The planning began last October when 13 Port St. Joe residents gathered to plan a blowout to celebrate the first century of modern St. Joseph.
The committee spawned multiple committees, painstakingly mapping every moment of a week-long birthday celebration.
“In all, 48 members of the community have participated on these committees,” said Dana Boyer of the Centennial Celebration committee. “So if you think this is coming from a couple of people, it is not.”
The celebration kicks off next Friday, June 28 and continues through July 5 and will include a special July Fourth fireworks display, which Boyer, who has raised private funds to put on the fireworks, will be at least a $15,000 display.
The birthday festivities will have something special each day, from a parade on Friday recognizing prominent families and individuals to an alumni basketball game on July 5 at the former Washington High School gym.
There will be interactive light shows, music, a “family” day, outdoor movies in the park, a car show, birthday cake and a display of a timeline tracing in photos the history of Port St. Joe.
“The thing we want people to understand is we want everybody who was born here, raised here or lived here to participate,” said Mayor Mel Magidson. “There is something for everyone.”
Boyer said the committee had raised more than $26,000 in cash and in-kind donations for the event.
“We would not be where we are without these in-kind contributions,” Boyer said.
She said there was a possibility of another major sponsor and her numbers did not include profit from the sale of commemorative coins.
“The coins sales have gone well,” Magidson said. “We have covered the cost of the coins and whatever more we make will go to the event.”
After the event, the committee will publish an 80-page softcover book of historic and celebration photos.
“Whatever we spent money on (such as the timeline) it wasn’t for a one-shot deal,” Boyer said. “We wanted to be able to use it year after year.”
Boyer also urged those joining the celebration to visit one of two Facebook pages. The Centennial Celebration has a page and there is another page titled, “If you grew up in Port St. Joe, you remember…” which includes recollections from current and former residents.
The Port St. Joe Centennial Celebration also has a web site with full schedule of events. A schedule will also be published in next week’s edition of The Star.
Calling a morning workshop on a city/county interlocal agreement (see story A2) “productive” during which a “lot was resolved” commissioners moved to approve the move of the Port St. Joe Redevelopment Agency to the Local Color Chamber of Commerce building.
Commissioner Rex Buzzett made the motion in “good faith” in hopes that the city and county will work through differences on the interlocal agreement.