Newton sesquicentennial bash to be June 4

This photo was taken in Newton circas 1911. Photo courtesy of the Harvey County Historical Museum Archives

By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now

NEWTON—Party likes it’s 1872.

That’s the tagline for the upcoming Newton 150 Summer Bash celebrating Newton’s 150-year anniversary or sesquicentennial.

The event, which is for all ages, is 4-10 p.m., Saturday, June 4, on Main Street in Newton between Fifth and Seventh streets. There’s no admission charge, but some of the things do cost, like the Ferris wheel. The committee in charge of the event got its inspiration to bring such a ride downtown because of a photo taken circa 1910 that shows that ride resting on a Newton street with people onboard.

City of Newton Director of Communications Erin McDaniel said streets will be blocked off for the celebration. On the south end will be a stage and street dance area. Wheat State Revival will perform around 6 p.m., while the headliner act, The Astronauts, from Wichita, will take the stage at 8 p.m. The Revival group plays country/western music, while The Astronauts goes in another direction with ’80s-style pop music.

“It should be fun, upbeat,” McDaniel said, adding people are welcome to bring lawn chairs to sit and listen to the music.

In the 600 block of Main Street will be food trucks, with 18 signed up as of Thursday, May 12. Food served includes a gamut, like Asian, barbecue, Mexican, hamburgers and dessert. There are charges for the food.

Sand Creek Summer Daze planners will run a beer garden on the south end, as well.

The north end of the event will feature bounce houses and the Ferris wheel.

“As long as the weather cooperates with us,” McDaniel said.

Sesquicentennial partners will have booths.

“We have sponsors that were private donors that will have booths,” McDaniel said. “Other partners will have booths.”

Walk&Roll Harvey will have a bike valet, which will lock and park bikes. Healthy Harvey Coalition will do yard games, like Giant Jenga for families.

McDaniel said this is a tobacco-free event.

“It helps with our Community Health Grant funding to do that,” she said. “It seems to have worked well with Taste of Newton last year.”

The cost to ride the Ferris wheel is $2 per person, since they wanted to make it affordable for families. The bouncy houses are free, however.

Sesquicentennial merchandise, like train whistles and t-shirts will be sold at a special booth.

Planning for the event started last summer. McDaniel said they started with the idea they wanted to do two events—one on the actual anniversary of the town’s inception—2-22-22—and the other outdoors in June.

Because it was winter and cold, they had the 2-22-22 event inside at the Meridian Center, and it was small. They wanted a bigger event, as well.

Those on the planning committee included representatives from the Harvey County Historical Museum & Archives, the art gallery, USD-373, Newton Public Library and the City of Newton.

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