Colusa to celebrate 150 years this Saturday

Colusa’s rich history will be celebrated on Saturday, June 16, the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the town. Photo is the Colusa and Lake Railroad in 1914.

Gov. Jerry Brown will be in attendance when Colusa’s 150th birthday party kicks off Saturday morning at City Hall.

June 16 marks the sesquicentennial of Colusa’s incorporation as the first town and county seat of Colusa County, which occurred in 1868.

The daylong celebration gets underway at 8 AM with a pancake breakfast at City Hall, which Brown will attend, organizers said.

Colusa Firefighters will prepare breakfast for $5 (children under 10 free), and a ukulele band will be on hand to play some old-time songs. Entertainment is expected to be underway by 9 AM.

Following the breakfast, Historical Researcher John Morton will lead a walking tour of Colusa’s historic homes, starting at Fifth and Webster streets. Brochures will be available.
River activities will get underway around 11 AM. Anyone interested in kayaking, floating, canoeing or any other human-powered water craft can meet with Jon Wrysinski at the parking lot – south of the weir bridge nearest the old Cruise N’ Tarry – for a timed race to the water towers in Colusa. First, second, and third place trophies will be awarded.
The Hogs and Dogs picnic at Veteran’s Memorial Park gets underway at 5 PM.

“It’s called the Hogs and Dogs picnic because hogs and dogs were the reason the city was incorporated,” said Charles Yerxa, a member of the Sesquicentennial committee. “They were running loose in the streets.”

In fact, within 10 days of Colusa’s incorporation in 1868, the Town Trustees passed a $1 tax on all dogs, and a $1 impound fee on any hog captured by the town marshal, both substantial costs for the times.

According to Outrun Change, the typical weekly salary of a blacksmith in the 1860 – for 60 hours of work – was $10.68. Most common laborers earned $5.88 per 60-hour work week.
The 5-8 PM celebration at Memorial Park will offer either a barbecue pork dinner for $10 or hot dog dinner for $5. You need not purchase dinner to attend the celebration.

Wrysinski will serve as master of ceremonies for the program, which includes the Colusa High band ensemble, speeches, a flyover by local pilots and other activities.

Anthony Azevedo plans to launch his drone from the vacant lot across Market Street around 5:30 for a group photo, so people are encouraged to assemble in the big open space in the park.

Sue Gibbs will direct a historic skit about 6 PM.

The celebration is expected to wrap up around 8 PM, organizers said.