Celebrating 150 years 1865-2015: The Wanatah Sesquicentennial

150WDon’t miss your chance to join in on the celebration that has been 5 decades and a century in the making. Wanatah is commemorating their 150th anniversary with a weekend long celebration packed full of fun for the whole family. Events include kids rides, a “Times Remembered” historical demonstration tent, and agricultural, genealogy and Wanatah Historical Society displays at the Wanatah School. Wanatah School is located at 309 School Drive, right in the heart of the sesquicentennial activities.

Festivities kick off today with displays opening at Wanatah School at 3 pm. A pork chop dinner sponsored by the La Crosse High School Basketball teams is scheduled at 5 pm. Dinner includes one pork chop, green beans, potatoes, applesauce, a roll, a drink and dessert. Tickets at the door cost $12 for adults and teens, $5 for children under 10 and kids 4 years-old and younger eat free but receive no chop. Extra chops will be available for $4. All proceeds collected go to the La Crosse Tiger boys and girls basketball teams.

The pork chop dinner ends just as the pageant begins at 7:30 pm. Categories are divided into varying age groups. Children in grades kindergarten through second compete for the titles of prince and princess. Girls ages 15 to 20 will be vying for the Queen’s crown. The title of Belle and King will be granted to participants aged 70 and older. A beard contest is also scheduled to take place following the pageant.

Saturday, June 13 starts off with a 5K Run/Walk at 8 am. The race day fee is $25 and shirts will be limited and provided on a first come, first serve basis. Packet pick up starts at 7 am. Following the 5K is a Kids Fun Run at 9:30 am. Applications and payment for the fun run has passed but you can still watch the race. A portion of proceeds from the races goes to the Cass Merrymakers 4-H Club and the rest will be donated to the fireworks fund.

A parade is scheduled for 11 am and will be followed by a classic car cruise-in. Check out the parade route [online] which differs from the normal Scarecrow Festival route.

On Saturday you also have a chance to meet some of the greats, well at least their look-a-likes. You can meet and greet Abe Lincoln at 12:30 and then have tea with him at 2 pm. Entertainment includes impersonators of Frank “ol’ blue eyes” Sinatra and Elvis “the pelvis” Presley. Other entertainment includes historical tours, the magic of Mark Alan and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Drum and Dance Troupe at Lions Club Park.

If you’re feeling hungry, grab a bite to eat at Wanatah School during the old fashion beef and noodle dinner from 4:30 until 7:30 pm. Saturday night ends with lights, as a big fireworks display is planned to commence at dusk.

Sunday starts off with a pancake and sausage brunch at Wanatah School from 8 am until 12:30 pm. A 10 am community church service is scheduled at Lions Club Park. Historic Barn Tours will run from 9:30 am until 1:30 pm at Shurte Family Farm located at 12272 S. 700 W in Wanatah. At Lions Club park at 11 am there will be a firefighters tug-of-war followed by a kids tug-of-war later in the day at 1pm.

The Sesquicentennial Brochure contains a more detailed list of this weekend’s events as well as some additional information about the town. Wanatah is 10 minutes east of Valparaiso and 30 minutes west of Plymouth, located on the corner of US highway 30 and US highway 421.