Come out and help celebrate Raymond’s sesquicentennial (150 years) birthday during the Raymond Independence Day Celebrations this week, Thursday, Sept. 2, through Saturday, Sept. 4. This year marks the 63rd year of the Independence Day Celebration which was cancelled last year due to the ongoing pandemic.
Carnival rides will run from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, and from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Advance tickets are currently on sale (ten tickets for $25) at Shell, West End, FNB, and Bank and Trust in Raymond. Tickets will also be available for purchase during the celebration at a cost of $30 for ten tickets. The Beer Tent will be open from 5:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m., on Thursday and Friday, and from 2 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Sesquicentennial activities will officially kick off on Thursday evening with the Kiddie Parade at 6:30 p.m. Lineup is at 6 p.m. in front of the Raymond Christian Church. There are no fees to enter and cash prizes will be awarded. Categories include bikes and tricycles, walking, battery operated, pets, wagons and floats. No mechanical or motorized vehicles are allowed.
Mayor Denny Held will welcome attendees to the celebratory event at 7 p.m., from the stage. Make sure to stick around for the Pony Tail and Kid’s Eating contests, both begin at 7:15 p.m.
The 2021 pageant candidates will be introduced at 7:30 p.m.
Little Miss candidates are Lillian Beeler, Katie Brown, Jocelynne Carron, Evelyn Goebel, Savannah Michaels, Sage Mulvaney, Adelyn Nicol, Emmersyn Snyder, Temperance Snyder, Lucy Wagahoff and Amelya Walch. Little Mr. Muscle candidates are Wyatt Jenkins, Owen Meisner, Zeke Meisner, Emmett Mitchelar, Austin Nicol, Dominic Robinson and Freddie Wagahoff. Miss Independence candidates are Bekah Falter, Shelby Hattenbach, Avery Pope, Kasandra Reif, Reagan Skinner, Jo Beth Matli and Marisa Webb. Jr. Miss Independence candidates are Lily Barnes, Raina Cunningham, Hannah Hill, Lilyan Hill, Lilian Horath, Rylie Waterman and Regan Morris.
After the royalty introductions attendees are invited to test their knowledge during the “Red, White and Who?” game at 8 p.m., at the stage. The winner of the bike drawing will be announced at 8 p.m., and must be present.
Area youth are invited to participate in the Kid’s Bags tournament starting at 7:15 p.m. Bossie Bingo will start at 7:30 p.m., the proceeds will benefit the Raymond Celebration Association. A DJ will close out Thursday night’s celebration with live entertainment starting at 8:30 p.m. at the Beer Tent.
Raymond Independence Day celebrations continue on Friday. Attendees are encouraged to check out the Craft and Vendor Fair from 5 to 9 p.m. Registration for the American Legion Post #299 Bags tournament opens at 5:30 p.m. The friendly competition starts at 6 p.m.
Head over to the stage at 6:15 p.m. for the Mustache and Beard Contest. Judging is based length, thickness, originality and best effort.
After holding their titles for the past two years, Little Miss Independence Chloe Hoffman and 2019 Mr. Muscle Koltyn Janssen will officially retire their crowns on Friday, Sept. 3. The Little Miss and Mr. pageants will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Bossie Bingo will start at 7:30 p.m., with proceeds to benefit the RHSA and Raymond-Harvel Fire Explorers. The winner of Friday night’s bike drawing will be announced at 7:30 p.m.
Musician Johnathan Len will take the stage from 7:30 to 9 p.m., and Off The Wall will close out the night with a live performance at the Beer Tent beginning at 9 p.m.
The fun will begin at noon on Saturday with kids games at the park. The Kiddie Tractor Pulls will follow at the stage. Saturday’s Craft and Vendor fair will be open for business from 3 to 9 p.m.
Registration for the Raymond Car Show will be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The Car Show will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Entry fee is $20 and there is a golf cart division. For more information contact Kevin Elvidge at 217-710-3266.
Sign-in for the American Legion Post #299 Washer Tournament opens at 1:30 p.m. Entry fees are set at $20 per two person team, with cash prizes to be awarded to the top three places. The tournament begins at 2 p.m.
The Big Parade will step off at 5 p.m., on Saturday. This year’s theme is “Blast from the Past,” a nod to the village’s 150th year since its founding in 1871. Lineup will begin at 4 p.m., at the high school parking lot. There is no fee to enter and cash prizes will be awarded. Categories include golf carts, religious/civic organizations, business floats and out of area. For more information call 217-313-3757.
Parade winners will be announced at 6:15 p.m. The Baby Contest (0 to 24 months) will also begin at 6:15 p.m., on the stage. The Adult Eating Contest will start at 6:30 p.m. on the stage, followed by the 150 year style show at 7 p.m. Saturday’s bike drawing will take place at 7:30 p.m., winners must be present.
Make sure to check out the Pie Baking Contest at 6:30 p.m. at the craft tents. The competition is open to amateur bakers of all ages. Pies will be judged on appearance, flavor and texture. Crust and pie filling must be homemade and submissions must include a full recipe with a list of ingredients. The entry fee is set at $5 and contestants may enter up to three pies. Leftover pie will be auctioned with the proceeds to benefit the Raymond Celebration Committee.
Bossie Bingo will start at 7:30 p.m., with proceeds to benefit Project Third Day and the Panhandle Education Foundation.
2019 Miss Independence Desi Pitchford and 2019 Jr. Miss Independence Sally Corso will welcome the village’s newest title holders on Saturday, Sept. 4. The Miss and Jr. Miss pageants will start at 8 p.m.
Bum & Co. will perform live starting at 9 p.m. at the Beer Tent. The Raymond Independence Day Celebrations will culminate with a fireworks show at 10 p.m. at the park.