Celebrate Hesperia’s sesquicentennial.

August 17, 2016

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Hesperia celebrates its 150th anniversary Saturday, Aug. 20, with a family-friendly event, “Down on the Farm: 150th Hesperia,” from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Weaver Park, 80 S. Division St., in the village limits.

This event, hosted by the local area farm community, is open to everyone and includes a traditional farmers market, petting zoo, tractor show, games of skill, birthday cake, line dancing, wagon rides and a concert.

imageArea farmers, local artisans and trade exhibitionists will open the festivities with a traditional farmer’s market starting at 9 a.m. Local farmers will offer a variety of in-season locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Exhibits will include a black smith, a display of farm tools, and a butter-making tutorial. One unique booth, The Fish Monger’s Wife, owned and operated by Hesperia graduate, Amber Mae Bengtsson-Petersen will bring fresh Lake Michigan white fish, and a variety of smoked fish and fish dips. Shoppers can also sample the baked goods; peruse custom-made soaps and lotions; purchase historical re-printed documents and maps; select from a variety of quality handmade crafts; buy fresh flowers; select a custom-made arrow head; pick up an original water color; and take in the many other delights the market will offer. The market has cover under the expansive pavilion, which allows for a rain-or-shine event.

Children of all ages will be entertained traveling between the live animal petting zoo, the many games, and the Make and Take booth. Charlie-miniature therapy horse from Little Horses Big Smiles will join the menagerie including a dairy calf, a family pet lamb, a goat, chickens, and rabbits.

Bell Weather Harbor will also host an animal safety event during the day. Games of skill, such as Splat a Rat, Guess How Many, and Treasure Dig will amuse and challenge participants to win prizes. A make-and-take booth will provide instructions and supplies to create an old world style twig doll as well as how to make a pool noodle light saber. Adult children will have a chance to win prizes from the many donations collected by local businesses.

The tractor show will spot light vintage machines including Allis Chalmers 1948 model CA, 1953 model WD, and 1958 Model D14. Hesperia resident Steve Kolbe will also show off his collection of early 1940s model B, C and H. Enthusiast can swap tractor stories, bring pictures to share and ask Steve questions about his and other tractors on display. History Buff will also be around to talk about life on the farm 150 years ago.

Everyone will be invited to share the celebration with a free piece of birthday cake to celebrate Hesperia’s 150th. The Dairy Producers are serving free ice cream as long at it lasts starting at 11a.m. Hesperia Panther Football Team is serving a pig roast dinner starting at 1 p.m. Later afternoon entertainments include line dance classes between 4:30 and 7 p.m. Fifteen instructors will be on hand to guide dancers through the steps to become an official line dancer. “Beverly and the Hillbillies” will round out the day with a concert starting at 7 p.m. All events take place at Weaver Park in Hesperia.

For additional information or to offer assistance, call Laurie Norris of Norris Dairy Farms at 231-854-1215. Watch for special postings on Facebook at Hesperia 150.

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