Imlay City Sesquicentennial celebration set for Aug. 7-9

IMLAY CITY — A committee has been formed to begin planning for a 150th anniversary celebration for the City of Imlay City.
While plans are in the preliminary stages, the committee has established Aug. 7-9 as the dates for the 2020 Imlay City Sesquicentennial celebration.
Proposed events will take place in downtown Imlay City and at the Eastern Michigan State Fairgrounds and include a 150th anniversary parade, fireworks display, live musical entertainment, class reunions, historical displays, tributes to longtime businesses and citizens, and a vision for the city’s future.

The Rathsburg & Schoof parade car in front of the Palmer House during Imlay City’s 50 year anniversary celebration in 1920.

On Tuesday, June 18, Imlay City Mayor Joi Kempf officially proclaimed the city’s plans to host a Sesquicentennial in 2020 to fellow city commissioners and guests.
Committee members recently met to preliminarily discuss some of the ideas being considered for the Sesquicentennial celebration.
Where’s time capsule? Among the first items on the committee’s agenda is to relocate the “time capsule” that was buried in 1970 as part of the city’s Centennial (100th anniversary) celebration.
Marilyn Swihart, Imlay City historian and member of the Sesquicentennial committee, said the capsule was originally buried on property next to what is now The Pincushion on Third Street.
Swihart recalls that the capsule was later moved to the site of the former Imlay City village offices and police station on the south side of Third Street; and later to a location near the historical marker just west of the museum downtown.
“We know about where it is, but we’ve not been able to locate it so far,” said Swihart, who is curious to learn the contents of the 50-year-old time capsule.
She added that recent efforts by DPW Supervisor Ed Priehs and surveyor Rick Duthler have so far proved unsuccessful.
Presuming that the capsule will be found and its contents revealed, City Manager Tom Youatt is seeking ideas for items to include in a 2020 time capsule.
To ensure that the whereabouts of the new time capsule is widely known to Imlay City residents in 2070, Youatt suggested it be buried or secured within the city’s new fire hall on East Borland Road.
150th birthday ideas Listed among the ideas proposed thus far by committee members for the 2020 Sesquicentennial are a fireworks display and firefighters’ waterball tournament at the fairgrounds; a 150th birthday cake float; recognition of Imlay City’s pioneer families and influence of the Hispanic community; softball/basketball tournaments; Civil War encampments and reenactments; an antique tractor show; a family-friendly saloon with root beer and peanuts; wide array of
children’s games and  activities; history-related exhibits at the museum; local artist displays; tours of historic Imlay City homes and buildings; and a live ‘Imlay City Voices’ show featuring some of  the community’s outstanding vocalists and entertainers.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.