Oconto Falls 100th birthday taking shape

City open to suggestions from residents
By: 

Warren Bluhm, wbluhm@newmedia-wi.com


Downtown Oconto Falls is bustling in this postcard photo from about 100 years ago. The Hotel Saunders, built in 1917, is visible on the right edge of the picture. Main Street businesses from the left include a furniture store and undertaker, millinery, tin shop and the city livery. (Photo courtesy of Oconto Falls Community Library)

Centennial plans are starting to take shape in the city of Oconto Falls, and the first signs of a celebration are expected during the city’s annual Memorial Day weekend festival.

Oconto Falls was incorporated as a village in 1903, and officials petitioned for and received city status in 1919.

“We’re trying to spiff out some ideas on what to do,” City Council President Devin Wirtz said. “We’re open to suggestions.”

The council was planning to have an informal conversation at its April meeting but was caught off guard by the sudden illness and death of Alderperson Jay Kostreva, Wirtz said.

A 100th-anniversary banner is being created for the annual Memorial Day Celebration, to be displayed on grounds and pulled during the May 27 parade, he said.

The banner will also be featured at the monthly Sunset Music Series festival at East Side Beach, and there’s been discussion of a fireworks display at the final concert of the summer Aug. 23, said Gail Yatso, president of the Oconto Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber membership is expected to discuss other celebratory ideas when it meets at noon Thursday at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, 855 S. Main St., Oconto Falls. The matter was also on the agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting, which took place after the Times Herald went to press.

Another idea under consideration is to commission and sell commemorative coins, with proceeds designated for proposed upgrades to Memorial Field, Wirtz said.

Inside this edition of the Oconto County Times Herald, you’ll find a special four-page pullout section celebrating the city’s 100th.