The village of Grantfork will celebrate its 100th birthday with a two-day festival, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, at the Grantfork Firemen’s Park.
“We would like to show off our community pride and the heritage that has made us who we are,” Grantfork Mayor Steve Brendel said. “I’d also like to thank all of our volunteers, church groups and village organizations that have worked extremely hard to make this celebration a success. There are a lot of fun and informative activities scheduled for everyone on both days.”
The celebration kicks off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30. The National Anthem will be sung by Jamie Dressler. Highland VFW Post 5694 will be providing the color guard. Brendel will also give an opening address.
Bring your own lawn chairs and find a good spot to see everything from ice sculptures to an enactment of the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Watch a Vintage baseball game. Enjoy the tunes of the George Portz and “The Friends of Blue Grass Band” on Saturday and “The Red Haired Boys” bluegrass band on Sunday.
Attend a community church service on Sunday and enjoy the choirs of Grantfork UCC and St. Gertrude Catholic Church as they lift up their voices in joy together in brotherhood.
Be on hand to see the judging for the beard contest and pie baking contest, then bid on a pie during the subsequent auction.
See which of the Homecoming floats will win first prize as the People’s Choice.
Take the tour of the town by horse-drawn carriage or trolley ride. Visit with neighbors and enjoy good food and a wonderful day to celebrate a 100 years of Grantfork.
It’s a trolley tour, with Grantfork historian Lawrence Schwarz serving as the tour guide. Tour will be around town, and Schwarz will be talking about the history, as well as the old buildings that are still standing. Tours will be hourly, starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. Tours are $5 (children 3 and under are free).
The St. Louis Carriage Company will be giving carriage rides around town. Rides on Saturday will be from 3 to 6 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Cost is $5 (children 3 and under are free).
Antique Tractor & Small Engine Show
Both days, an array of old tractors, trucks, machinery, and small engines will be on display.
The menu for the two-day festival will include hot dogs, brats, barbecue pork steaks, hamburgers, homemade potato salad and cole slaw, chili, homemade baked goods, lemon shake-ups, snow cones, ice cream, funnel cakes, kettle corn, and adult beverages.
George Portz and “The Friends of Bluegrass Band” will play on Saturday from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Portz is a multiple award winning fiddle player who has played all over the country. He also teaches the fiddle and has taught many successful fiddle players. He ran the fiddle contest at the Madison County Fair for 20 years. Some of his current students will be with him to play at the centennial. He is also bringing some cloggers to perform with him.
“The Red Haired Boys” will play on Sunday from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m. The bluegrass group consists of members of the Moore family from Marine.
Eric Snider from Chip Off the Block Ice Carvings in Staunton will be carving a sculpture from a block of ice using a chain saw. He will be working from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Retired Highland High School teacher Barb Kay will be portraying Molly Brown on Saturday at 3 p.m. Margaret “Maggie” Brown was an American socialite and philanthropist best remembered for exhorting the crew in Lifeboat No. 6 to return to the debris field of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic to look for survivors.
There will be old-fashion games, face painting, painted rocks to keep children entertained.
The St. Louis Unions will play the Belleville Stags in a vintage baseball game on Sunday. The game will be played by 1860 rules (no gloves). Player introduction is at 11:45 a.m. The game starts at noon and they will play ball till 3 p.m. It should be a real treat for baseball lovers.
Memorabilia / Display Area
A model of what Grantfork used to look like when all of the businesses were open will be on display. Pictures, old business advertising and such will be on display. Anyone who has items they would like to display should call Michelle Schrumpf at 618-781-0485.
Pie Baking Contest
There will be a Centennial Pie Baking Contest on Sunday, Oct. 1. Judging will be by specific groups. Groups are: girls ages 8-17; boys ages 8-17; adult women ages 18-100 and adult men ages 18-100.
Pies will be auctioned after the winners are picked. For further information, contact Shirley Schwartz at 618-675-2883.
The Grantfork Centennial Books will be on sale at the event. These 325-page books are full of interesting facts about Grantfork and the people that settled here. The books are available in black and white for $25 or in color for $40.
T-shirts are still available if you wish to purchase one to wear to the event. They come in sizes extra small to 4X.
There will also be 2018-2019 calendars for sale at the centennial.
Community Church Service
On Sunday at 9 a.m., the Rev. Tim Darmour-Paul, pastor of Grantfork United Church of Christ, and Father Scott Snider, pastor of St. Gertrude Catholic Church, will be holding worship services together for the community. The choirs of both churches will also perform.
Raising of the Flag
At 10 a.m. on Sunday, the Scott Air Force Base Color Guard will lead the ceremony to raise the flag over the event.
Festival organizers are working with the school on this. The intention is to have the kids write letters to themselves, the idea being that when the capsule is opened in 50 years, they can read what they wrote to themselves. The capsule will likely be buried sometime in October and will also include pictures and newspaper clippings from the centennial celebration.
Floats on display
If you did not see this year’s Grantfork Homecoming parade, you missed an outstanding parade. Those who entered floats have asked to come back and display their floats during the centennial. This year’s theme was “Good Old Days In Grantfork,” and all of the floats were of businesses past and present.
To recognize the efforts in bringing back the floats, People’s Choice awards will be given out. People will vote for their favorite float. First, second, and third places will be awarded.
Brent Augustin is working on a DVD of the history of Grantfork. He just posted a short clip on Facebook. He is asking for old pics, movies, and video and will be taking pictures and footage of the Centennial to include in the video. The DVD will be sold next year, probably around Grantfork Homecoming time. For more information, call Brent at 618-806-8284.
Emily Schwarz is quilting two quilts. One will be kept and displayed in the Village Hall. The other one will be auctioned off after the pie auction. The quilt was done in red, white, and blue colors. Pictures of the churches, school, fire house, and other old businesses were printed on blocks and worked around the centennial logo.
The Alhambra-Grantfork Center Schools PTO is kicking off the weekend with their second annual 5K and 1-mile Run/Walk on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 9 a.m. The theme this year is “100 Year Birthday Bash” in honor of Grantfork’s Centennial Celebration. The theme intends to put a fun and kid-friendly spin on the event that welcomes runners and walkers of all ages. Registration in advance is available and also continues through check-in time of the event at 7:30 a.m. If you have any questions, contact Jamie Dressler at 618-675-3530.