PLEASANT HILL — No one could have planned for a better day to celebrate the Pleasant Hill Sesquicentennial.
Families and friends gathered under sunny skies to celebrate 150 years of Pleasant Hill history and its future.
“It was a beautiful day and such a wonderful time,” organizer Ruthann Beck said.
Between the parade and all the other festivities, Beck said the day could not have been better.
“It was very much like I envisioned it,” she added. “You hope for the best, but you never know how it will turn out. I think it turned out very well.”
Organizers’ plan to celebrate the village’s long history outdoors hinged on good weather, and the weather delivered.
Several generations of families came out to celebrate life in the small town, which was incorporated in 1866.
The afternoon was filled with family-friendly events, including a fire department chicken barbecue, other food vendors, a cruise-in with a disc jockey, and old-fashioned games like sack races and kick the can.
Several tents were set up for the event, one with a stage and seating for entertainment including the crowning of Little Miss and Mister of Pleasant Hill, a Civil War speaker, and musical performances. Other tents offered arts and crafts with many locally made items for sale.
The Pleasant Hill History Center offered historical souvenirs displaying local history, and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War provided a look at life in the 1860s.
The event kicked off with the re-dedication of the Civil War monument with the help of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. The monument was erected in 1895 in honor of the 12 fallen Pleasant Hill Civil War soldiers, many buried in unknown graves.
The ceremony was followed by a parade featuring local groups and costumed re-enactors. The Elizabeth Township Historical Center donated of a collection of vintage clothes for the parade and re-enactors.
Then it was down to the Newton schools athletic fields for a cruise-in, barbecure, and games.
Many younger Pleasant Hill residents joined in the fun, competing for the honor of being name Little Miss and Mister Pleasant Hill.
Halee Mollette, a former Troy Strawberry Queen, helped to organize the event. About 20 children between the ages of four and seven took the stage for an interview and to showcase a special talent.
In the end, the Sesquicentennial Little Miss and Mister Pleasant Hill were Lindsey Willoughby and Warren Serey.
They were crowned by the 1966 Centennial Queen, Jeannine Warner, who traveled from her home in Massillon, Ohio, for the festivities.
“It’s so nice to come back,” Warner said. “I’m very honored to be invited back.”
Lindsey Willoughby, daughter of Doug and Angie Willoughby, of Pleasant Hill, and Warren Serey, son of Kevin and Alyssia Serey, of Pleasant Hill, were pronounced Little Miss and Mr. Pleasant Hill during the Sesquicentennial pageant Saturday in Pleasant Hill.
Reach reporter Cecilia Fox at [email protected] or (937) 552-2205.