Riverton City has big plans for the new year, and its employees will set these plans into motion this month, kicking off the city’s 150th birthday celebration. The city will host 150 activities to commemorate the sesquicentennial, which are scheduled intermittently throughout 2015.
Mayor Bill Applegarth views 2014 as a success for Riverton. However, he has even higher hopes for the upcoming year. With these birthday-themed events, Applegarth hopes to pay homage to Riverton’s rich history and build excitement for the years to come.
“It was a great year . . . It’s been good in every aspect, in my opinion,” Applegarth said. “For the new year, we have a lot of things going on . . . It’s just going to be a wonderful year. We’ll have 150 days of activities.”
The birthday celebration kicked off on Jan. 6 with a proclamation delivered by the mayor at the city council meeting in Riverton City Hall’s Council Chambers. Then, on Jan. 8, there was a birthday celebration opening ceremony at Riverton High School’s football stadium.
“It’s a milestone, a very important milestone. It’s worth remembering those who came before us because we’re building on foundations that were laid previously. These birthday events give us time to reflect on our heritage,” Applegarth said.
It was a little chilly, but the attendees dressed warmly and everyone got to enjoy hot chocolate. Residents sipped it while they watched the firework show put on by the city. There was also an Olympic-style torch ceremony.
However, this torch ceremony didn’t include the normal seasoned athletes. Instead, students from every elementary, middle and high school in Riverton ran the 150 “torches” (which were really flashlights) to the middle of the football stadium where a giant birthday cake made of wood awaited them.
“I think that the most important thing to keep in mind for this upcoming year is the great people who have lived or worked in Riverton and are living here now,” Applegarth said. “It’s not the brick and mortar; it’s the people that make a city great. I think we need to not lose track of that.”
Not all the 150 activities are planned fully yet, but there are a few already in the works. At the city council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 20 Riverton City’s oldest and youngest residents will be honored at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers.
One of the biggest events happening as part of the birthday celebration is the Riverton City Park grand opening, which happens in late June. People can explore the new park’s amenities, and there will also be performances by the Riverton Jazz Band, Riverton High School’s marching band and Silverline Drill Team.