Column: Plan to celebrate 150th birthday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 15, 2005

By Jean Eaton, Albert Lea mayor

Exciting plans are in the works for our 150th celebration in 2006. There will be something for everyone to enjoy.

We have recruited a great team beginning with our hard working co-chairs Kelly Schultz and Carol Wolter. They have been very busy planning and organizing for the year-long event.

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Each month will be highlighted with a theme showcasing a significant part of our history. The following is just a preview of what is being planned for our celebration by wonderful volunteers.

On December 31, 2005, we are kicking off our community celebration with a” Birthday Bash” consisting of early evening fireworks and birthday cake at the Northbridge Mall. Other events are also being explored by co-chairs Barb and Herb Andersen and Beth and Brett Doyle.

January will have a military theme and co-chairs are needed.

February &045; Transportation, Jim Hanson and John Nevins.

March &045; Business and industry, Dave Lundak and Kathy Buker.

April &045; Agriculture, Jean Pestorious and Kent Erlandson.

May &045; Education, Harlan Bang and Lilah Aas.

June &045; Music, Bill Buege and Jan Hench.

July &045; Recreation, LeAnn Dulitz and Mike Petersen.

August &045; Faith Community, Saundra Finseth and Jim Troe. September &045; Arts and architecture,

Nancy and Jack Hockenberry and Glen and Pat Parsons

October &045; Henitage and immigration, Bev Jackson.

November &045; Health care, Jinni Olson and Patti Haried.

December &045; Gala finale, Randy Kehr and Barb Butler.

Other important volunteer chair people include: Marge Hamersly and Nancy Vanderwardt (Chamber) &045; fireworks; July 3rd parade, Jill Koehler (CVB) &045; marketing and promotional items/sales; community calendar of events, Pat Corrigan &045; special advisor for handicap accessibility.

We hope that any club/group hosting an existing event during 2006 will coordinate with our committee to be listed in our calendar of events. We want groups to catch the spirit and add a touch of “history” to their event with period dress or using a historic theme.

In 2006, the city of Austin will also celebrate its 150th. We have met with their co-chairs and we are investigating coordinating a joint event in both Albert Lea and Austin next summer.

Many activities and events are being planned and any idea that you may have should be directed to Carol at 373-9870 or Kelly at 373-3867.

As always, volunteers and funds are critical to making any event a success. Please say yes when you are asked to donate or help so that we can have a celebration that we are all proud of.

(Jean Eaton is mayor of Albert Lea.)