A hundred years and then some

On a positive note...

This year is kind of a special in Webster City. Five businesses are celebrating a century of continuous operation in Hamilton County. One-hundred years.

The Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau, Murray McMurray Hatchery, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Hamilton County and the Hamilton County Fairgrounds will all reach that 100-year mark in 2017. What a remarkable achievement when you consider our changing technologies and society’s growth.

We featured each of these businesses in our annual Progress Edition in late January. We called the particular section “Milestones.” Our resident historian, Nancy Kayser, did an phenomenal amount of research into each of these businesses and brought us fascinating stories of the pioneer spirit and great determination to succeed.

Oh, and there’s one other milestone anniversary this year. This year marks The Daily Freeman-Journal’s 160th anniversary. The very first edition rolled off the presses June 29, 1857. If I’m not mistaken, that makes our daily newspaper the oldest business in Hamilton County. There have been lots of changes since that first edition and many people who have helped to report the news and tell the stories of Hamilton County.

We’ve been working with the five 100-year businesses to help plan a big party in celebration. On Friday, June 2, the Hamilton County Fairgrounds will be the place to be for a free concert, sponsored by the businesses.

A Kid’s Zone will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. with games, activities and even a bouncy house. Food vendors will be on-hand to serve supper and treats. There will be a beer garden on the grounds as well.

From 7 to 11 p.m., Standing Hampton will perform. The Des Moines-based band play 70s and 80s rock music from the likes of Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Bon Jovi, B52’s and Foreigner.

The concert is free and the only cost is $2 for parking and whatever you choose to purchase to eat or drink.

So, bring a lawn chair and bring the kids and enjoy a fun night to socialize with neighbors and friends. And perhaps offer a hat-tip or a toast to those great long-standing businesses.