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Jacksonville celebrates its 150th

The city of Jacksonville will mark its 150th birthday with 10 days of celebration commencing Thursday, Sept.16, and continuing through Saturday, Sept. 25, with activities from morning until dark.

"It's definitely a citywide collaborative effort," says Laurel Briggs, marketing consultant for the event. "Different groups came up with their own events and got them approved by the city."

A glimpse at the Jubilee Week calender will tickle the fancies of sociology and history buffs, culinary connoisseurs and fans of art and live performances.

"The events of the past have shaped this historic town, but this event will help shape its future," says Jacksonville Mayor Bruce W. Garrett.

Garrett commends the business community in Jacksonville for staying after the gold rush and maintaining historic city buildings and private homes to this day.

"It's the businesses that made Jacksonville what it is," he says. Their efforts helped put Jacksonville on a list with some 16 sites in the United States that are designated as historical districts."

The rich, local history, along with various talents and wares, will be displayed each day of the weeklong event. There will be cemetery and archeology tours, a "Festival of Gold" old-time movie series, historical lectures and presentations and various workshops and demonstrations that will highlight art, gold panning, weaving, grain and energy. Art exhibits, food and wine tasting, vendors, a farmers market and music will further color the days.

To complement the abundance of activity, local lodges will offer overnight guest packages with gift certificates to local eateries and bottles of local wine.

The celebration culminates Saturday, Sept. 25, with a parade, a Dutch-oven cook-off, farmers market, Oktoberfest celebration, gunfighters, outhouse races and fireworks at Bigham Knoll on E Street. Most activities are free to the public. For a complete schedule of events, see www.jacksonvilleoregon.us.

An old-fashioned melodrama, "Good Enough For Me," will be presented Friday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 19, at Bigham Knoll, and "Echoes of the Past," a concert of original music by City Administrator Paul Wyntergreen and Christina Duane, will be presented Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Britt Pavilion.