Celebrating a century

Falls to turn 100 in style; festival, parade July 6 at River Park
by Jeff Pederson of The Review staff

SHEBOYGAN FALLS — The city of Sheboygan Falls is hitting the century mark this year, which means one thing for city residents and business owners – its time to party.

Plans are under way to stage a special 100th anniversary celebration festival and parade on Saturday, July 6, at River Park in downtown Sheboygan Falls.

The event will kickoff with a history themed, Sheboygan Falls-centric parade through the streets of downtown Sheboygan Falls at 10 a.m., followed by a family-oriented festival at River Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The 100th anniversary celebration is a combined effort between the city of Sheboygan Falls and Sheboygan Falls Chamber-Main Street, which will stage its 25th annual Ducktona event the following day at River Park on Sunday, July 7.

“We are piggy backing the 100th anniversary event with Ducktona on that weekend,” said Tammy Meyer, who is coordinating the event along with Mayor Randy Meyer and Chamber-Main Street Executive Director Shirl Breunig. “We hope putting these two big events back to back will benefit both and draw a lot of people to Sheboygan Falls on that weekend.”

According to Breunig, the celebration will serve to showcase the city’s colorful history.

“Sheboygan Falls has such a great history to draw on,” Breunig said. “Our goal is to get as many community members and businesses involved as possible.

“We invite all civic organizations, school groups, clubs, businesses and just anyone that has had a connection to Sheboygan Falls to come and join us in some way,” she said.

In keeping with the historical theme, the parade has been designed to take on a throwback feel.

“We are hoping to have some of the vintage cars that are coming for the Ducktona car show on Sunday to join us on Saturday for the parade,” Breunig said. “We are also encouraging people to build floats for their club, group, organization or business with a historical spin on it.

“I remember when I was young, we had decorated doll buggies, bikes and people dressed in costumes in those parades,” she said. “It would be great to have those kinds of things going on in this parade. We are also kicking around the idea of having a float competition like we do for the Main Street Memories Parade to help people get pumped up about this. We may have a trophy or prize for the winners. We are in the very early planning stages, so we are still working out those details.”

The day-long festival is expected to feature music, games and family activities, as well as a sheepshead tournament.

“We are hoping to do some throwback type of games that are very family oriented,” Tammy Meyer said. “We are kind of going for an old-time fair type of environment with families gathering for a day of fun.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event to celebrate 100 years of Sheboygan Falls,” she said. “We hope people will come together to make it truly special.”

For those planning to make it a two-day weekend festival-going experience, Breunig says each day will offer different events and activities.

“The 100th anniversary event and Ducktona will be completely separate,” Breunig said. “There won’t be any vendors, cars, ducks or Big Wheels at the 100th anniversary and Ducktona won’t have the nostalgic flavor that we expect to have on Saturday.”

Randy Meyer hopes both events will be able to feed off of each other.

“I think these two events will co-exist very well,” Meyer said. “I’m hoping that by having the centennial celebration on Saturday, it will help Ducktona sell a record number of ducks.”

With an emphasis on simplicity, those attending the centennial celebration should expect a little less volume from the musical performers.

“The electric guitar was not around 100 years ago, so our intention is to stick with acoustic, mellower type music that would fit with the historic theme,” Meyer said. “We also want to have only Sheboygan Falls bands play.

“We don’t have the musical lineup set up yet, but we are confident that we will find a good acoustic type band in Falls,” he said.

Centennial celebration organizers are currently seeking stories, photos and historical items related to Sheboygan Falls, as well as parade participants, sponsors and volunteers.

To assist or participate in the 100th anniversary celebration send an e-mail to sheboyganfalls100@gmail.com or visit the event’s Facebook page by typing in Sheboygan Falls 100.

“This is something that is designed by and for the citizens of Sheboygan Falls,” Randy Meyer said. “We are hoping to get great support from the community through submission of historical stories, photos and items, decorating a float for the parade or by volunteering to help out during the celebration at River Park.

“Any proceeds will stay within the city to help out with things such as the development of the new park on the west side of the city,” he said. “We hope everyone will take advantage of an opportunity to help to make this a great event that will be remembered for years to come.”

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