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A year of planning comes to fruition this week as Chiefland marks the Centennial of formation of Chiefland Development Corporation and the surveying of the town.
The Chiefland Centennial Committee, headed by Chiefland Building Official Bill Hammond, has been planning and raising money for the events for a year.
It begins tonight with a God and City Rally at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Chiefland. The event had been planned for the Chiefland High School football stadium, but concerns about rainy weather has pushed the event indoors.
On Friday, residents and guests can attend a community fish fry at the Old Train Depot in Trailhead Park and street dance on Park Avenue. The fish have been caught by city employees and their families.
A wall of fame is steadily going up at the old City Hall, now the city Building Department office on South Main Street at Park Avenue. The wall is being constructed near a monument that marks where a time capsule was buried during the nation's bicentennial in 1976. It’ll also be the site for the burial of a second time capsule on April 6 containing memorabilia of the city's first 100 years.
The centennial will also feature talent events, cookoffs, re-enactments, historic displays and a parade throughout the downtown area and a fireworks display over Strickland Park.
But putting on such an event calls for sponsors and fundraising. The fireworks show is expected to cost at least $25,000.
To help defray the cost, Hammond and the committee are selling bricks for the wall for $40 each, raffling off a custom engraved Henry Golden Boy .22 rifle with $5 tickets, selling quilted lap blankets that have scenes of the city’s old landmarks for $65 each and holding an online auction for the first 25 pure silver commemorative coins.
For those who want to bypass the auction, the coins can be purchases at Capital City and Drummond Community banks for $150 each.
With the exception of the online auction, the commemorative items can be ordered or tickets purchased for the raffle at Chiefland City Hall.
The rifle being raffled off has a special design commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the city. The tickets for the rifle raffle are $5 each or three for $10 and the raffle has a limit of 1,500 tickets.
The commemorative coins – made with 1 ounce of pure silver – are being auctioned at www.chiefland100.org.
On the front, is a portrait of the Seminole warrior-leader Osceola, who grew up in the Chiefland area. His father was English and his mother was Indian and he spent time in the area during his adolescence. On the back of the coin the Chiefland train depot and a train are depicted, honoring this area's ties to the railroad industry.
The coins in the auction will be delivered to the buyers at the Chiefland Train Depot in Trailhead Park at 7:30 p.m. on April 5.
On Saturday, the day will get off to an early start with barbecue and chili cookoff competitors having the meat they used checked by the contest officials. The event is sponsored by Suwannee Valley Rotary Club.
At 9 a.m. there will be a turkey and hog calling contest at Chiefland Elementary School that is sponsored by the Chiefland Rotary Club.
One of the highlights of the day will be the parade at 1 p.m. through downtown Chiefland. The parade will start at Chiefland High School and end at Trailhead Park by the Old Train Depot, which is the center of activities.
All day Saturday there will be a historic photo display and viewing of videos of interviews with city residents recounting the old days in Chiefland.
THURSDAY, APRIL 4
7:00 PM God and City Rally at First Baptist Church of Chiefland
FRIDAY, APRIL 5
6:30 PM Centennial Program at Depot
Introduction of Honored Guests
Centennial Coin Auction Awards
Centennial Gun Raffle Drawing
7:00 PM Community Fish Fry Supper
Street Dance (East Park Avenue)
SATURDAY, APRIL 6
8:00 AM – 4:30 PM Historic Trade Demonstrations,
Crafts, Food (Depot Area)
9:00 AM Hog and Turkey Calling
(Chiefland Elementary School Cafeteria)
9:30 AM Commemorative Time Capsule / Flag Presentation
(Building & Zoning Office)
10:00 AM Chili, BBQ Cook-off, Pie/Cake Baking Contest
Judging 11AM (Across US 19 from Depot)
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM Historical photos/Video Interviews
(Tommy Usher Community Center)
1:00 PM Parade (US 19)
2:00 PM Vintage Costume Contest
(Tommy Usher Community Center)
2:00 PM Horseshoe Throwing Contest / Croaker Sack Races (Depot)
7:00 PM Strickland Park Opens – Fireworks at Dark
Inside Park Reserved Parking $5.00 per Vehicle
Walk-in Gate $1.00 per Person