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City to begin the year-long 150th birthday celebration

Hannah Swayze • Jan 4, 2019 at 8:39 AM

Let the party begin!

Festivities marking Johnson City’s 150th year start Saturday when the Sesquicentennial Commission kicks off the celebration by opening a time capsule from 1969.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the old JCPenney building at 309 E. Main St., in downtown Johnson City, the first event honoring the long history of Johnson City will begin with the opening of the time capsule, assembled by the Kiwanis Club in 1969.

The public is invited to attend and browse the capsule’s contents along with a gallery of old photographs depicting the history of the city.

In addition, Mayor Jenny Brock will read two sealed letters addressed to the mayor in 2019 from the capsule.

According to Dianna Cantler, there will also be a few members of the Kiwanis Club from 1969 who took part in the time capsule’s closing.

For children, there will be a craft where they can create their own time capsule to take home with them.

“The goal is to create something that is multi-generational, to learn a little bit about our history and also make plans for the future,” said Cantler, a member of the Sesquicentennial Commision.

The craft time capsules will not be the only new ones made on Saturday.

The commission will record 30-second messages from the public to place in a time capsule that will be created for Johnson City’s Bicentennial celebration. Suggestions for items to include along with video will also be taken.

Cantler said because technology advances so quickly, (floppy disks, anyone?) the city’s communications department will also be given a copy of the video to update as technology changes so that the message will still be accessible by the time it is open again.

Items from the capsule will be on display in the front window of the building after the event.

The commission will also announce other events to come for the city’s big year plus an update on the Sesquicentennial Commission’s Legacy Project.

Each month of the year will have a different themed event. January’s theme is “trains,” given the railroad’s ties to the city’s history, and will be celebrated with free “A Day with Tweetsie Trains” events on Jan. 12 and 19.

A museum exhibit at the George L. Carter Railroad Museum at East Tennessee State University, in the Campus Center Building in room 108, will show the history of the Tweetsie rail line. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Historic films of the Tweesie will be shown at the Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., beginning at 1 p.m. on both days. Both events are free and open to the public.

For more information about plans for the Sesquicentennial Celebrations, visit www.jctn.com or follow the events’ Facebook at Johnson City 150-Sesquicentennial Celebration.

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