South Bend celebrating 150th birthday in 2015
The year 2015 is South Bend’s 150th birthday, and the city is getting ready to mark the occasion.
Starting Friday and continuing throughout the year, there will be a communitywide celebration of the city’s past, present and future.
The year will offer a host of community events, competitions, entertainment and other ways for residents to learn more about the city - including a major weekend birthday celebration in May.
Part of the goal of the year’s celebration is to encourage residents to plan for the city’s future, and get people involved in transforming the city.
The St. Joseph Valley had long been occupied by American Indians. The first permanent settlers arrived here in the early 1820s, and South Bend formally incorporated as a city and elected its first mayor in 1865.
The sesquicentennial celebration started during this week’s First Friday event in downtown South Bend. Shops and restaurants had special promotions and activities relating to the theme of SB150, with eight “celebration stations” scattered throughout the downtown. The stations featured mini-birthday parties, with free samples of birthday cake provided by eight local bakeries.
The kickoff celebration began at 6 p.m. Friday in front of The State theater, where Mayor Pete Buttigieg read an official proclamation declaring 2015 the year of South Bend’s sesquicentennial, with fireworks to follow.
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