Fundraisers underway to support Luverne's 150th anniversary party

Luverne is celebrating 150 years since its founding in 1867, and Chamber Director Jane Wildung Lanphere isn’t taking lightly the Chamber’s role in properly observing the anniversary.

“This is really extraordinary,” she said about the occasion. “There’s a lot of cool stuff going on.”

Luverne is an active community during a normal summer of celebrations, with Buffalo Days and Arts in the Park, July 4 on The Lake, Hot Dog Night to Tri-State Band Festival — and events and festivals in between.

These annual events are scheduled as usual, but with a flair for the 150th year.

In addition, there’s a four-month itinerary of special events planned, from a bison calf romp in the Blue Mounds in May to a Rocky Horror Picture Show at the drive-in in September.

In all, there are 950 events, programs and offering in Luverne from now until the end of the year, and the list on the Chamber’s website,, keeps growing.

Lanphere said plans are shaping up for a celebration of grand proportions, and she said a good number of volunteers have stepped forward to help with the various events.

But it will take money, Lanphere said.

“The parade, the bands, the fireworks — the whole thing will cost up to $25,000,” she said. “So we’re counting on our button sales for some of that revenue.”

The magnetic lapel pin features Luverne’s signature gray and red heart that serves as the zero in the “150” atop a “Luverne, Minnesota” banner with “1867-2017” at the bottom.

The buttons, which sell for $10 each, offer an opportunity at one of six $150 cash drawings July 15 at the Party at the Park during the grand 150th weekend. Raffle winners don’t need to be present to win.

The pins are available at the Chamber Office, 283-4061, and will be sold during special events leading up to the party, like the Ladies Expo that was Saturday in Grand Prairie Events.

“Maybe your business would be interested in supporting this effort by purchasing buttons for your employees and/or customers,” Lanphere said in her April Chamber newsletter.

“Give your employees, friends, family and customers a great remembrance of this time in history and a chance to win $150.”

She said donations to help with the 150th celebration can be mailed to the Chamber at 213 E. Luverne St., Luverne, MN 56156. Checks can written to LIFT with “Luverne’s 150th” in the memo line.

Lanphere said there are also donation boxes around town to pay for fireworks at the July 4 celebration.

“You’d be surprised how quickly that loose change adds up,” she said. “We’ve already counted $450 in ours at the Chamber.”

More volunteers are needed, and Lanphere said it will be an opportunity for community members to experience a once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

“It will really be something to see,” she said. “If anyone is interested in helping, we have lots of volunteer things they can do.”


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