This coming Friday evening the city’s anniversary celebration kicks off with the setting of a medallion in the alley between the Redwood Gazette and Gopher State Heating and Plumbing, on approximately the spot where the town was founded 150 years earlier — to the day.
The city of Redwood Falls got its start on May 2, 1864, when Colonel Sam McPhail and a group of Union soldiers started building a wooden fence on the prairie a few hundred yards above the falls in the Redwood River. One hundred and fifty years to the day later, on approximately the same spot in what is now downtown Redwood Falls, the city’s 150th (sesquicentennial) celebrations officially kicks off. This Friday, May 2, has been proclaimed Founders Day, with events planned in town and in Ramsey Park to celebrate the town’s birth. Everyone is welcome, of course. The events begin at 7 p.m. by the courthouse, when Mayor Corey Theis is expected to supervise the placement of brass medallions in the pavement to mark where local historians believe the original boundaries of the old frontier stockade were. Afterward, a variety of foods and activities will be available at a sesquicentennial open house at the downtown park at the corner of E. 2nd and S. Washington Streets. The open house will also feature the unveiling of the limited edition Sesquicentennial commemorative print, and an update on how planning is going for the 150th anniversary celebrations the weekend of June 20-22. Also available at the open house for purchase — glowsticks, just perfect to carry on the Torchlight Trails walking parade leaving downtown at twilight, at approximately 8:30 p.m. The walking tour leaves the downtown park, crosses Highway 19/71, and passes behind the Lutheran headquarters into Ramsey Park. Then, from 9-11 p.m. comes something no one has ever seen before: Ramsey Falls lit up at night. Organizer Craig LaBrie said the plan is for several powerful theatrical lights to colorfully illuminate the falls for about two hours, easily visible from the falls overlook. For those unable to walk, the park overlook area will be open available for drop-off and handicapped parking. Golf carts will carry people unable to reach the overlook from the parking lot and back. If you’re unable to attend all events, just show up for the ones you want to visit. For more information, look up the event’s webpage at www.CelebrateRedwoodFalls.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org