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The Dodge City 150th Anniversary Committee announces plans for a year-long celebration of the “wickedest little town in the west.” The committee, comprised of city employees, members of civic and historical organizations, and private business owners, has been developing a series of events to celebrate the city’s rich history and the cultural significance it played in shaping the west. The anniversary will also celebrate the community’s cultural diversity and how it has empowered and bolstered the city. A kickoff event is planned for Jan. 28 at the Boot Hill Museum, beginning at 4 p.m.
“There were many milestones that impacted the founding of Dodge City,” said City Manager Nick Hernandez. “Numerous historical events allowed the city to maintain its relevance long after the cattle drives and, our diverse community helped keep us strong. So, to us, it makes the most sense to celebrate this anniversary as long as we can.”
As new events are solidified, details will be available on the anniversary’s social media pages (DodgeCity150) and a dedicated website, made possible through a partnership with the Dodge City Area Chamber of Commerce. One new event that has already been confirmed is Founder’s Weekend, set to take place from June 17 through June 19, and will celebrate George Hoover and the establishment of the first business, as well as the city’s rough and rowdy early years. Also being planned is the return of Ham Bell’s Pioneer Picnic.
“America’s favorite icon, the cowboy, has securely cemented Dodge City’s place in wild-west history,” Dodge City Mayor Kent Smoll said. “Having been the home of some of the greatest heroes and villains, both real and imagined, of the wild west, people travel from all over the world to experience our city’s western charm. The 150th anniversary represents the chance for us to showcase not only the best of our past but celebrate the community that makes us great in the present.”