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Updated Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 3 PM EST
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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 03/13/13
Above, participants in the Elementary Student Historical Costume Contest depicted a person or era from Romeo's history. Christina Kaczor, 3 years old, received a special purple ribbon for being "the littlest of all" participant. Christina's sister, Melissa, wore a dress her mother wore as a child; she celebrated her 6th birthday while Romeo celebrated its 175th. Lydia Poe won 1st place and her brother Adam Poe won 2nd place determined by applause from the audience. Pictured from left, Christina Kaczor, Lydia Poe, Kristen Poe, Melissa Kaczor and Adam Poe. Below top, Face-painter Donna Calhoun and her team from "An Affair to Remember" provided free face painting. Delaney Cassidy of Romeo is in for a surprise to see a pink butterfly on her face when she opens her eyes. Below center, Margaret Simunic, Romeo resident for 35 years, points to the D & C store where she worked at the candy counter in earlier years in one of the historic photos provided by the Romeo Historical Society. Below bottom, Ridge Downs, 2012 Romeo High School graduate, and Anna Fredal, a junior at RHS, look at some of the 2,654 names on the wall of the Michigan Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial brought by Chapter 154 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, a volunteer organization devoted to helping veterans.
(Observer photos by Judith Kimpan)
Many show up to celebrate
Romeo's 175th anniversary
by JUDITH KIMPANWhen is the last time you had a anniversary and the local church bells rang and the Peach Queen dropped in to honor you?
Observer Special Writer
Add to that Elvis and Betty Boop impersonators, a massive cake served and the occasional "pop" heard from an overfilled balloon as Wowie the Clown filled requests for balloon sculptures.
Romeo's 175th anniversary celebration had that and more during its free Community Open House on March 9 at the Masonic Temple in downtown Romeo.
The afternoon events were followed by a Dinner Ball, also at the Masonic Temple.
Bells announced the start of the festivities for young and old. Students learned about Romeo's history while other residents recalled the good old days by looking at the old photographs provided by the Romeo Historical Society.
The theme for the historical costume and essay contest, "Romeo Through the Ages," inspired students to research Romeo's rich history. Elementary students mustered up their courage to read their entries for the writing contest on stage in front of the crowd. Participants of the Elementary Costume Contest strode across the stage dressed as a person during an era from Romeo's history.
Romeo resident Jesi Foltz-Goike and Ms. Senior Michigan 2012, Toni Sanchez-Murphy, attended and increased the number of royalty present.
"All the World's a Stage" was the name of just one group that performed in the Historic Gray's Opera House. One could hear the lively beat of the Romeo High School Band or Middle School Rock Band "Propaganda." Washington Elementary students sang "I've been Working on the Railroad" with gusto, the Romeo High School Choir livened up the crowd and dancers performed a wide variety of dances from a form of belly dancing to the line dancing of the High Steppers.
Michigan veterans were recognized and the Michigan Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial honored those who lost their lives serving in the Vietnam War.
Romeo resident John Cassidy brought his family to enjoy the entertainment, but said his main focus in coming was to see the Michigan Vietnam Veterans Traveling Memorial.
"Some were friends of my father, I'm looking for seven or eight names," said Cassidy.
Gretchen Deming "wanted to support the RHS band at every opportunity."
"We wanted to celebrate Romeo's 175th anniversary. We love the community activities," said Deming.
Her daughter, Madison Deming, fourth-grader at Hamilton-Parsons Elementary School, asked to have her face painted like a black cat because she owns one. Her family's next stop was the Veteran's Memorial.
Kristen Valyi-Hax, director of the Romeo District Library and a 175th Anniversary Committee member, helped with the gift basket raffle. The money earned from the raffle sales will help provide free entertainment at the additional May 18th anniversary celebration.
"I'm happy with the turnout. There was a constant stream of people coming in", said Valyi-Hax.
Winners of the 12 gift baskets donated by local businesses were: Rebecca Daigle, Mary Ann Radzilowski, Renee Gould, Dan Witgen, Mary Ireland, Sandi Anger, Michelle Daigle, Kathleen Fredal, Joshua Trudelle and Kathryn Englehart.
Sara Murray, co-chair of the 175th Anniversary Committee, felt the celebration was a success and everyone she spoke with said they had a great time.
"It was just what I hoped for. There were many first time visitors to the Masonic Temple," said Murray.
Kim Hale, co-chair of the 175th Anniversary Committee, confirmed what the others said.
"I'm pleased as punch. It turned out just as we expected," said Hale.
Winners of the Elementary Student Writing Contest each read what they had written using the theme "Romeo Through the Ages." Pictured from left, Morgan Berish, fourth-grader at Washington Elementary, Isabel Tarnutzer, fourth-grader at Washington Elementary, Milan Krstevski, fourth-grader at Washington Elementary and Carlina Parrinello, fourth-grader at Amanda Moore Elementary School.
(Observer photo by Judith Kimpan)