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Anniversary events taking shape

| Saturday, Nov. 30, 2002

MOUNT PLEASANT - You better buy a button or there will be consequences - the guys will not be allowed to shave and the gals will have to wear a bonnet.

It's all a part of the button brigade, just one of the many events being planned as a part of the 175 anniversary celebration for the borough of Mount Pleasant.

"The plans for the button brigade are still in the making and are not finalized yet, but it's going to be more of a fun thing," said Richard Snyder, co-chairman of the 175th Anniversary Committee.

Basically, the gist of the event is that a person must purchase a button for every event. If they don't, the men will not be allowed to shave and the women will have to wear bonnets.

Although the plans are not finalized Snyder says the men will not be allowed to shave between weekly events, but the women will probably just have to wear bonnets during the specific event.

"There will probably be some kind of stockade down at the Diamond and a person dressed like a "Keystone Cop" who will enforce the issues," said Snyder, who added that the event was held at the centennial celebration in 1978 and went over well.

Things are going well for the anniversary planning committee and the kickoff celebration will be in the form of a banquet at the Mount Pleasant Fireman's Club on Feb. 7.

On that same night, tickets will be raffled on a vacation at a Myrtle Beach condo. The winning ticket will be based on that night's 3-digit Daily Number.

According to Gerald Lucia, also co-chairman for the committee, a Fourth of July celebration is being planned as well as an event that will take place in March.

Snyder said the committee is trying to build the theme of "oldhome" celebration, sort of like a homecoming celebration, around the Fourth of July events.

The third week of June, a wagon train will be coming in for three days.

"We're planning a lot of festivities with the wagon train and we want the community to be involved," said Snyder.

The wagon train will arrive on Friday, June 20, and there will be a covered dish supper for the entire community to enjoy at the encampment that night.

Snyder added that at this point the committee is still not sure where the encampment will be, but it hopes to get it as close to town as possible.

That Saturday there will be a parade with the wagon train and on Saturday evening there will be some type of square dance or other event at the encampment.

On Sunday morning an all-faith service will be held at the encampment followed by a brunch before the wagon train will pull out.

"We would really like the community to get involved with the wagon train," said Snyder. "There's really no cost to them."

According to Lucia, the August celebration will include an oldies night in conjunction with the car show that's held at Frick Park as a Glass Festival fund-raiser.

"We'll also have a celebration parade in September, which will go hand in hand with the Glass Festival celebration," said Lucia.

A May Day celebration at Willow's Park is also planned, where kids can get involved. It will be a "kids only" event, according to Lucia.

As far as souvenirs and fund-raisers for the year-long celebration, most have been designed and made, including a Landmarks and Memories games, pins, hats, T-shirts and paper weights.

"We're hoping to sell as many (Landmarks and Memories games) as we can before the kickoff because the profits from those games will be used to support the ongoing events throughout the year," said Snyder. The cost for the board game is $25.

"Presently we've sold a little over 1,000 and our goal is to sell 2,500," said Snyder. "So far people like the game. It's well put together."

Almost all of the souvenirs are on sale at the Mount Pleasant Historical Society office, located at the In Town Shops on Main Street. The board game is also on sale at George and Cunningham, P.J.'s Pizza, Marie's Pizza, Saloom's Department Store, Diamond Pharmacy and others.

Another souvenir project that is currently in the works is a new, updated history book.

"We sent some letters and questionnaires out to different organizations and businesses asking them for their history and any updates over the last 25 years," said Snyder.

The committee is hoping to pre-sale the book, but it's not close to being ready yet.

"We hope the book will be ready to sell by mid-August," said Snyder. "I would like to put a plea in for the business organizations to send their information back to us as soon as possible."

Although Snyder is still unsure how many books will be made, there will be only a limited number.

"We're just trying to get word out to the people to let them know that the souvenirs are for sale so that we can bring in more money to continue with our plans," said Snyder.

Lucia added that it's not too late for people to get involved with the planning. "We're just laying the groundwork now. We'll need lots of help when these different events actually start happening."

He would also like to see young people get involved with the planning committee. "We have these anniversary celebrations every 25 years and if they help now and see how we're doing it, they'll be able to do it themselves when the time comes."

Dec. 18 is the next general meeting and will be held at 7 p.m. at the Historical Society offices.

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