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  • Jim Townsend

Sesquicentennial Celebration Line-Up for Friday, September 20th

Since becoming a village in 1869, Portland will be celebrating its 150th year the weekend of September 20th through 22nd.

DDA Director Tina Conner Wellman said, “Portland represents the very best of small town American communities”, adding “There truly is something for every interest and age during our big birthday weekend.”

The team leading the celebration planning includes Mike Judd, Mandy Johnston, Dan Bewersdorff, Margaret Sheffer, Dr. Jason Williamson, Sarah Badgero, Fawn Morris, Kathy Parsons, Mayor James Barnes, Margery Briggs, and Tina ConnerWellman.

In a recent release, the group said, “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.”

Here is a closer look at many of the events that you can enjoy on the first day of the festivities, Friday, September 20th.

Special Beer Release

Confluxcity Brewing Company is releasing a specialty brew in honor of Portland’s 150th year. Owners Jim and Kiley Hilligan told the Beacon, “For this very special event we came up with “SesQUENCHtennial” which is an Amber Ale that will have apple and cherries added to it. We came up with the idea to celebrate both the time in which this event took place (FALL! Our favorite season) and also to focus on two of Michigan’s top crops. Apples and cherries. It will have a very balanced and easy drinking backbone stemming from a classic Amber Ale but will bring out two late summer to fall harvest fruits to add a unique twist!”

This limited release beer will be tapped at Confluxcity Brewing Company located at 110 North Water Street at 12:00 on September 20th.

The Hilligan’s added, “We are excited and honored to be part of such a momentous occasion!”

Classic Car Cruise

The Portland Cruisers will be hosting a Classic Car Cruise from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Friday, September 20th. The cruise promises to be, “Just like old times, cruise downtown and admire the rides - music too.” There is sure to be a collection of classic cars on hand for all types of car lovers to enjoy.

The cruise route will include Kent St., Maple St, Water St, Bridge St.

Local business owners have the opportunity to select certain classics for an award sponsored by their business. The award plaques are being produced by S&K Trophy of Portland.

For more information call Mike V at (517)927-4279

The Classic Car Cruise is proudly sponsored by PFCU.

Commemorative Items Available

Sesquicentennial celebration organizers have developed several commemorative items for you to purchase as a keep sake of this historic celebration.

High quality limited edition commemorative coins, brass tokens and commemorative ornaments are available for purchase at Tom’s Food Center, Fabricated Customs, and Hometown Sports.

Hometown Sports is also offering limited edition-shirts priced between $10 and $18.

Fabricated Customs has a variety of commemorative hoodies and outerwear from $27-$35

Pint glasses and other beverage ware is available at the Portland Party Store.

You can also reserve your Sesquicentennial Commemorative Magazine showcasing Portland's 150th year and a little of its history! You can ore-order the magazine HERE .

Organizers say, “This will be a full color, high quality 9x12 magazine highlighting the celebration events of 2019 along with historic notations. The magazine is scheduled to release Thanksgiving week 2019 - just in time for the holidays. Available for pre-sale for $10, or 3 for $22 until they're gone, so reserve yours early!”

For complete details of all sesquicentennial events, please visit

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