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  • Shelly Rutkowski and Jim Townsend

Portland 150 Events for Saturday 9/21 Offer Fun for All Ages

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 (pictured above) has put into Portland’s 150th birthday weekend festivities will be upon us.

Last week we gave you a closer look at what you could expect for the opening day of the celebration weekend, Friday 9/20. You can find that article HERE. We also gave you a sneak peek at the schedule of events for Sunday, 9/22 HERE.

Today we are bringing you a preview of the action packed line-up for day two the sesquicentennial celebration weekend, Saturday, September 21st.

10:00 AM Step Back in Time Parade

PFCU will be sponsoring a parade with the theme, “A Step Back in Time” which is set to begin at 10 am. If you would like to participate with an entry, you can still register at The parade route is also on the website, so be sure to check it out and claim your viewing spot early.

11:00 AM to 4:00 PM Sesquicentennial Museum at the Red Mill

Located within Portland’s historical Red Mill off Water Street near Portland Products, this museum allows guests to get an up-close look at the history of the community. From local influencers of the past, to businesses and industries that helped shape this community, this is a must see for anyone who wants to learn more about the roots of this community.

11:00 AM Historical Marker Reveal and Dedication at Scout Park

Stop by Scout Park on Kent Street as some of Portland’s biggest influencers of today dedicate the historical marker to commemorate Portland 150th year.

11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Artisan Craft Fair

You will find Craft Show/Vendors located on Bridge Street between Kent & Maple. “We’re excited to present over a dozen local artisans and crafters with everything from handmade jewelry to home decor,” said Tina Conner Wellman of the Sesquicentennial Committee. She continued, by adding “These creations are made from metal, paint, wood, and… eggs! You’ll be delighted and surprised, sure to find something you want for yourself, or to gift.”

11:30 AM to 1:00 PM High Wheeler Bike Demonstration

Captain Bill Smith of the Michigan Wheelman will provide demonstrations with his 1890 Columbia Volunteer High wheel bike. He will be joined by Cathy and her 1899 Rambler lady’s safety bicycle. Both will be available to answer any questions you may have.

12:00 PM to 5:00 PM Petting Zoo in Toan Park

Mandy Lawless Johnston said, “Across the Grand River, in Toan Park, a petting zoo will delight young and old, and in Powers Park “Bubble Ball” is sure to be a hit. All events are free with the exception of Bubble Ball, which is $5 per person. We are looking forward to celebrating our City’s past and showcasing to visitors all that Portland has to offer.”

12:00 PM to 6:00 PM Bubble Ball at Powers Park

Sure to be a hit with the youngsters, Bubble Ball is a mix of soccer and a human bounce house. Participants are inside a soft inflatable ball. Cost is $5 per person.

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Antique Roadshow

According to event organizers, “Local celebrity antique expert, Mr. Dennis Beard, will be joining us for an event full of fun and information, as he helps us appreciate our family heirlooms! You may bring one antique item for discussion and a second item, only if it is Portland related. Mr. Beard will offer his comments about your item, but will not be offering appraisals. No firearms, coins or stamps are allowed.” You can find this event in front of the Kramer building.

1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Historic Walking Tours

Want to know more about the history of downtown Portland? Taking part in this historic walking tour will allow you to learn the history of several downtown buildings. Planners say you will also get a look at “their contribution to commerce and civic life.”

As indicated in the map above, circles identify Docent Guided Tour stops, and stars represent and the Self-Guided Tour stops.

1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Playful Portland Streets

Hosted by Epic Church, Mandy Lawless Johnston said, “Playful Portland Streets will feature fun for the whole family! On Kent Street, we will have vintage games such as hula hoops and jump rope to represent fun of the past, and inflatable slides and obstacle courses to represent entertainment of the present.”

9:00 AM to 6:00 Carnival Foods and Beverages

Vendors will provide such treats as Homemade Old-Fashioned Root Beer, Fresh Lemonade and Caramel Apple Bowls-perfect for the fall season.

The Portland Civic Players will be holding a fundraiser selling many varieties of popcorn, including fresh popped Kettle Corn.

6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Five Decades of Music and Dance at the Bandshell

Sponsored and organized by the Portland Community Arts Council and being held at the Bandshell next to the Looking Glass River off Divine Highway, the show will feature music from the past 50 of Portland’s 150 years. The music will be performed by local and regional musicians.

Organizers say, “From the late '60s to today's music, we'll be singing (and dancing) at Portland's band shell, celebrating the incredible musical talent in our community. It's been a blast going through 1/2 century of great music to find just the right songs to celebrate Portland.”

7:45 PM Portland High School Marching Band performs their Half Time show at the Bandshell

Come see and hear the members of the PHS marching band as they perform their 2019 halftime show. A great chance to enjoy the thrilling sound of an entire marching band in comfortable setting.

8:45 PM (approx.) Old Time Fireworks at the Bogue Flats

What better way to end this exciting day than with a spectacular Fireworks show? The display will be released from Bogue Flats beginning at dusk (8:30pm). Committee members and PFCU employees Fawn Morris and Sara Badgero indicated that ‘residents are welcome to take blankets and/or chairs if they choose to walk to the park, or there will be parking available for those who prefer to park and view the show from their vehicle at the Bogue Flats.’ For the safety of all in attendance, personal fireworks will not be allowed.

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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