists are expected to display artwork Saturday at the 125th celebration art show at St. Patrick’s Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oils, watercolors, wood sculptures and more will be on display. People visiting the show will be invited to vote for a “People’s Choice.”
Artists will be bringing in art between 4 and 6 p.m. Friday for set-up. All those displaying art should contact show coordinator Marcia Bauerle before Friday at 308-882-8814 or 882-5643.
Quilt enthusiasts will gather at the Lied Imperial Public Library Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a “Stitching the Pieces” quilt exhibit sponsored by the Crazy Quilt Guild in conjunction with the 125th planning committee.
People from the community are encouraged to bring quilts from home for the display. While old quilts may be preferable, any quilted item will be included in the show, said Linda Clements of the Guild.
She said those displaying quilts are asked to share stories about them, which will be posted near the individual displays. There will be a “Viewer’s Choice” selected.
Quilts can be dropped off at the library today (Thursday) and Friday. Set-up will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
Greenblatt & Seay
The Nebraska Arts Council is sponsoring, in part, Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. performance by Greenblatt & Seay, a husband and wife duo from Avoca, Neb.
They will play a variety of instruments as they blend their rich vocal harmonies. Their program includes a repertoire of 31 songs, a number of them originals.
The duo has been to Imperial before, giving a school presentation several years ago and also providing music at the 2001 Chautauqua here.
Pie contest, pie/ice cream
Four judges are ready to taste some of the best pie in the county Saturday at the homemade pie contest.
Pies in three divisions will be judged at St. Patrick’s Hall—fruit/berry, cream/custard or original recipe.
Pies can be entered between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Saturday. After an intense hour and a half of judging, first, second and third place winners will be announced at 3 p.m.
Afterwards, some of the entered pies and others donated along with homemade ice cream will be served by the Knights of Columbus from 3 to 5 p.m. in the hall.
Families will also be able to take in the frog jumping contest and turtle races Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (registration at 10 a.m. at the tent).
For a small charge, people can enjoy a carriage ride at the fairgrounds Saturday morning and west of the library that afternoon, provided by the Troy and Judy Brandt family. Ann Miller, who owns Pages of Time by Ann, will be offering photos with the carriage or a 1929 Model A Ford.
CCS students and art teacher Chelsea Zuege will offer face painting Saturday, near the tent.
Many other events on tap
In conjunction with the weekend’s quasquicentennial events are a number of other activities
Included is the Imperial Chamber’s citywide garage sales starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, which have 27 participants this year. Pick up maps in front of The Imperial Republican office, 622 Broadway, Saturday morning.
Imperial’s VFW Post 4688 at 416 Broadway has an open house Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can see the newly-hung photo memory wall of local veterans, as well as other memorabilia.
4-H will have an archery range on West 7th St. Saturday.
Food will be available Friday night and two youth organizations will also be serving lunch on Saturday. Other refreshments will be available.
ABATE District 12 will serve a full breakfast Saturday and Sunday mornings.
On Sunday, visitors to the Chase County Museum in Champion can take in even more history of Imperial from 1 to 4 p.m.
More information and contest rules (pies, cakes, etc.) can be found on the city’s website: www.imperial-ne.com