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  • Shelly Rutkowski and Jim Townsend

Portland 150 Events for Sunday 9/22 are Sure to Please

You’ve been hearing about it for months and now the wait is almost over. Soon, all of the planning and hard work the Sesquicentennial committee has put into Portland’s 150th birthday weekend festivities will be upon us. The celebration weekend will run Friday 9/20 through Sunday 9/22.

Last week we gave you a closer look at what you could expect for the opening day of the celebration weekend. You can find that piece about Friday 9/20 HERE. Friday’s line up includes a special beer release from ConfluxCity Brewing at 12:30 PM, the Classic Car Cruise from 6:00-8:00 PM, and the drawing of winners from the 150 Scavenger Hunt and Portland Passport contests at 7:00 PM.

Today we are bringing you a preview of the line-ups for day three of the sesquicentennial celebration weekend.

Sunday, September 22nd

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Baking Competition Turn In

Elena Brooks told the Beacon, “Baking competition has three age groups, 7-10, 11-14 and adult. Judges will sample each bake good entered and give it a score based on the following criteria: Appearance, flavor, creativity and is it a good example of the product made (is it a good cake). All entries are to be homemade no commercial mixes or fillings. Once judging has taken place, the items will be auction off for the dinner. You can bid on your favorite to have at your table for dessert.”

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Sesquicentennial Museum at the Red Mill

This will be your last chance to visit the museum. Don’t miss out on this front row view of many artifacts and images from our community’s past.

1:00 PM to 1:45 PM Orchestra Performance in Scout Park

Michael Judd told the Beacon, “The Portland Community Orchestra, a non-profit organization, was formed in 2005 to provide a venue for local musicians to play and learn in an orchestra environment. Our amazing conductor is Mr. Mike Sulecki, director of Band and Choir for the Portland Schools. We play mostly for our own enjoyment, and also perform publicly a few times a year at local events such as the Day of Music, the Home-Alternative-Virtual Graduation ceremony, and the annual Christmas Gala Concert in December, held at the Portland Playhouse. We are a very laid back orchestra whose members include promising musicians from seventh grade on up to seasoned adult performers, and we invite anyone who has not played their instrument in a long time to get it out of the closet and come join us!”

Judd added, “Selections for the Sesquicentennial Farm to Table event will include popular pieces from the various decades, like Come Rain or Come Shine (1955), a medley from Grease (1970), Memories from the Broadway hit Cats (1983), theme song from Game of Thrones (2011), and a timeless medley from the Beatles! Like us on Facebook at Portland Community Orchestra.”

1:50 PM Simultaneous Bell Ringing

Four local churches will all ring their bells together. This includes Portland Congregational, Baptist, Methodist, and Catholic churches.

1:30 PM to 4:00 PM Farm to Table Dinner (dinner service at 2:00 PM)

The Farm to Table will take place along the 100 block of Kent Street with beautifully set tables, live dinner music and great stories to be shared by docents and sponsors who will be seated with the attendees. Delicious foods from local farms, butchers and the agri-industry will be prepared by our local favorite food establishments. This signature Celebration “helps fund all of the free opportunities over the weekend” according to Tina Conner Wellman.

This event is being sponsored by GreenStone Farm Credit Services. Cynthia Cole from GreenStone” Ionia office told the Beacon "We like to support the local community. We feel a strong connection between local farms and community events. The Farm to Table dinner during Portland's 150th celebration weekend is a great way for GreenStone to support a great community event and local farmers in the area at the same time."

Organizers say this dinner will be, “an experience to stimulate all of your senses! We're selling out - Get your tickets today!”

3:00 PM Winning Bake Goods Auction

The winning items from the Baking Competition will be made available for sale. This would be a great opportunity to purchase your dessert for the Farm to Table dinner, or just enjoy some tasty homemade treats. All proceeds will benefit the 150 celebration.

3:40 PM Cake Walk/Bake Walk

You can find this event at the intersection of Kent Street and Bridge Street. The cost is $1.00 per walk and winners select from entries. All proceeds support Sesquicentennial Weekend.

4:30 PM Vintage Baseball Game at Bud Plant Field in the Bogue Flats

Michael Judd, one of the vintage baseball organizers, told the Beacon, “The Portland Blue Sox Vintage Base Ball team and game were created as a high lite event for the Portland Sesquicentennial Weekend. We took the name after the famous Portland team that was one of the best in the area, up through the 1940's. The original BLUE SOX uniform can be seen on display in the Portland Area Historical Society's Red Mill Museum.”

Judd added, “Our Vintage team is composed of both male and female players, ages from 16 up to 88; all with a baseball or softball background. We will be playing against The Michigan Barnstormers, a Vintage ball team composed of veteran Vintage Base Ball players from several teams in the Michigan Vintage Sports Association league. Each player will be wearing the appropriate period uniform for their respective team.”

“We will be playing the game at historic Bud Plant Field, at Bogue Flats, just outside of Portland. The field was named after U.S. Navy Lieutenant (jg) Claude William "Bud" Plant, who receive the Silver Star Distinguished Flying Cross Air Medal after he went missing in action in during WWII, August, 1944. Bud had been in the Pacific for several months, flying in a fighter squadron. In July Bud's unit won high praise when it knocked down 63 Japanese enemy aircraft in a single day. Bud was eligible to try out as a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, had he survived the war.”

Judd said, “Attendees can expect to be transported back in time. to enjoy an afternoon of authentic Vintage Base Ball!”

Commemorative Items

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 9 x12 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!”

The Portland Area Historical Society is offering a commemorative ball point pen. This pen is beautifully turned from a piece of its once towering light poles, by local wood working artist Lyle Morton. The pens will be available ($30.00) at the PAHS Sesquicentennial Museum, located in the Red Mill. Supply is limited.

For complete details of all sesquicentennial events, please visit

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