Fireworks to cap off ‘Palooza’ at Bicentennial Celebration


Palooza organizers (l-r) Mary Tommelein, Kathy Smith and Christine Obeid. Photo by Jim Lincoln.

Tecumseh High School will be the setting for the History and Cultural Palooza to be held the evenings of Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20 during Tecumseh’s Bicentennial Celebration. The locale will offer a variety activities for everyone, according to retired THS art teacher Christine Obeid, one of the committee members responsible for the event.

The THS Sculpture Garden will serve to educate and inform visitors with a chronological timeline of Tecumseh’s most important events of the last 200 years, with 53 unique photos and descriptions on signs throughout the garden. Obeid said the signs, which will be installed on the morning of Thursday, July 18, will stay up through the bicentennial celebration for visitors to view and read. “The great thing about that timeline is that people can go to the sculpture garden anytime to see it,” she said. “They will be able to walk between them and feel the sense of time.”

The trail of signs begins with the Native Americans that inhabited this area and travels through the years, noting such milestones as the establishment of a road from Detroit to Chicago, the year Michigan became a state and Tecumseh became a village, the era of the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad, the timeline of Tecumseh schools, and much more.

The concept of the historic timeline was formed in January when Obeid and committee member Mary Tommelein began discussing activities at the high school and brainstorming ideas. “She contacted Kathy Smith, and she was super enthused about it, and she’s been the one to write and figure out what we need,” said Obeid.

Linda Hewlett formatted the photos and text, and Neil Coates was in charge of printing the signs, “…so it was sort of a team effort,” Obeid said. Student volunteers Emily Stevenson and Macy Schmidt have also been helping with the plans.

“Mary and Kathy and I have been meeting every couple of weeks all through the winter and spring to come up with other ideas for youth at the high school, so there will be other events, as well,” she said.

The History and Cultural Palooza activities will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. on both July 19 and 20. They include a student art show both days, curated by Tecumseh Public Schools art teachers as well as retired high school art teacher Ron Frenzen. “Ron has been a big help with choosing art for the show and he’s going to help install the show, as well,” said Obeid. The art show will take place in the great hall of the high school, as will drawings and short essays of second-grade students’ favorite things about Tecumseh history. 

There will be an alumni and retired TPS teacher get-together in the library from 6-8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, where anyone who is an alumnus or retired teacher is welcome to visit, peruse the display of every yearbook from the beginning of Tecumseh Public Schools, and enjoy snacks.  A “Sports Wall of Fame” will also be on display in the high school gymnasium.

The event will also include historic arts demonstrations, including spinning yarn, weaving, dyeing wool, rug-making, flintknapping, soap making, and more, with hands-on activities for children.

Friday night an open mic concert will be held in the Sculpture Garden, with the Jim Rice Group playing and others performing who have already signed up for a spot at the mic.

On Saturday evening there will be old-fashioned games played in the Sculpture Garden. Food trucks will be available from 6-9:30 p.m. Saturday, and there will be a fireworks display beginning at dusk.

“We want to emphasize that we want people to come before they come to the fireworks, so Friday evening there will be these events and then Saturday if they come at six, they can enjoy the art and the games and going to the library to see the teachers,” Obeid said. “Then they can go out to the food trucks that are going to be out in the parking lot and find a space for their family to settle in for the fireworks. 

“We’re so excited,” she said. “The Sculpture Garden is such a great place to have these kinds of events and it’s open to everyone and very easily accessed.”
Parking will be available in either the south or north parking lots at the school.

“We would love the public to come,” said Obeid. “We’re just hoping to have something for everyone, for everyone to feel a part of this celebration of our town.”


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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