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Many events and activities await to celebrate the City of Prineville's 150th anniversary and its railway's centennial

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The City of Prineville Railway has persisted through tough times to reach 100 years in business.

When a municipal railway — a rarity in America these days — manages to survive and thrive for an entire century, it calls for a major celebration, a huge bash that makes the 100-year-old shortline the center of attention.

For two days in late August, railway leaders will join other community partners in throwing such a party that will celebrate the little railway that could reaching a monumental milestone — one that at times might have seemed impossible to attain.

Because the centennial happens to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Prineville itself, the leaders of railway and city have lumped the two anniversary celebrations together to focus on the history of the town and the railway it has supported all of these years.

Friday, Aug. 24, the festivities begin bright and early with a Prineville Perk centered on the railway. The 8 a.m. event, sponsored by the local chamber of commerce, will convene at the Bowman Museum, home to many of the railway centennial events planned throughout the weekend.

Just a few hours later, at noon, people are invited to swing by Pioneer Park, home to an historic log cabin only a few blocks away from the Bowman Museum, where a refurbished railway caboose sets as a permanent railway exhibit. At the park throughout the afternoon, history will take center stage. People can watch soldier reenactments courtesy of the museum, or check out vintage fire equipment demonstrations hosted by Crook County Fire and Rescue. Come hungry because food will be provided.

As the afternoon transitions to early evening, the festivities will move indoors. Museum historian Steve Lent will present a history of Prineville and the railroad. He will lead off at 6 p.m. with a 90-minute segment on the town's 150-year history and switch tracks to a history lesson of the railway at 7:30 p.m.

Following the history showcases, the museum will show a "Prineville Movie" dating back to 1955, complete with popcorn and sarsaparilla refreshments. And at any time during the museum visit, people can peruse the "spiced up" railroad exhibit.

Saturday, Aug. 25 offers people a chance to ride the rail. Railway staff will start providing train rides at 8 a.m. Tickets, however, are sold out.

Those interested in a more novel rail experience can take a ride on a speeder car. The small two- to four-seat vehicles once shuttled railway employees back and forth between maintenance jobs, but now provide railroad lovers a way to cruise shortlines throughout the country.

Owners of the hobby railcars will provide public rides throughout the day Saturday. Riders will be asked to provide a donation to Crook County Foundation, and tickets will be provided online at Eventbrite.

Back at Pioneer Park, people will find encore soldier reenactments and vintage fire equipment demonstrations throughout the afternoon. Food will once again be available.

Adding to the two-day celebration, museum leaders will offer historic house walking tours, complete with a guidebook. Down at the Crook County Fairgrounds, people are encouraged to check out the Ochoco Valley Model Railroad. The intricately detailed model showcases numerous railroads and scenic backdrops throughout the Central Oregon area.

The festivities will also feature some special railway-related prizes. People can enter to become an engineer for the day at the City of Prineville Railway, or win a two-night stay in Prineville with food vouchers included. People can visit the railway's Facebook page to enter.

"The first settlers who came 150 years ago found abundant land, opportunity and a never-say-quit attitude," said Prineville Mayor Betty Roppe. "I personally invite everyone to come join us for the festivities."

CITY SESQUICENTENNIAL AND RAILWAY CENTENNIAL CALENDAR OF CELEBRATIONS

Friday, Aug. 24

Bowman Museum hosts the Prineville Chamber Perk, open to the public

8 - 8:30 a.m. 

Museum is open Friday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday, Aug., 25, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Don't miss the special display highlighting the City of Prineville Railway.

150th Celebration in Pioneer Park, Soldier reenactments, vintage fire equipment demonstrations, food vendors.

Noon – 5:00 p.m.  

History of Prineville and the Railroad

Presentations, showing of 1955 movie and refreshments.

Bowman Museum

6 p.m. 

Museum is open Friday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday, Aug., 25, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Don't miss the special display highlighting the City of Prineville Railway.

Saturday, Aug. 25

City of Prineville Railway Free Diesel Locomotive Ride, free but tickets required

Eight-mile roundtrip between Prineville and Redmond

150th Celebration in Pioneer Park

Soldier reenactments, vintage fire equipment demonstrations, food vendors.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Ochoco Valley Model Railroad Display at Crook County Fairgrounds

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Prineville Farmers and Makers Market 

9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Enter to win a VIP prize package to the party that includes:

Conductor for the day for the City of Prineville Railway on a 1966 General Motors EMD SW1500 with a roundtrip journey from Prineville, Oregon to Redmond, Oregon

VIP tour of the Prineville Railway train conductor for a day

Two nights stay at the Crooked River Inn Bed and Breakfast

Centennial swag from the Prineville Railway

Tickets to the Bowman Museum

Gift certificate to Club Pioneer Restaurant

Gift certificate to Tastee Treat

To enter, visit https://woobox.com/o8na9a. The VIP Experience winner will be selected at random and announced on Aug. 17

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