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CERESCO – A wide array of activities will again be offered for this year’s Ceresco Days.

Established in 1869, Ceresco is noting its 150th year. A “Faith of our Fathers” evening at the park will get activities started on Thursday.

Ceresco Days Committee Member Joan Lindgren said it just seemed appropriate to kick off the community celebration with a nod to the area’s churches.

“Obviously, it took a lot of faith to establish a town,” she said.

Faith of Our Fathers will be a program of history, music and inspiration starting at 6 p.m.

The program will start with history of the United States, the State of Nebraska and the Village of Ceresco. Churches from Ceresco and the surrounding area have been invited to share their histories too.

Lindgren said the committee wanted to recognize that it was not only the faith of the immediate area that made the town possible 150 years ago. For example, people from churches in Davey and Swedeburg were key to the town’s establishment.

That’s why it is important to include history from area churches in Thursday’s program, she added. History will be shared from the Swedeburg Church, Bethlehem Covenant Church, Ceresco Covenant Church, Ceresco Methodist Church, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Grace Lutheran Church, Zion Lutheran Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

But, it will be more than history shared during the program. Darrel Swanson and Larry Kallemeyn from Ceresco Covenant Church and Allan Pearson from Grace Lutheran Church will provide music, as will the church choirs from Ceresco Methodist, Immanuel Lutheran and St. Mary’s Catholic.

Special music will also be offered by the Church House Blues Band and the Christian Motorcycles Association. There will be music with a hammer dulcimer by Russ Sizemore, Jean Sklenar and Sandy Carroll from Swedeburg Church.

Special guest speaker for the evening will be inspirational speaker and Husker Football Director of Player Development Ron Brown.

A free will offering will be accepted Thursday evening. Lindgren said this will help cover costs, such as for the speaker and for the sound system. Any donations over costs will be split between the Ceresco Days Committee and the Union Service Fund, a fund set up by the community’s churches to help those in need.

Hot dogs and chips will be available at a concession stand manned by Swedeburg Covenant Church. Free will donations will cover costs and also help Saunders County flood victims.

Lindgren said funnel cakes and snow cones will also be sold.

Thursday’s program in the park continues a new Ceresco Days tradition. Committee Member Sophie Custer said about three years ago the committee added a Thursday activity with a dedicated theme. This is the first year it will be held at the park.

There will also be special T-shirts being sold just for “Faith of Our Fathers.” Those can be purchased at the park during the event.

Those attending should bring their lawn chairs. In case of rain, the program will be moved to the Methodist Church.

Ceresco Days activities continue on Friday, with two activities starting at the park at 4 p.m. The Legion will open up its food sales at the park shelter and the car show also gets going in the park.

Ceresco Days Committee Member Doug Swanson said this year’s car show has a special designation too.

As proclaimed by Resolution 108, passed earlier this year by the U.S. House of Representatives, July 12 is Collector Car Appreciation Day. It recognizes that the collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and the cultural heritage of the United States.

Swanson said he sent in an application for the Ceresco Days Car Show to be an officially recognized show on July 12. On Monday, he learned that it was selected and the Ceresco show will be one of the events nationally celebrate Collector Car Appreciation Day.

But, that’s not all that is going on in Ceresco on Friday.

The best dressed critter contest gets underway at 5:30 p.m. at the tennis courts and the beer garden opens at the corner of First and Elm streets at 6 p.m.

The Kiddie Parade will start its run at 6:45 p.m. from the south side of the school.

The big Ceresco Days Parade will step off at 7 p.m. as usual, but Custer said there is a change in the start point this year. The parade will start at Second and Spruce streets.

Custer said the previous start was on Main Street, and that causes some problems with traffic flow. The new starting point will not only alleviate that problem, but should also help coordinate with the Kiddie Parade.

“Where we were before, we always had a hard time seeing when they got started,” she said.

According to Custer, the grand marshals for the parade will be representatives from Immanuel Lutheran Church. The church is noting its 100th anniversary this year.

Following the parade, there will be kids races at the tennis courts and First Northeast Bank will again be serving up watermelon near the park.

Four on the Floor will be on stage for Friday’s street dance from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

But, Friday night’s big boom will again be the fireworks show. This is set to light up the sky at dusk.

Saturday’s activities get underway at 10 a.m. with the Color Run. The start and finish line will be at the park.

The Ceresco ballfield will be the spot for youth wiffleball from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the Ceresco Volunteer Fire Department will host a water park in front of the fire station.

The beer garden opens at 2 p.m. and signup for the Chinese Horseshoe Tournament starts in the beer garden at 3 p.m. The tournament is at 4 p.m. and is a fundraiser for the fire department.

From 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. there will be kids games in the park. The kiddie tractor pull is at 7 p.m.

Saturday’s street dance starts at 8 p.m. and will feature “3 Wise Men.

On both Thursday and Friday evenings, a special postal cancellation will also be offered.

Swanson said the Ceresco postmaster will be in the park with the cancellation stamp that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Ceresco Post Office. He said there will be a charge per postal cancellation, but people can either keep it as a souvenir or use it on something they want to mail.

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