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A celebration 150 years in the making

It's been 150 years since the city of Alexandria was founded.

Just as those who built the foundation of the town came together in 1858, the community once again is coming together to celebrate Alexandria's sesquicentennial.

Many events have been scheduled to commemorate the city of Alexandria's history.

The kick-off is a grand parade on Saturday, June 7, which also marks the 125th anniversary of the Alexandria Fire Department.

Starting at 12th Avenue and continuing north on Broadway to 5th Avenue and into the Douglas County Fairgrounds, the parade will begin at 2:30 p.m. There will be 120 units displayed and many of the fire rigs will be on display afterward at the fairgrounds for the public to take a closer look.

An ALEX-150 Exhibit also debuts on Saturday, featuring displays and key information about Alexandria's 150 years of history. This event will take place at the AAAA Theatre at 1:30 p.m.

A $3,000 medallion hunt is also under way. The search is a "virtual" one that challenges people to imagine where the medallion is; it's not actually hidden. The hunt started on June 2, and is sponsored by Pete's County Market.

An "Old Timers Tea and Storytelling" is set for Thursday, June 12 at 2 p.m. in the Governor's Room at Nelson Gables.

On Flag Day - June 14 - a ceremony is planned for 1 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial by the Runestone Community Center. At this event, people can bring their old U.S. or state flags for disposal. The American Legion is sponsoring the event.

The theatrical production, Quilters, will be performed at Theater L'Homme Dieu on June 17-19 and June 24-28 as part of Alexandria's sesquicentennial events.

Knute Nelson is hosting a healing gardens dedication on June 19. This function will last from 2 to 4 p.m., with a program at 2:30 p.m.

Another sesquicentennial celebration will take place in Holmes City on Saturday, June 21, with events lasting all day. There will also be a parade at 1:30 p.m.

Alexandria's "Largest Ice Cream Social" will also be held on June 21. Lasting from 1 to 4 p.m., this ice cream social is sponsored by Pete's County Market.

The AAAA Theatre's production of Good Deeds and Great People will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on June 21, 27 and 28. There will also be a 2 p.m. showing on June 22.

There are many events occurring on Sunday, June 22. A church service will be held at City Park at 11 a.m. This service is hosted by First Lutheran Church. The grand opening of the bathhouse at City Park will follow the church service.

In addition, an old time hymn sing and service will be held at 2 p.m. at Spruce Hill Church.

On Monday, June 23, Hair Profiles and Relay for Life are sponsoring an event that features vintage profiles in hair and fashions in the years 1858-2008. Starting at 3:30 p.m., this event will take place at Bethesda Lutheran Church.

Tuesday, June 24, is Time Capsule Day. The Douglas County Historical Society is sponsoring this event that will take place on the lawn of the courthouse. From noon to dusk, there will be food, an ice cream social as well as live entertainment. The Runestone Rockettes, a big band concert, a children's show from Theatre L'Homme Dieu, the Sweet Adelines and others will provide entertainment. At 5:30 p.m., a time capsule that was buried in 1958 will be opened. Also at this time, the 2008 time capsule will be buried and there will be an evening big band concert, special guest speakers and a historical oratory.

The Alexandria Beetles will face off against St. Cloud on Wednesday, June 25, for an old-time themed baseball game at 6:05 p.m.

A Day in the Fort will be held on June 28 at 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. The Runestone Museum is sponsoring this event. There will also be the beard contest judging and finale at 2:30 p.m., sponsored by Kyle's Barber Shop.

On the evening of June 28, at 6 p.m. there will be a root beer float concert at Jefferson High School. This event, which is sponsored by the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, will feature Alexandria's Jefferson High School Marching Band and a Norwegian band.

The annual Vikingland Band Festival parade will take place on Sunday, June 29 at 1:30 p.m.

In addition, folk musician Bill Straines will perform in the City Park band shell at 7:30 p.m.

At various sesquicentennial events throughout the summer, there will be silent auction bids for a 150th Anniversary Crock. This crock, which was designed by Red Wing Pottery, is available by auction only and there are only 14 of them available.

Additional sesquicentennial events will take place through the month of September.