Marshall’s sesquicentennial and Sounds of Summer team up for packed weekend of events

MARSHALL — It’s a milestone year for the city of Marshall, and there will be lots of ways to mark the occasion this week. Organizers of the city’s sesquicentennial celebrations have teamed up with the annual Sounds of Summer festival for a weekend packed with events.

“I think it’s a great combination, partnering with Sounds of Summer,” said Nicole DeBoer, of the Marshall 150th planning committee.

By holding some of the sesquicentennial events during the festival, there was a chance for more people to be able to come out and attend.

“We’re hoping we can have something for everyone on every day,” said Brock Klaith, of the Sounds of Summer committee. “We’re looking forward to getting everyone back out there.”

The city of Marshall was founded in 1872, and events this week will be celebrating 150 years of history, as well as Marshall’s community today. One of the special features created for the sesquicentennial was the Marshall “M” sculpture built in Independence Park this summer. Artist Tamara Isfeld worked together with community members to create a mosaic covering the front of the sculpture.

The sculpture, and newly rebuilt trails at Independence Park, will be dedicated at a ceremony on Thursday morning.

“That is officially the kickoff,” DeBoer said. From there, Thursday’s sesquicentennial events include arts and living history demonstrations at Liberty Park, sponsored by the Lyon County Museum.

“They plan to bring out the covered wagon for people to see,” DeBoer said.

In addition to living history events, visitors can see area artists at work in the park and even make their own artwork, DeBoer said. John Sterner, the local artist who sculpted the Mrs. Whitney statue in Liberty Park, will be doing plein air painting, and mural artist Greg Preslicka will be creating a painting of Marshall’s early railroad days, she said.

Events on Thursday evening continue with Lyon County Relay For Life, which is holding a chili cookoff and live auction at Independence Park. Downtown, the Lyon County Museum and the Marshall Downtown Business Association will also be teaming up to hold a historical fashion show demonstrating clothing styles from the past 150 years.

Sounds of Summer events also get started Thursday night, with an outdoor concert by the band Sweet Siren. Klaith said Sounds of Summer used to have multiple nights of music, and organizers were bringing the tradition back this year.

“We kind of held true to what Sounds of Summer was known for in the past, and we added a bunch of things to do,” he said.

On Friday, the sesquicentennial celebrations will continue with a birthday party for Marshall downtown. The event will have “a real party atmosphere,” DeBoer said, with food, music and family-friendly activities. As part of the festivities, there will be a magic show by illusionist and Marshall native Jett Skrien.

Saturday is a busy day for Sounds of Summer, Klaith said.

“It all starts right away in the morning,” with a Rotary pancake breakfast and the Tiger 5K run, he said. The day will build up to events like a vintage car show and the grand parade in the afternoon, and concerts by Roxbury Drive and Time Machine.

“After six years, Time Machine are coming back to Marshall,” Klaith said. He said the band is excited to be back in town.”

A fireworks display celebrating Marshall’s 150th anniversary will be held Saturday night over downtown.

Klaith said the weekend will come to a close with a more relaxed schedule on Sunday. A community praise service will be held at Liberty Park, and the Marshall Area Stage Company will hold a variety show at the bandshell on Sunday afternoon.

DeBoer and Klaith said all of this week’s events were made possible with lots of teamwork and support from Marshall area residents, businesses and community groups.

“I want to stress we’re grateful to all the sponsors what helped make this possible,” Klaith said.


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