Eugene's Summer in the City entertainment series starts Wednesday, July 11, with a celebration of Eugene's 150th birthday.
Eugene, Oregon was first incorporated as the town of Eugene City on October 17, 1862. The City of Eugene, working together with community friends and partners, invites everyone to join in the celebration of its 150th birthday this year.
Abbey Road LIVE, a Beatles tribute band, takes center stage in Kesey Square at the intersection of Willamette and Broadway from 6 to 8 p.m.
During a special intermission show, Radio REDUX, Eugene's acclaimed new theater company that performs historic radio shows live on stage, will present an exciting and original look at the city's rich history, with special guest stars Mayor Kitty Piercy, City Manager Jon Ruiz and Police Chief Pete Kerns. There will also be community booths and activities for children.
Broadway will be closed between Willamette and Olive streets beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Later in the afternoon, Willamette Street will be closed between Eighth and 10th avenues, and Broadway will be closed between Oak and Willamette streets.
All streets are scheduled to reopen late Wednesday evening.
Similar street closures are planned for Summer in the City downtown events on July 18 and August 15.
The event, presented by the City of Eugene, is the first major public celebration in a series of civic activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the founding of Eugene; the entire celebration series is dubbed Eugene@150.
Radio Redux's 15-minute comedy will occur during intermission (around 6:50 pm.) of a July 11 concert by Abbey Road LIVE, a Beatles tribute band, from 6-8 p.m. at Kesey Square, at Willamette Street and Broadway in downtown Eugene. The event is free and open to the public.
Radio Redux's production-staged in the manner of a 1940s radio broadcast, with actors reading from scripts and doing live sound effects-is a take-off on the radio series "You Are There" in which news reporters travel back in time to cover historical events. In this case, the subject is Eugene Skinner's journey to Oregon.
"The events portrayed are based on historical facts but, since the facts are few, we've had a lot of fun letting our imaginations run wild to fill in the gaps," says Fred Crafts, the director and writer.
The Skinners' journey begins in Illinois, then travels west to near Sacramento, and then north up to Eugene. On their way they encounter real and imaginary people.
In the show, Mayor Kitty Piercy plays Eunice Franklin, a travel agent; City Manager Jon Ruiz is Eugene Skinner's brother, St. John Bull Skinner, Eugene Skinner's brother; and Police Chief Pete Kerns is a desperado.
The cast will be anchored by Radio Redux actors-Storm Kennedy as Mary Skinner, Achilles Massahos as Eugene Skinner, Bary Shaw as Elijah Bristow and Steve Wehmeier as Jacob Sutter.
Celebrating Eugene@150 with Abbey Road LIVE and Radio Redux also offers a children's area with "What's Your 150?" activities by Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts (MECCA) and ShelterCare and more. In addition, the food carts and a beer garden serving Ninkasi and local wines are open.
Several fun, inclusive and interactive events and activities have already begun with more to come between now and the big birthday party on October 20.
Ninkasi Brewery released a special Eugene@150 commemorative beer, "Commonwealth." All proceeds are being donated to benefit FOOD for Lane County and the City of Eugene's Cultural Services.
Children and youth age 12 and younger can discover a little about Eugene's first 150 years and win a cool prize with a "Passport to History." The passports are available free at any City community center, pool or Library or at the AAA Oregon office, at 983 Willagillespie Rd. Grand prizes are a Kindle Fire and an iPod Touch.
All community members, businesses, neighborhoods, and others are warmly invited to get involved by sharing, "What's Your 150?" Eugene has given us an awesome place to live for 150 years, so tell the community how you will celebrate!
Go to the web page - www.eugene-or.gov/birthday - or Facebook page - facebook.com/Eugene@150 to get more information and get involved.