New Castle News

August 26, 2013

New Wilmington plans sesquicentennial

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — It’s a commemoration of small-town America when New Wilmington celebrates its 150th anniversary on Sept. 7 and 8.

“We’ve planned a celebration that will be remembered for years to come,” said Sherie Babb, who is co-chairing the event with Susan Ligo.

Vintage flags and banners adorn the streets, and among the activities will be a large sesquicentennial parade, memorial dedication, 5K race, vintage fashion show, children’s games and a fireworks display. Food and craft vendors will be available both days.

On Sept. 7, there will be a large sesquicentennial parade beginning at 10 a.m. with more than 15 floats, covered wagons, members of the Red Nights Bikers, Shriners and Antique Tractor Association, marching bands and various fire departments.

Adm. Robert H. Shumaker, former New Castle resident, will be the guest speaker during the opening ceremony immediately following the parade. Shot down over North Vietnam in February 1965, Shumaker spent eight years as a prisoner of war.

Historic markers commemorating the location of New Wilmington’s two town squares will be dedicated by the New Wilmington Area Chamber of Commerce.

An opportunity to meet 20 notable artists and authors is from 1 to 3 p.m. in the community room of Shenango Presbyterian SeniorCare. 

Scheduled are artists Nancy Behm, Kate Burke, Nancy Stephens Donatelli, J.G. McGill, Thomas McNickle, Nelson Oestreich, Peggy VanOuse, Patricia Wallace and J. Wendy Warner.

Authors include the Rev. Kenneth Bailey, Timothy Cuff, H. Dewey DeWitt, Barbara T. Faires, Samuel Farmerie, James Fisher, David Gray, the Rev. Joseph M. Hopkins, Delber McKee, James A. Perkins and G. Alan Sternbergh.

Memories of days living or working in New Wilmington will be presented by six life-long residents — Marti Boyd, Dr. George Hart, Mable Kocher, Glenn and Eleanor Morris, and George Robinson from 3 to 5 p.m. in the community room of the senior care center.

“We’re very excited about including the stories of those who influenced the history of New Wilmington,” said Jackie Meade, chairperson.

Those having keepsakes or mementos may either bring them to the event or contact Meade at (724) 946-7343 prior to the session.

Entertainment includes performances by the New Wilmington High School band and choir, Rocket to the Stars singers, Stan Miller “Cool Jazz” saxophonist, The Dorals and Red Mountain Boys. Children’s activities, including Jocko the Clown, will be from noon to 6 p.m. and a corn hole tournament is from 3 to 6 p.m.

The 9 p.m. fireworks display is presented by Pyrotecnico Fireworks Co. 

Sept. 8 festivities start at 8 a.m. with a 5K race/walk, followed at 9:30 a.m. by a community worship service at Wallace Memorial Chapel of Westminster College. DJ Lee Martel performs in the parking lot of Jameson Health Place beginning at 11 a.m.

Activities from noon to 4 p.m. include a car show, open houses at the fire department and schools, and a Shojin Karate Kyokushin demonstration from 2 to 2:30 p.m.

The celebration concludes at 4 p.m. with a raffle of a 47-inch LCD TV, Cannondale bike and New Wilmington community gift basket.

A collection of items representing the sesquicentennial celebration will be placed in a time capsule and buried on the town square. A marker indicating the capsule’s location will bear the insignia, “Open in 2038” when the community celebrates its 175th anniversary.