Centennial Committee releases events schedule
JOE SEELIGSEBRING - After nearly two years of brainstorming and planning, the Sebring Centennial Celebration Committee released its schedule for a week-long celebration of Sebring's 100th birthday party. The festivities will run Oct. 13 through Oct. 20.
Published: August 11, 2012
Published: August 11, 2012
"The kick-off event held back on Jan. 6 exceeded expectations," said Allen Altvater III, committee organizer. "We expect our week-long celebration Oct. 13 to 20 to be equally enjoyable and to have something for everyone."
Alan Jay Automotive is the Double Platinum sponsor for the entire week, he said.
Events will kick off with a bed race on West Center Avenue in downtown Sebring at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 13, with deejay and emcee Rooter Rush.
A variety of organizations, Sebring High classes and local businesses are expected to enter the bed race, the committee stated.
City Clerk Kathy Haley recalled being a passenger on a racing bed engineered by the Sebring Fire Department in a race held in the late 1980s.
"I'll have to think long and hard before I do that again," Haley said, "but I will definitely be a cheering spectator."
On Monday, Oct. 15, streets will be closed around the Circle for a parade at 5:30 p.m., from the Sebring Parkway, to North Ridgewood Drive, around the Circle, and ending at the end of South Commerce Avenue.
After the parade the California Toe Jam band will play on the Circle. A large picnic area with food vendors will be on South Ridgewood Drive.
"We expect a huge crowd and a large number of entrants for this event," said parade organizer Alice Fairel. "Participants should submit their entry forms as soon as possible while space is available. The theme of the parade is 'Living the Legacy.' I anticipate some very creative floats and walking groups to illustrate that theme. ..."
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, a community-wide prayer meeting will be held on Rotary Park behind the Jack Stroup Civic Center. Altvater will head up the event with the help of Highlands County commissioner Greg Harris.
"Two-hundred, two-piece chicken dinners will be available from Kentucky Fried Chicken at a cost of $5 each," Altvater said. Or bring your own picnic baskets.
"There will be music, prayers, and, I imagine, some reminiscing about the early churches in Sebring, which were an important part of George Sebring's plan to grow this community."
Attendees may bring a lawn chair or blanket for this outdoor event.
On Thursday, Oct. 18, the Greater Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid chambers of commerce will host a tri-chamber mixer on the Circle from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
A time capsule will be buried at 6 p.m. in front of the former Board of Trade building; currently the downtown location of the Greater Sebring Chamber of Commerce.
At 7 p.m., Sebring Mayor George Hensley, aided by Back Porch Revival Band, will teach the crowd to square dance on North Ridgewood Drive.
"I've been calling square dances since my youth in North Carolina," Hensley said. "This is going to be a fun event and I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the festivities..."
Several downtown restaurants will stay open for this event, and food vendors also will be set up around the Circle. Those attending are encouraged to dress in circa-1912 attire, and the best costumed man and woman will be chosen by the applause of the crowd.
At 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, a boat parade will assemble at Veterans Beach. Boaters may decorate watercraft with lights for a parade on Lake Jackson. For those not on the water, a viewing party will be held at City Pier Beach.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Lakeshore Mall has plans for the biggest birthday cake Sebring has ever seen.
A day of music, celebration, raffles, historic displays and cake is planned at Lakeshore Mall to finish off the week-long celebration. The details of this huge event will be announced shortly by mall manager Jenny Cheek.
Also on Oct. 20, the Sebring Historical Society will hold its quarterly luncheon at noon at Bert Harris Agri-Civic Center, and a special dedication program will take place at 3 p.m. at the Sebring Airport honoring the late Maj. Thomas Maguire.
Highlands Hammock State Park will host local band Groovus that evening under the stars.
Additional activities sponsored by private organizations will be held throughout the week. Centennial Celebration sponsorship information and entry forms for the bed race, parade and boat parade are available at Sebring City Hall or by contacting Haley at (863) 471-5100.
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