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Concordia Centennial

 
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:11 pm    Post subject: Concordia Centennial Reply with quote

Concordia, MO celebrated its centennial during the summer/fall of 1960. But why 1960?
During the latter 1950s, other cities in the area were celebrating their centennials. People in Concordia realized that their community had been settled before that period. The first German settlers had arrived by 1838-40. By 1840 the Lutheran group had formed a congregation and then built their first church and cemetery on the north side of present day Concordia in 1844. But 100 years from that time had already passed. Most cities time their celebrations from the year they had incorporated. Concordia was incorporated in 1877 however, they did not want to wait until 1977 to celebrate. The next logical date to observe was 1865, the year that the first post office was established. Rev. F. Julius Biltz was the first postmaster and gave the town its name. However, the city fathers did not want to wait that long either. In the latter 1850ís there were the beginnings of a community. Businesses, such as a grist mill, general store and hotel were built along what is now St. Louis Street. The committee organizing a centennial picked 1860 as the founding of Concordia. Why? That was the year the Rev. Biltz arrived in the area and was installed as the pastor of St. Paulís Lutheran Church. He was a revered figure in the early days of the community. So 1960 became the date for the centennial celebration.
The main celebration was scheduled in conjunction with the Concordia Fall Festival. It included the typical events associated with the observance of a centennial. Francis Biltz, the grandson of Rev. Biltz, was named the guest of honor and presented the key to the city. Many of the men had stopped shaving in order to enter the beard growing competition. A pageant was held depicting the early days of Concordia, including the bushwhacker raids. The various parades during the fair were bigger than usual. They included the Koncordia Komical Krew (KKK) parade which had been suspended for some years earlier because of its raunchy content.
Women were often seen wearing period clothing during the activities. Men would wear hats and bowties to complement their beards. Everyone had a good time.



key to city.jpg
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Francis Biltz, grandson of Rev. F. Julius Biltz, being presented with the key to thecity.
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beard growing.jpg
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Participants in beard growing contest.
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pageant scene.jpg
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Scene depicting 1862 Bushwhacker raid.
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pageant scene.jpg



parade float.jpg
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Float in the Koncordia Komical Krew parade.
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parade float.jpg



period costumes.jpg
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Family posing in period dress for the centennial.
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period costumes.jpg


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