Port Washington is celebrating its 150th anniversary— a sesquicentennial— with a series of events all happening on Saturday, Oct. 13 in the square.
Many of the residents, including Kathy Sullivan of the Historical Society, are pulling together to contribute to the celebration. Sullivan, who’s been involved in the town for years, said she looking forward to celebrating the town’s history.
"We’ve enjoyed our country home for more than 50 years, we have wonderful neighbors and church friends," Sullivan said. "We love to live in our small town."
The festivities will begin with a breakfast at the fire station at 8 a.m., followed by a 5K Dash and one mile Fun Run. Registration for the run will begin at 8 a.m. as well.
"The main purpose of the festival is to remember the history of the village of Port Washington, how it started and how it is today, and how to reflect on the people that have come and gone," Sullivan said. "It’ll be a great time to join in the good times and celebration."
At noon, Mayor Tom Gardner will join other officials to give the official proclamations detailing the history of the town as well as its accomplishments. The town had been a booming canal stop in the late 19th century, and brought in a variety of people. Abraham Lincoln had stopped there once as well.
"It’s an old American town," Sullivan said. "Good, honest people."
There will also be a historical presentation by Chris Hart, who will be taking on the role of Phillip Lamneck. Hart studies local history in order to bring it back to life. He’s chosen Phillip Lamneck, a local who’s life he studied in a history book, to portray the lifestyle of the era. In his act, he will take on Lamneck’s personality to describe the town and its people from years past.
After the presentation, the Thunder Valley 4-H Club will dedicate a time capsule to be buried with all the things the group thinks describes the present. In this way, they’ll be celebrating the past by looking to the future.
"Their children will dig it up in 50 years when the town is 200," Sullivan said.
A cornhole tournament will take place at 1 p.m. with a $10 entry per person. Registration will be at the lamplighter. Tequila Mary, a three-woman local band, will be performing from 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. The band is slated to perform a mixture of oldies, religious and country songs.
The events will end with a dinner put on by St. Paul’s United Church-Christ at 4 p.m. Much of the festivities were set up through the effort of volunteers from places like the church. Pork, Sauerkraut, potatoes and vegetables will all be served. The residents of Port Washington are using this occasion to appreciate all the great things that happen in a rural area.
"We love to live in our small town," Sullivan said. "People are close here. The police check on your home when you’re on vacation.They’re only part time, but they think of that stuff. You don’t see things like that in big cities."