Long Point reflects on 150th celebration, thanks donors

Village says community’s participation made July’s sesquicentennial a success

Residents look at history exhibits Sunday, July 16, 2023, at the Village Hall during Long Point's Sesquicentennial celebration.

The village of Long Point came together July 14-16 to celebrate its sesquicentennial, which is 150 years.

The village, about 11 miles southwest of Streator, has a population less than 250, but it swelled to 10 times that number to cheer on the rich heritage of its agricultural roots, the village said in a news release thanking the community and its donors.

The celebration provided three days of old fashion, family affordable memories. Highlights included a parade with color guards, fire trucks, horse draw carriage with the 95-year-old queen of Long Point – Doris Wickkiser Ragusa – floats, antique cars and tractors, the Ruff Brothers grain six-hitch horse team and wagon, a covered wagon, among other participants. It also included a fireworks display.

Other major attractions included two museums of Long Point memorabilia, exhibits, a quilt show, style show through decades 1873 to 2023, vintage home tour, blacksmith and corn shelling demonstrations and reader’s theater. Children were entertained with prizes for contests and games, an inflatable slide and bounce house. A kiddie parade was conducted.

The event also featured four bands, two show choirs, gospel groups, horse drawn rides, a balloon artist, a dunk tank and bingo.

Long gave thanks during its community church service for its 150 years of contented rural life in the village. That service was held at the Memorial Bandstand, designated in 2023 as a National Register of Historic Places site.

“It takes a village,” the news release said. “The memorable sesquicentennial celebration was the culmination of more than two years of preparation by more than a couple hundred people, donating their time, money, and especially their enthusiasm. The homes and businesses in the village were spiffed up for the party with the help of Woodland High School and the community student groups along with local organizations, residents and committee members. Hefty donations from more than 200 individuals and local businesses were a huge help. Thanks to everyone who helped make the Long Point Sesquicentennial a total success.”

A firework explodes over the Long Point Township Grounds during a fireworks show on Saturday, July 15, 2023, to celebrate Long Point's Sesquicentennial.