Several people, two of them involved as organizers, commented the past week that no one seems to know about the upcoming Sesquicentennial Celebration on September 24.
Maybe that’s because so few of us attempt to pronounce the word (Cess-kwa-centennial) and thus have pushed the one-day event back in the nether regions of our consciousness.
No, it’s not a celebration of some primitive era when the dinosaurs roamed. It means Baker County is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding in April, 1861, a month when there wasn’t much going on — except, oh, for the shelling of Fort Sumter and the start of the Civil War.
Talk about being overshadowed by events. It’s on par with choosing December 7, 1941 (or 9/11 for that matter) as your wedding day.Why aren’t people talking about the Sesquicentennial?
I submit because it’s still two weeks off, and since it’s a one-day event people just aren’t paying any attention yet. That’s what happens when one competes in a world with a million diversions. It’s not like we’re all living on Cracker farms and can’t wait to hitch up the buckboard and ride on into town for the “event of the year.”
For those who aren’t “from here,” a phrase that used to carry with it a stigma, maybe they aren’t motivated to get excited about the Sesquicentennial because their “folks” are from points distant.
That shouldn’t matter; the county still has a history — everyplace does — and history in any form should be of interest to citizens of any locale. You don’t have to become a walking encyclopedia of Baker County’s history, but you should be at least mildly curious.
Plus, it’s a celebration, with closed off streets, speeches, a street dance, a day’s agenda of live entertainment. For those who complain there’s nothing to do here on weekends, no reason to come downtown anytime, here’s a reason.
A small but dedicated group of people, some with deep roots here, some not so deep, has worked hard to put together the celebration that was wisely cancelled from earlier this year.
Their efforts will pay off. People will show up, and it’ll be worth their while — and yours.