Perry celebrates 150th birthday with music, history and more

Staff Report
Community members relax in lawn chairs while listening to The Jesters at the Perry Municipal Airport on Friday, July 5.

Perry's Sesquicentennial Celebration saw locals and guests come to town from July 5-7.

The event, which honored 150 years of growth, was marked by a variety of history and musical activities.

The three-day celebration got a musical start on Friday, July 5 with a Fly-In/Drive-In Concert at the Perry Municipal Airport. Community members relaxed on lawn chairs while listening to Adam Bruce.

The Jesters, a Tom Petty tribute band, took the airport stage next. Earlier in the day, a Community Day of Service helped get the town ready for the sesquicentennial.

The celebration continued Saturday morning with a downtown art tour led by Jenny Eklund. Soumas Court was packed for Hometown Heritage's Voices From The Past program. The program saw six individuals honored on the Wall of Witnesses come to life through dramatizations written by Karol Crosbie and directed by Merrilee Bales.

Those brought to life by local actors included Betty Mae Harris, dancer; Celeste Council, Perry's "Popcorn Lady;" Flora Bailey, Perry's first librarian; Eugene Hastie, historian, naturalist; V.T. "Snick" Hamlin, cartoonist; and Mike Kanealy. 

Kids activities then got underway inside and outside the Perry Public Library. The Okee Dokee Brothers took to the Railroad Street stage early in the afternoon and had many kids and families dancing to their songs.

The music theme continued as Los Laureles started dancing after The Okee Dokee Brothers. The Railroad Street Music Fest got underway later Saturday afternoon. The festival included The Rescue Dogs, Vinyl Vagabonds, Porter Union and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Perry's Sesquicentennial Celebration wrapped up on Sunday, July 7 with a community breakfast at the Perry Elks Lodge, followed by church tours and a community prayer service. 

Check out more photos and videos from the celebration at Be sure and pick up the July 11 Perry Chief for more photos. To purchase any photos, call the Perry Chief office at 515-465-4666.