City Centennial events to include street dance

Plans for the Okeechobee City Centennial Christmas Frolic are under way. On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Okeechobee County Board of Commissioners approved the use of the Historic County Courthouse and the field across the street from the courthouse for the Dec. 11 street dance.
Katrina Elsken, chair of the City Centennial Frolic sub-committee, told the board that the idea for the frolic came from “A Land Remembered” by Patrick Smith, which described a holiday party in Okeechobee’s pioneer days. The frolics were held in any building large enough to accommodate the crowds, usually a church hall. In later years, after the county courthouse was built, some community gatherings were held in the courthouse.
The frolic will be a free street dance. Local musicians are sought to volunteer as performers.  Entertainers already on the line-up include Okeechobee High School Jazz Band and Carl Cable.
Non-profit organizations will be allowed to set up food concessions in the field across from the courthouse, with space reservations accepted on a “first come” basis.
The evening will start with music appropriate for the pioneer days and the music will become more modern as the evening grows later. Participants are encouraged to come in costume, and prizes will be given for the best costumes from each era.
Centennial events
The Christmas Frolic is part of the year long celebration of the City of Okeechobee’s 100th birthday, The Centennial year began with a Kickoff Party in Flagler Park in January, followed by the Mayor’s Gala in April and the City Birthday Bash in June. The next event is the Centennial Heritage Festival on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Okeechobee Freshman Campus, 610 S.W. Second Ave. The Heritage Festival will include an original play “Spirits of Okeechobee” by the Okeechobee Community Theatre, with performances at 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. The Okeechobee High School Marching Band will perform their new show, “Postcards from Okeechobee” at noon. Gordie Peer will present a whip cracking demonstration at 12;30 p.m. Visitors can also see a working cow camp and enjoy food for sale by local student groups. Items will be collected for inclusion in the time capsule.
If you are interested in performing at the frolic, reserving a space for a booth (non-profit organizations only) or volunteering to help with the party, please email Katrina Elsken at or call 863-763-3134.

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