It’s time for all hands on deck — Esky 150 celebration is just about here

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Daily Press columnist Karen Wils is tied up with graduations and weddings this week, so writing in her place is Lori Rose, Karen’s younger sister and member of the Esky 150 Steering Committee).

ESCANABA – OK, folks it’s time to take out your scissors.

On behalf of the Esky 150 Steering Committee, I want to offer a few suggestions to local residents to help us have a joyous and meaningful celebration of Escanaba’s sesquicentennial.

Yes, that word is a mouthful (SES qua cen TEN ee al) and I think that’s why our committee decided to go by Esky 150 instead.

Next month, from July 5-14, our town will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding. Back in 1863, as the Civil War raged farther south, a village was platted in the area ranging west from Sand Point.

Our town has seen many highs and lows, colorful characters and momentous events, and now it is time to honor our past but also look to the years that lie ahead. As former residents return, we hope they will see the good in this area and perhaps reestablish roots or rekindle old friendships.

Now, here is a list of things you can do to make the celebration great (cut out and put on your fridge):

Talk about town and family history with your relatives, old-timers and neighbors. You may be surprised to find some wonderful and intriguing tales.

Have the kids do video journals about your family and the city of Escanaba. Save in a secure place for the grandkids to enjoy in the next 50 or so years.

Volunteer to help with activities during the Esky 150 celebration. For more details, go to

Tidy up your yard and think about putting up your own interesting history display, or maybe a family coat of arms or emblem.

Share a copy of the Esky 150 event schedule with your friends and former locals, classmates, relatives and church or business associates. (Invite pastor or Cousin Karl to visit town during the sesquicentennial or anytime during 2013).

Drive around town and look at all the new construction that has gone up in the last few yearsand months! Maybe stop somewhere you’ve never been before and do a little shopping or visiting.

See if your family, workplace, club or church group would like to make a float or take part in the sesquicentennial parade on Ludington. Dress in vintage clothes if you like (warm woolens of the past might feel good this year) or wear practical summer gear.

With the OK of the city, see about painting your corner street marker (the old concrete kind) in nice colors, or put a few flowers in at the intersection. If it’s too hard to bend, ask a teenager for a hand.

Share your comments and memories about Escanaba with Esky 150 on Facebook or the sesquicentennial website.

Consider planting a tree or shrub in your neighborhood as part of the Esky 150 Trees Project.

“NeighborWood” planting parties will be held early this fall. Call 786-6864 for details.

Make a trip to the compost or landfill if you have any clutter around your property, or lend a trailer to a neighbor if he or she needs it.

Learn more about Escanaba’s past by researching your family history or visiting the library or historical society.

Make plans to attend at least one or two Esky 150 events. If you know an older person or someone who needs a ride, offer to help.

Be gracious and thankful for what we have here in this town. Yes, things have been tough in the past few years and we have challenges, but we are also blessed with talent and innovation.

I have many more suggestions to offer, but I think this is enough for now.

On behalf of the Esky 150 Steering Committee, I wish everyone a great time and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Escanaba!