Grand Junction celebrates its 150-year history this weekend

Grand Junction will celebrate its sesquicentennial with a three-day celebration, “GJ 150,” on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 2-4, featuring a parade, carnival, live entertainment and historical events.

A carnival from Amusement Associates will feature eight traditional rides, three inflatables and refreshment trucks. The carnival will be open all three days of GJ 150 on Main Street. Reduced price ride tickets (20 for $15) are now on sale in Grand Junction at Peoples Bank, Grand Junction library, Affinity Home Healthcare and Jagged Edge salon, and in Jefferson at the Greene County Chamber and Tourism office. Ride tickets will be $1 each when the carnival opens.

The GJ 150 parade will step off Saturday at 11 am on a route starting at the ball field at 14th and Bennett streets and continuing north to Hager St. The parade will then run west on Hager (one block south of Main St) to 9th St, and turn south to the Grand Junction swimming pool. The Isiserettes dance troupe of Des Moines is a featured entry in the parade. They will perform after the parade at the Sports Court on Hager Street.

Two major performances are planned for the GJ 150 stage on the open space just east of the Community Center. “Through the Darkness,” a Grand Junction-based band featuring brothers Kristopher, Andrew and Tyler Gathercoal of Grand Junction, will perform Friday from 7-10:30 pm. A beverage garden on Main St will be open Friday from 4 pm to midnight. The Tiger Express food truck will be in the area serving food in the early evening.

Jamie Kelley will be the featured entertainer on Saturday night from 8-11 pm. Kelley is a Boone-based singer, songwriter and entertainer who has performed in Europe, Japan, Canada and throughout the United States. The beverage garden will open at noon on Saturday and remain open until midnight.

The Greene County Historical Society hosts its monthly meeting in the Grand Junction Community Center on Friday, Aug. 2. Mike Piepel will present an historical review of movie theatres in Greene County at 1 pm. There is no charge for the presentation. A noon luncheon prepared by Grand Junction Horizons will precede the presentation. Cost for the luncheon is $8 for members and $10 for non-members. Reservations can be made through the Historical Society.

The Off the Track players of Grand Junction will present a play at 5 pm in the Lincoln Room of the Community Center followed by an ice cream social at 6 pm.

Saturday kicks off at 8 am with a breakfast hosted by the Grand Junction library in the Lincoln Room of the Community Center. Winners of the best beard, Grand Junction trivia and pie baking contests will be announced at 10 am. The oldest resident of Grand Junction and the family with the most generations residing in Grand Junction will also be honored then.

The annual Grand Junction Lion’s Club Car Show will get underway at 10 am at City Park and continue until 3 pm. Lunch will be available from the Weenie Wagon food truck with seating available in the Lion’s Club shelter house and outdoor picnic tables.

Following the parade, Peoples Bank will sponsor kids’ face painting on Main St from 12:30 to 2 pm. The Grand Junction library will host the Blank Park Traveling Zoo from 1 to 5 pm.

Grand Junction Horizons will host a box lunch picnic (cost $5) in the Lincoln Room of the community center and adjacent green space from noon to 1 pm. Horizons will also host an Artisan Arts and Crafts Show in the community center from 1-3 pm. and games from yesteryear will be available for kids in the green space from 1-3 pm.

Horizons is coordinating narrated hayride history tours around town on from 1-3 pm. Tours will start at end at the community center.

The Greene County Singers will perform in the community center at 1 pm. The Kennedy Museum on Hager St and the Lincoln Highway Museum on Main St will be open from 2-5 pm on both Friday and Saturday.

A kickball tournament will get underway at the ball field in early afternoon and a bags tournament coordinated by Amber and Jeremy Richards will be underway at 3 pm. A refreshment stand will be available at the ball field. The Greene County Cattlemen’s Association will serve a meal on Main St from 5-7 pm near the beverage garden. The Feed Shack food trailer will also be serving food nearby.

On Sunday, the Jack Teagarden Memorial Open Golf Tournament gets underway at 9 am at Lakeside National Golf Course, northwest of Grand Junction. The GJ 150 Committee and the Greene County Historical Society will co-sponsor a presentation, “Grand Junction: 150 Years of Transportation and Transitions,” by Alan Robinson at 1 pm in the Lincoln Room of the community center.

Grand Junction Horizons will have a PowerPoint® history of Grand Junction in the community center lobby throughout the event. Artifacts from the time capsule buried 50 years ago at the Grand Junction Centennial in 1969 will be on display in the community center all three days.

Grand Junction Community Center is located at 212 Main Street East. The Grand Junction library is one block east at 106 Main Street East. The City Park is located at the south end of Grand Junction on Elizabeth Street between 12th and 13th Sts. The Lion’s Club shelter house at City Park is on Rebecca St. Dutton Memorial Park (ball field) is located on 13th St, two blocks south of Main Street and two blocks north of City Park.

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