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5:59 PM Tue, Sept. 25th

Yavapai College celebrates 50th anniversary

Face painting and balloon artists were on hand as Yavapai College celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Prescott campus Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Face painting and balloon artists were on hand as Yavapai College celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Prescott campus Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

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Board Chair Ray Sigafoos, President Penny Wills and the new mascot pose with the ceremonial cake as Yavapai College celebrates their 50th anniversary at the Prescott campus Saturday, August 25, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Yavapai College held the kickoff to its 50th anniversary celebrations at the Prescott Campus Saturday, Aug. 25, with a full day of festivities.

Lisa Parks said she was there mainly because of the Sugar and the Mint performance, and that her family was having fun.

“My kids are here, so they’re having a good time getting their faces painted,” Parks said.

The day started with a Dollars for Scholars Fun Run along the Yavapai College Trail and also featured a block party in the middle of the day culminating in Prescott’s Got Talent before Jay Leno was scheduled to take the stage of the Performing Arts Center in the evening.

It’s an honor to be president of Yavapai College, said President Penny Wells, voicing how high she held the college in regard.

“This is a fantastic college,” she said. “I’ve worked at a number of colleges across the country and this is the best there is.”

Saturday’s party was a celebration and was the first of many that are going to be held at campuses across the county, Wills said. The other events are Saturday, Sept. 1,5 at the Prescott Valley Center; Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Career & Tech Education Center near the Prescott Airport; Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Verde Valley Campus; Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Chino Valley Center; and Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Sedona Center.

There were actually three dates to pick as far when to celebrate, Wells said. The college was commissioned by the state legislature one year, classes started another year, and then there were buildings in yet another year, she said.

“We had a choice of three,” Wills said. “We went for the middle because that’s when classes started, that’s when teaching started.”

A couple of features of the Block Party were a history book made available at the college bookstore and online, as well as a white and red wine produced in commemoration of the anniversary. There were samples of the wine at the event.

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Delaney Sample dances as Sugar and the Mint entertains the crowd as Yavapai College celebrates their 50th anniversary at the Prescott campus Saturday, August 25, 2018. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

The wine was produced because the college has a history of always tying its vocation programs to the local economy and going over the Verde River allows one to see the impact of the wine industry in Arizona Wills said.

“We were the first to come forward with the teaching winery,” she said. “It’s the only one in the state.”

Vocalist Devin Angelet came in first place for Prescott’s Got Talent.

Though it’s not part of the 50th anniversary celebration, there is a special concert Sunday, Aug. 26, which features the Arizona Philharmonic at 5 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center in a performance titled “Currents, from New Orleans to Prescott.” The orchestra will be joined by composer and Prescott native Henry Flurry.

There will be a pre-concert talk in the auditorium at 4 p.m.

Tickets start at $35 and youth tickets are available for $10. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ycpac.com, by calling 928-776-2000 or at the box office.

Yavapai College Performing Arts Center is located at 1100 E. Sheldon St.

For more information online about the other anniversary celebrations, visit 50th.yc.edu.