Passersby may have noticed some new flags around the former Pink Poodle building on Route 9.

The building has been temporarily turned into a welcome center aimed at promoting events and activities related to Hoopeston’s Sesquicentennial Celebration.

Valarie Hinkle, Chamber of Commerce president, said the center’s goal is to provide information on the variety of events that the sesquicentennial committee has planned throughout the summer.

She said the center has schedules and detailed information about the events as well as a game for visitors to play and t-shirts and other souvenir available to purchase.

Hinkle said they also ask visitors to sign in and share a memory about Hoopeston in the guest book.

She said the center is a good way to have a centralized location for everything related to the celebration.

Hinkle said Kim Burch, a member of the sesquicentennial planning committee, came up with the idea for the welcome center.

She felt it would be a good way to provide information about the events during the summer to local residents and to people visiting the city.

Hinkle said they were allowed to use the former Pink Poodle location by Noah Ruggieri, with North Star Equities, who was nice enough to let them use the building.

Many of the historical items featured in the welcome center were provided by McFarland Farms.

Hinkle said McFarland Farms has a history that traces back almost to the founding of Hoopeston.

“Hoopeston was established in 1871, their farms were established in 1878,” she said. “They’re family has been part of this community almost since it was formed.”

Hinkle said the organizers reached out to Phil Sims about featuring some items from the McFarland Early American Museum and he told them they could feature any items they wanted.

She said they took several items and have them displayed in the welcome center.

“All of this was donated by him for us to use,” Hinkle said.

Hinkle said the McFarland family is in the process of renovating the museum and they hope to have it open later this year.

She said the family plans on promoting the museum in the sesquicentennial parade.

Hinkle said Ellen Scharlach also contributed items for display at the center.

The welcome center will be open during the following dates and times:

- 11 a.m.-3 p.m. June 13

- 9 a.m-3 p.m. June 21

- 9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 26

- Noon-5 p.m. June 28

- Noon-5 p.m. June 29

- Noon-5 p.m. June 30

- Noon-5 p.m. July 1

- Noon-5 p.m. July 2

A full schedule of sesquicentennial events is listed below:

June Events

Saturday, June 12, 2021

10 a.m. — Cemetery History Walk Topic: Women of Hoopeston

3 p.m. — Cemetery History Walk Topic: Unforgettable Lore

Monday, June 21, 2021

10 a.m. — Downtown Historical Tour

1 p.m. — Downtown Historical Tour

Sesquicentennial Week Events

Sunday, June 27, 2021 Family Day All Events at McFerren Park Civic Center & Lagoon

10 a.m. — Community Church Service

11 a.m. — Community Picnic

12 p.m. — Beard Contest & Youngest/Oldest Contest

1 p.m.-3 p.m. — Gospel Music

1 p.m. — Children’s Fishing Derby — Ages 0-13

Monday, June 28, 2021 Agriculture Day

8 a.m. — Sesquicentennial Farm Awards

9 a.m. — 11 a.m. — Silgan Factory Tours (Meet at City Hall)

12 p.m.-5 p.m. — Fire Department History Tours — Market St. Fire Station 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30p, 7 p.m. — Downtown Historical Tours

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 Youth Day McFerren Park Legion Shelter

1 p.m.-3 p.m. — Lorraine Theater Tours

5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Youth Activities and Games — 3-10 year olds Children must be accompanied by an adult. Food provided.

7 p.m.-9 p.m. — Teen Dance w/ DJ

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 “Holy City” Day

1 p.m. — 3 p.m.- Self Paced Historic Church Tours

4 p.m.-6 p.m. — Pet Parade & Petting Zoo — Downtown

6 p.m. — Children’s Magic Show at the Lorraine Theater

Thursday, July 1, 2021 Ladies Day

9:30 a.m. — 12 p.m. — Flower/Garden Tour

3:30 p.m. — Promenade Downtown

4 p.m. — High Tea at Methodist Church

4 p.m. — Library History Presentation During High Tea

5 p.m.-7 p.m. — Lorraine Theater Tours

Friday, July 2, 2021 Hoopeston’s Birthday Cake & Dance

4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. — Hoopeston Birthday Cake & Music — Downtown

6 p.m. — BINGO at Legion Shelter

6 p.m. — 8 p.m. — Senior Citizen Dance at Civic Center

Saturday, July 3, 2021 Hoopeston’s 150th Birthday Celebration

9 a.m. — Flea Market Opens — Legion Shelter Area

10:30a — Grand Parade — Downtown

11:30a — Lion’s Club Fish Fry & Rotary Ice Cream Open

12 p.m. — Classic Car Show — McFerren Park

1:30p — Girl Scout Sesquicentennial Stroll — Jaycee Shelter

1:30p — Chalk Art Contest — McFerren Tennis Court

3 p.m. — Teachers Vs. Firefighters Kickball Game — Pony Field

4 p.m. — Beer Tent Opens — Soccer Fields

4 p.m. — Back Paiges Band — Soccer Fields

7 p.m. — Logan Kirby & Band — Soccer Fields

9:30p — Fireworks — Soccer Fields

Event dates and times are subject to change. For more information visit www.hoopeston150.com.

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