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On Friday, August 26th, WCIA’s ‘Our Town’ came to Chrisman City Park. Chrisman won the votes to be featured on the program with a total of 16,329 votes. The town went up against Rantoul (12,638), Teutopolis (148) and Milford (54).
After being announced the winner on July 15th, the Chrisman Sesquicentennial Planning committee met with the news station to arrange the agenda for the day. The City of Chrisman also purchased a commercial that ran during the broadcast.
In order to prepare for the feature, members of the planning committee along with community members gathered in the park to help spruce it up. Benches, swing sets and various other playground equipment along with the gazebo was given a fresh coat of paint that was provided by City Commissioner Bryan Haddix.
In the week leading up to ‘Our Town’, WCIA interviewed different businesses and community members. Featured were Sue Lawlyes and Dave Riggen from Riggen’s Frostop, Josh Staley from Chrisman Farm Center, Fire Chief Mike Marvin, Pat Bolen at Sunrise Stables and United Prairie.
Before the event took place, the time capsule from 1972 was dug out of the ground. Time Capsule committee members Laura Fidler and Carol Yaw have already sorted all of the contents of the capsule that will be available for pick up.
During the live event in the park, various activities were available. Those events included: The Farmer’s Market, Live Entertainment from the Chrisman Band and Samantha Ingram and the Chrisman Junior High and High School cheerleaders performed.
Children were also able to get their faces painted by Lindsey Franz, look at animals from the Chrisman FFA and Paint a Pony with Pat Bolen and Whinny Nickers. A handful of kids also participated in the lemonade stand contest. Food trucks, a car and tractor show, and a corn hole toss were available for the adults.
Chrisman Sesquicentennial items such as history books, coins and envelopes along with the Chrisman Public Library Cookbook were also available for purchase.
Linda Barrett, whose relatives go back to the founding of Chrisman, gave historical tours every hour on the hour beginning at 4:00 p.m. Barret’s family dates back to one of the first residents that came to Chrisman in 1832, Abraham Smith. Smith is her third great grandfather. Barrett’s third great uncle is Mathias Chrisman, whom the town is named after.