NEW CASTLE, Colorado - The town turns 125 years old this year, and officials are planning a year-long party to celebrate its quasquicentennial milestone.
According to organizers, the town will be hosting a variety of events through the year. The first is at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at the New Castle Community Center, 423 Main St., with a special meeting of the town council and the issuance of a proclamation by Mayor Frank Breslin.
As part of the day's events, the town has purchased a time capsule, and is inviting local organizations and individuals to bring items to be placed inside the capsule.
LaRue Wentz, president of the New Castle Historical Society, said the society is putting together a list of items for placement in the capsule.
Town council member Mary Metzger and Mari Riddile, wife of Mayor Pro-tem Art Riddile, together are in charge of an essay-writing competition among local school children writing out their thoughts about New Castle.
The winning essay, according to Wentz, will be placed in the capsule.
Also on the evening of Feb. 2, the town is planning a fireworks display, to be launched from the south side of the Colorado River across from the downtown area.
Organizer Sharon Huber, assistant to town administrator Tom Baker, said the Community Center parking lot will be the prime viewing location, and will be equipped with standing outdoor heaters to keep attendees warm.
According to posters printed up by the town, the list of events scheduled for later in the year will include a Feb. 16 historic presentation, Voices From the Past. It will take place at the New Castle Branch Library, 402 W. Main St.
This year, coincidentally, is the 75th anniversary of the library district, Huber noted, as well as the quasquicentennial of the Hot Springs Lodge and Pool in Glenwood Springs.
"We want to incorporate what they're doing," Huber said. "We're just trying to reach out to everybody celebrating their own successes."
Other festivities on New Castle's list for the year will include a May 10 Spirit Walk led by Mike Miller, caretaker of the town's Highland Cemetery, along with a pancake breakfast, a "motorless parade" and other activities.
Organizers also are working on a special Vintage Baseball game, scheduled for June 15-16, where teams from around the area will challenge the team from New Castle in a two-day tournament. Rather said teams have already signed up from Rifle, Silt and the Silver Club Saloon in New Castle.
The year's events, according to the poster, are to continue through to a Chili Cook-off on Dec. 7.
Huber said 30 to 40 volunteers are helping with the event planning.
"This is an amazing turnout of volunteers, people wanting to do something to help," Huber added. Groups involved include the local schools, the New Castle Historical Society, the Lion's Club and businesses such as Alpine Bank, PepsiCo, Mr. T's Hardware and the Talbott family, owners of Apple Tree Mobile Home Park.