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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
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January 15, 2011     Times
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January 15, 2011
 

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9 - Mt. Pulaski Times January 8, 2011 By Mike Lakin li The 175th Committee put together a 6-hour celebration New Year's Eve that culminated at midnight with a lighted ball drop and fireworks display. It wasn't Times Square. But it was Mt. Pulaski. As 1940s big band music drifted from the second floor window of the museum, celebrants found food, entertainment, and activities aplenty. Several businesses and the west-side shops were open for the evening. The weather was mild the rain had - for the most part - passed. First stop was the chili-soup supper at the VFW. Mike Richner catered and - as always - the food was great. Mike said he was a bit concerned during the day; after all the power had gone out for a few hours. While AMEREN's answering machine said power would return by 2 p.m., they gave all, a New Year's gift and the lights came back on well before 2 p.m. And, the lights stayed on. There was a firework "shoot-off" on the square early in the evening. That was for the kids in case they couldn't make it to midnight. Phoe- nix Volunteers were on hand "just qi!ii:i:711:il ..................................... in case". There was a moment of concern when a rocket or two came down on Bill and Judy Cavestani's roof. A couple members of the Phoe- nix Volunteers checked things out and declared the roof OK. The courthouse was open, serving refreshments, and giving tours. Wally Kautz reported there was a good attendance. Even had a few people For the high school crowd, the Life Center opened the doors to basket- ball, volleyball, and good old-fash- ioned conversation. Vintage One, ~i ~ through that hadn't crossed the court- house threshold since they were kids. Gerald Goodman had his office open and served up hot apple cider, and take it as gospel, those were really good iced brownies. There was great conversation about a range of topics. Someday I'll tell you about what hap- pened at Lodge Pole, Nebraska. Unfazed by the fireworks dropping on their roof, Bill and Judy Cavestani welcomed buyers into one of their Salt Creek Attic, and shops. That's where people bought those shirts and sweatshirts they were wearing. Did you find your name on one? Saddie's all had good traffic. Lots of window shoppers. Also some buyers. The Farmers Bank was open and offered up snacks and some freebies. But - alas - no stimulus money. The museum did double duty. Besides browsing through the dis- play's of Mt. Pulaski's past, you could also happen on entertainment pro- vided by the Wernsings. After serving up a prime rib dinner, Buff's featured a buffet of musical entertainment, For the youngest revelers, Zion sponsored games and activities at the City garage (old fire station). i 1 As the hour drew near to midnight, most gathered at the courthouse. Tom Martin, chair of the ML Pulaski 175th Anniversary committee, welcomed everyone. Darrel Werns- ing, primed by an evening of song, offered a prayer of thanks and hope for the coming year. Mayor Jim Fuhrer welcomed rev- elers on behalf of the City of Mt. Pulaski. Following remarks, the community paid homage to Mt. Pulaski residents that passed on in 2010. As each name was read out, Steve Martin tolled the old' schoolhouse bell. This simple event emotionally moved many in the crowd. As midnight drew nearer, all atten- tion was directed across the street. As the last seconds of 2010 arrived, the crowd counted down as the Mt. Pulaski ball slid down and one loud cry of Happy New Year rang out from the square. The evening cul- minated with a fire works display announcing 2011 was the "Year O' Celebration" for Mr. Pulaski.