HALLSVILLE — It's almost time to celebrate a birthday 150 years in the making as the city of Hallsville prepares for its Sesquicentennial Celebration this fall.
The home of the Bobcats is set to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2019 and the townsfolk are planning to make sure it's one for the memory books, with a big celebration set for Oct. 24-27 in downtown Hallsville, called the "Hallsville Sesquicentennial Celebration."
“This will be our sesquicentennial, which means 150 years, anniversary celebration and it will be a weekend long event,” Committee Member Laura Welch said.
The committee has planned a jam packed Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the city's 150th birthday, first with a Historical Section set up Friday and Saturday on the land across from Hallsville City Hall where Shiver's Sno Cones currently sits.
The Historical Section is set up by committee member Rob Key who also serves as an organizer for the annual Battle of Fort Crawford event.
"We will have real Native Americans there and they will perform a traditional dance," Welch said. "We will also have a blacksmith set up there, and soap, candle and syrup making, as well as a leather making. We will have teepees and chuck wagons set up and there will be a recreation of the buildings in Hallsville from that era, including the post office and Masonic lodge. Everything will be in a historically correct theme."
Hallsville ISD students are set to visit the Historical section for a field trip on Friday.
In addition to the Historical section, the event will host a historic period themed parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, beginning at Brookshire's, following along on U.S. Highway 80 East to the Hallsville Park.
Wagons will be put on trailers for the parade and the Hallsville High School Bobcat drill team and band will join in the parade, as well as several antique cars and tractors, Welch said.
Immediately following the Saturday parade, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert will be on hand to speak at the Hallsville City Park amphitheater, as well as Hallsville Mayor Jesse Casey.
"We will have a huge birthday cake for everyone at noon at Gold Hall Community Center to celebrate the city's birthday," Welch said.
During the day on Saturday, vendors will be set up at the park while bands play live music on the amphitheater stage.
A Little Miss Sesquicentennial and Junior Miss Sesquicentennial Pageant will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the park's amphitheater. Girls ages 3 to 7 years old may compete in the Little Miss pageant while girls ages 8 to 12 years old may compete in the Junior Miss pageant. Sunday dress is requested for pageant attire.
Those wishing to sign up for the pageant or the parade may pick up forms at Hallsville City Hall. Welch said a small participation fee will be required per pageant contestant.
"From about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, we will have constant back to back entertainment, old games, live bands and wagon rides around town. The Hallsville ISD Band Boosters are set to host a fundraiser dinner from 4 to 6 p.m. at Gold Hall Community Center," Welch said. "At 7 p.m. on Saturday, Beau Brumble, who is a Hallsville native, will perform at the amphitheater at the park."
At 8 a.m. on Sunday, a church service will be held at the Non Day Camp on FM 450 North, Welch said.
The group of community members planning the Sesquicentennial celebration are next set to meet at 6 p.m. on Aug. 29 at the Clay Medrano Conference Room at Hallsville City Hall.
“We want everything to have the historical aspect in honor of our cities’ 150th anniversary,” Welch said. “We plan to have the Native American dancers, antique tractors, a parade and we will host events with old games and old candy from that era. We want vendors that make things so it stay correct to the historical theme.”
For more information about the event, to sign up for the parade or pageant, or to become a vendor, visit www.facebook.com/Hallsvilles-Sesquicentennial-Celebration-306742696575193/ or send tax deductible donations to P.O. Box 116, Hallsville, Texas 75650.