Sesqui Sunday will wrap up city's birthday celebrations

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Westerville is gearing up for its final official recognition of the city's sesquicentennial with an event that will hopefully make it into the record books.

The final event, Sesqui Sunday, is scheduled for Labor Day weekend, on Sunday, Aug. 31. It will include live music, historical re-enactments, a variety of food and an evening fireworks display.

Unique to the event will be a ceremony at the amphitheater at Alum Creek Park, where festival organizers hope to set a world record for the most married couples renewing their wedding vows. Mayor Anne Gonzales, who will preside over the ceremony, said interest in the idea has been strong so far.

"We've been getting a lot of inquiries. I'd say we have about 50 couples committed," Gonzales said. "We thought that a renewal of wedding vows would be a special thing to do, and as far as we know, the Guinness Book of World Records doesn't have a record for this yet."

While most of the day's events will take place at Alum Creek Park on Main Street a few blocks south of Uptown, more activities will take place across Main Street at Astronaut's Grove, including an ice cream social, storytimes by the Westerville Public Library and pioneer-themed activities.

Historic vehicles, including a covered wagon, stagecoach, ambulance and a fire wagon, will be on display. The Westerville Post Office present a special stamp collection during the day.

Sesqui Sunday will conclude with a concert by the Westerville Symphony Orchestra, a brief fireworks display and the dedication of a 2008 time capsule.

Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce president Janet Tressler Davis said the time capsule will include items from including the school district, service groups, churches, Otterbein College, articles from local newspapers, memorabilia from this year's Music & Arts Festival, a U.S. Mint proof of the 50 states quarters, a cell phone, surveys by local teens on pop culture, and letters from the community about what it's like to live in Westerville in 2008.

Davis said the items to be placed in the time capsule will be on display at the Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St.

Parking for the Aug. 31 events will be available at lots on the Otterbein College Campus, the COTA lot, and the parking lots along Collegeview Avenue. Handicapped parking will be available at the Westerville Senior Center, 310 W. Main St., and a small trolley will run from the center to Alum Creek Park.

Festival visitors will be able to reserve individual seats or community tables for a community picnic to be held during Sesqui Sunday. The tables will also be awarded prizes based on their decorations in such categories s school spirit, most patriotic, most elegant, wackiest, best kids' table, most historical and outside the box.

Table reservations can be made by calling (614) 898-0308.