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150 years

Upland’s birthday celebration

Upland celebrated its 150th birthday last weekend, alongside the local and Taylor community. (Photograph provided by Wikimedia)

Upland celebrated its 150th birthday last weekend, alongside the local and Taylor community. (Photograph provided by Wikimedia)

By: Gabby Carlson and Chrysa Keenon | Echo

Last weekend, Upland celebrated its sesquicentennial event. The event ties in to the annual Labor Day celebration, but this anniversary festival is unique. The town celebrated its 150th birthday, with many community residents participating in the festivities offered.

The weekend was full of events, including a dog parade, glass blowing demo, beard competition, dance performances and train displays. According to festival coordinator Cindy Wright, the celebration was originally going to be funded by a grant, but that notion ultimately failed. Instead a letter was send out into the community and funds were received by donation.

“We were pleased with what we got. I wish we could have had more, but I think we will come out fine,” said Wright.

A Wall of Honor was unveiled on Sunday, Aug. 27 at 1 p.m. on the west side of the depot. This depicted the town’s most important and influential leaders. A few recognized include Milo Rediger, Thaddeus Reade, Leland and LaRita Boren, Jacob Bugher who founded Upland and Ivan and Carol Slain, the founders of Ivanhoe’s, among many others, according to Joyce Wood, Upland resident and senior director of Parent and Community Relations at Taylor.

“I don’t think younger people understand the history this town has,” Wright said. She wished the festival would have had a better turnout, but is hopeful for this upcoming weekend’s labor day activities.

The celebration continued into Tuesday as well with the Lions Club sponsoring a dinner and free showing of “The Smurfs” in the Lions Club Park.

“The thing that I was impressed by is that they tried to have something for everyone,” Wood said. “The farmers market was greatly enhanced by a lot of vendors and craft people,”

According to town resident Sandra Shipley, “Upland is a small town, but it’s huge in heart.” As the owner of Center Stage Dance Studio for 17 years, Shipley assured the town has always held a supportive and positive atmosphere and compared it to the personal aspect in Taylor’s community.

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