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Prescott sesquicentennial celebrations coming in May

Prescott history lovers might want to mark down May 30-June 1 as a weekend to stay in town.

The city will officially celebrate its 150th anniversary on that weekend with several events. The sesquicentennial steering committee hopes to finalize the schedule by the end of January, Prescott Tourism Director Don Prince said.

Prescott's residents held a meeting on May 30, 1864 to formally choose the name Prescott for the Arizona Territory's first capital, about a year after miners became the area's first white settlers. William Hickling Prescott was a popular historian and author at the time.

Tentative sesquicentennial events kick off with a ceremony and proclamation at 5 p.m. Friday, May 30 on the north side of the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza. A 150-foot-long birthday cake has already been

donated by Costco, Prince said.

"What we're trying to do is keep it authentic to Prescott," Prince said. The Prescott Chamber of Commerce, Prescott Downtown Partnership and Sharlot Hall Museum also are involved in the planning.

The Sharlot Hall Museum, home of the territory's first governor's mansion, will host "An Evening at Sharlot's Place" after the plaza ceremony. While specifics are still in the planning phase for 2014, the annual "Evening at Sharlot's Place" event typically features dinner, an art auction and music, said Fred Veil, acting museum director.

From Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1, a downtown western village will feature living history displays, attractions and food vendors.

Live music, a beer garden and family-friendly rides are among the other possible elements of the celebration, Prince said.

Annual events such as the Prescott Frontier Days rodeo will celebrate the sesquicentennial as well.

Sesquicentennial steering committee member Dennis Gallagher already has created several commemorative items for sale including a medallion, bola ties for men and women, coffee cup, money clip, pendants and wall clocks. He designed the logo on the items that features Thumb Butte and the colors of the Arizona flag.

A second medallion commemorates Arizona's 2013 sesquicentennial on one side and Prescott's 2014 sesquicentennial on the other.

The Cortez Street Emporium is selling Gallagher's creations.

Follow the reporter@joannadodder.


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