When school groups come to the Edina History Museum, I include a stop at a display of photos from Edina's huge Centennial celebration in 1988. The kids always have questions -- from "What is a Centennial?" to "Why did people wear such huge glasses?"
Keep in mind that today's 8-year-olds were born in 2004. For second-graders, 1988 seems like ancient times. (For those who lived through the 1980s rocking those glasses and permed hair, sigh with me.)
The photos show the myriad of events marking the important milestone of Edina's founding in 1888. We are in the process of updating the display, created for the year-end party but lasted 24 years. With funding from the Edina Community Foundation, the exhibit will now have archival museum quality exhibit panels.
Thanks to the efforts of Centennial co-chair (and photographer) Betty Hemstad and her daughter Judy Anderson, the display will also include a hardcover photo book with even more photos of the many events held throughout the year.
Here's a look at the cover. (Note that Pearson's restaurant is now gone.)
The ice castle was the first big event of the year.
Another popular event was a Bridal Fashion Show featuring Edina women throughout the decades and their wedding dresses .
The celebration had wide-spread community support, with many civic groups hosting dozens of smaller events.
A volunteer committee is in the midst of planning events celebrating our 125th anniversary -- our Quasquicentennial -- next year. At this stage, we're planning a historic homes tour, a Founder's Day celebration, a special exhibit and more. While this celebration will be smaller than the Centennial, which took five years of planning and thousands of volunteer hours, we still hope for community-wide participation.
And lots of photos. We will include Quasquicentennial photos alongside the Centennial display. And no doubt children of 2038 will look at these photos and learn about Edina's founding. The photos will spark a conversation about Edina's beginnings in 1888.
Maybe those children will even wonder about the fashions of 2013. And maybe, just maybe, they will admire the retro look of big glasses and permed hair of 1988.
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