Everyone loves a birthday party and the residents of Port St. Joe are no exception.
In preparation for the big 100, Mayor Mel Magidson appointed several committee members late last year to plan out a series of events that would take place on and around July first, the official day that the town became incorporated in 1913.
The committees came up with events to entertain the town and promote the history that would involve enthrall longtime residents and newcomers alike.
The Music through the Years Music Festival at George Core Park will be the first of several events leading up to the centennial celebration to help raise funds for the festivities to come. The concert, which will feature six bands of different genres, will also mark the third reunion of the hit 1970s band, The Villagers, in 15 years.
The concert was coordinated by a music committee and will take place on Saturday, May 11. Food and beverages will be sold on-site. Additional fundraisers in the planning stages include a fish fry and a restaurant tasting.
City Auditor and Clerk, Charlotte Pierce and Patti Blaylock of Sunset Coastal Grill have been busy planning a parade that will open the celebration on June 28 by cruising down Reid Avenue. Floats will feature well-known community members for PSJ’s past and present.
The parade route would end at George Core Park where locals would be treated by a light show, currently being planned by Tim Nelson, Anna Duren and Jennifer Jenkins.
Over the weekend, the City Commons will be abuzz with an art fair joining the regular farmer’s market as local artists set up to sell their wares and share inspiration with the community.
The event is being orchestrated by John Parker.
Nelson and Dana Boyer of Boyer Signs are working with the St. Joseph Historical Society to create a Timeline Wall to be on display for the duration of the celebration.
Using old photos scanned at recent events, the group has collected and is working to chronologically organize the images to show the past and present of Port St. Joe. The wall will stand 30 feet long and seven feet tall, displaying the town’s heritage as far back to 1913 as possible.
The timeline photos will also be collected into a book printed specifically for the event and available for purchase during the festivities.
Parker and the photo committee are hard at work on the details.
To help residents and visitors get into the centennial mood, Steve Kerigan and Boyer are collecting vintage artwork, relative to the community, to hang in the windows of vacant buildings in the downtown area. These works will show off the deep artistic roots of Port St. Joe and entertain and inspire passersby.
The commemorative centennial coin which was produced to raise funds for the upcoming celebration officially went on sale last week.
The token is available for sale at Portside Trading Company, The No Name Café, Cadence Bank, Joseph’s Cottage and City Hall. The cost is $15 and the coin comes with a velvet bag for storage.
Clarence Monette is coordinating the details of a time capsule that will soon be under construction at the Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School. The capsule will then be filled with mementos created by local students or donated by businesses and buried in the City Commons on July first.
Monette has also been organizing a basketball game to take place at the Washington Gym that will feature athletes of note from the past and present.
Not to be left out, Magidson has prepared several speeches about Port St. Joe. He will speak at several of the events throughout the celebration.
The Centennial Celebration will culminate on Thursday, July 4 with the annual fireworks display, closing out the festivities with a bang.
A website for the week-long was created by Rick Lamberson at the Bluewater iNet Group and features a schedule of the events, historic photos and a list of the centennial celebration sponsors. For more information on how to get involved or donate funds, visit www.psjcentennialcelebration.com.