City preps for 150th birthday celebration

Aug. 27—Come Home, Come Downtown, Come Together is the theme of Jacksonville's upcoming Sesquicentennial Street Festival and 150th Birthday Celebration set for Saturday, Oct. 22, in downtown Jacksonville. The event promises to shine a bright light on the town's past, present, and future.

Jacksonville's downtown has been in the midst of sweeping change in the form of new sidewalks, curbs, steps, shops, restaurants, and other improvements. Even through the construction, preparation for the festival has been underway. Since May, the downtown area has been adorned by Texas, US, and Sesquicentennial flags. Joining these is now a large banner promoting the day at the intersection of US 69 and 79.

"The new owners of the building at that intersection were quick and willing to assist us with a high visibility location to remind people passing by about the Sesquicentennial", said Kathleen Stanfill, Celebration Co-Chair.

Stanfill recalls the inclusion of children when the town hit the century mark and the impression it made on her as one of those children.

"In 1972, I was part of a sweet bicycle parade celebrating the town's 100th birthday. It must have made an impression. That's our goal, to impress Jacksonville's children, inspiring pride and ownership of their hometown that will carry them for the next 50 years. They are the next party planners!" added Stanfill.

The Street Festival will be a fun-filled day downtown for current and former residents. "Kids will find rides, attractions, a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, face painting, immersive exhibits, and so many other exciting activities to keep them entertained. We have five awesome local bands and a spectacular surprise Grand Finale in store for our

guests" added Cassie Devillier, Event Co-Chair. "There will be plenty of picnic tables placed throughout downtown for eating and visiting. People are also encouraged to bring their own chairs. Plan to shop and eat downtown and spend the entire day with your family, friends, and neighbors!"

The Street Festival, the first of its kind in Jacksonville, will begin with a concert on the steps of the town's beloved Tomato Bowl Stadium. "We want to find voices wherever they are to join the High School choir as we begin this amazing day." Stated Tiffany Hammock, award-winning JHS Choir Director and Community Chorus Organizer. "It's just a beautiful way to begin a day of fellowship and fun in our town."

A patriotic children's parade, Artisan's Market, Farmer's Market, Jacksonville Memorabilia Show, Reminisce Room, Vanishing Texana Museum exhibits, demonstrations, shops, restaurants and music will keep everyone entertained all day long.

For more information and details, visit or the Sesquicentennial Celebration Facebook Page.