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Vandalia gears up for Sesquicentennial celebrations

Posted on Thursday, April 4, 2024 at 5:37 pm

As Vandalia, Mo., approaches its 150th anniversary the city is abuzz with excitement and anticipation for the upcoming sesquicentennial celebrations.

One of the most visible signs of the impending milestone is the new Street Banners adorning Main Street and Hwy. 54. The banners are not just decorations they are also proudly announcing the city’s 150th to all passing through.

Spearheaded by Vandalia Area Historical Society, preparations are in full swing to commemorate 150 years of community, history and progress. This is a testament to the resilience and strength of this city, as the citizens look forward to honoring their past, while celebrating their present and envisioning their future.

Charter Day Celebration will be Aug. 10, 2024 at Tri County Park in Vandalia. This event promises a smorgasbord of activities for all ages. It will include homemade ice cream, a beloved tradition in Vandalia, served with homemade cupcakes.

Come savor the offerings from The Rebel Pig food truck, while soaking in live music. A cake decorating contest, a photo contest, a beard contest, a Little Mr. and Miss contest, a swimming party, family lawn games and the opening of a time capsule, dated 1974, are all slated to take place during this fun-filled evening.

But the celebrations don’t end there. On the weekend of Sept. 27 – 29, Vandalia will come alive with the Vandalia Area Chamber of Commerce’s, annual Prairie Days festival.

Kick off for the weekend will be Van-Far’s homecoming football game followed by SoulRoot Band performing live downtown in Railroad Park. Festivities continue Saturday morning with a 5K, vendors, and a Theme Parade—‘Vandalia Through the Decades’ at 11 a.m., traveling down Main Street.

This year VAHS is generously sponsoring the Themed Parade. Prize money totaling $950 awaits the winners with entries encouraged to creatively represent their chosen decade. There will be food stands all day, bingo, a kids’ area with bounce houses and games, a motorcycle show with trophies, tours of area historical homes, pie sales, a corn hole tournament, a horseshoe tournament, a walking tour of Vandalia’s downtown building history, a Van-Far Alumni hospitality room, live music performances by Missouri based artist, Becky Denton, Ruby Leigh from “The Voice,” and The Cherry Pistols will round out Saturday night.

As the weekend draws to a close, the Van-Far Alumni Association will host their annual banquet with a guest speaker on Sunday at Van-Far High School.

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VAHS plans on using the The Vandalia Leader, to keep everyone informed and up-to-date with the happenings for the city’s Sesquicentennial.

VAHS said, “Let’s time travel and make history together. Mark your calendars for Aug. 10 and Sept. 27 – 29.”