150 years of Perham: A celebration to remember planned for September

To celebrate the sesquicentennial throughout the month of September, Perham has quite a few plans. Celebrations for Perham's sesquicentennial will kick off on Sept. 2 with Lake Nights on Main, a new event that's coming to town.

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Perham was founded in 1871. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)

A lot can happen in 150 years, including the formation of the city of Perham. To celebrate the sesquicentennial throughout the month of September, Perham has quite a few plans.

Celebrations for Perham's sesquicentennial will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 2, with Lake Nights on Main, a new event that's coming to town. The event will have games, music, quirky vendors and activities Perham hasn't done before.

Some of these include a wood fire pizza truck, a caricature artist, a tarot card reader, musicians, pork chops on a stick, a mason jar make and take, an ice cream truck and more. While Lake Nights on Main will kick off the 150th celebrations, Perham hopes to make it an annual event.

Perham's Main Street. (Elizabeth Vierkant/Focus)


After this kickoff, Perham will offer a walking tour. Old photographs of what the town used to look like will be displayed throughout town and on a map. Participating stores will show photos of how the business or building used to look. Both Perham residents and visitors will then be able to compare these pictures and see how much the town has changed over the years.

These businesses are collaborating with the History Museum of East Otter Tail County, where they'll find information on the history of their business, old photographs. The museum will even be partnering with the Comet Theater to show videos of Perham from the 1920s and earlier.

Participating businesses also will give customers a slip with purchases. These slips, once filled out by a customer, can be entered into several different drawings. The winners of these drawings will each be awarded $150 to correlate with the anniversary number.

Here is the current schedule of events, which will be updated regularly:

  • Sept. 1-4 Pre-order your 150th Commemorative Pilsner

    • Order by calling Bremer Bank at 346-1317. Jacket Manufacturing will be making 150 of them the first week of school. People will get $1.50 off whenever they use it at participating pubs through Spet. 30.

  • Sept. 2, 4-8 p.m. Lake Nights on Main

    • Retailers, services, watering holes, restaurants, musicians, a caricature artist, tarot card reader, artisans, wood fire pizza, ice cream, kettle corn and more will be found on Main Street. For more information, go to @ NorthPinesMarket on Facebook.

  • Sept. 3-5, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Labor Day sidewalk sales

    • Live music will be on the street Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

  • Sept. 3-31 Self-guided history tour

    • Find a map of the tour at the entryway of the Perham Chamber at 185 E. Main St.

  • Sept. 4, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Photobooth at Photo magic

    • Fun props will be available for photo strips you can get printed.

  • Sept. 10, 4-6 p.m. Discover Perham’s Past

    • Rain or shine, people can attend a tour of Perham’s Main Street and hear stories about what it was like in the past, told by Chris Schuelke with the Otter Tail County Historical Society.

  • Sept. 11 Sixth Annual Disgruntled Daze

  • Sept. 11 Dreams for Kids at Silvermoon Lounge and Steakhouse

  • Sept. 12 Red, White, and BLUE, hosted virtually

    • This year, Perham Health is raising funds to support the addition of chemotherapy equipment in training, so Perham residents can receive treatment in town. For tickets, details and links, go to (this site is not yet activated).

  • Sept. 16-30 Scavenger Hunt

    • Participants can look for pieces of the past in and around Perham businesses. You can pick up a map at the entryway of the Perham Chamber at 185

  • Sept. 18 150th Tribute beer release party and trivia night

    • New beer, trivia and tall tales! Times of these events are yet to come.

  • Sept. 20 History Museum and Perham Library open houses

    • More details to come soon.

  • Sept. 23, 4 p.m. Historic houses, underground pub and a hay wagon

    • Starting at the NEST, people can hop onto a hay wagon for a ride. The rise will stop at the Comet Theater to watch “The Great Perham Jewel Robbery” and look at an underground pub before going back to the hay wagon for a historic house tour.

  • Sept. 24 Discover Perham’s Past

    • See Sept. 10 for more details.

  • Sept. 24 Holiday luncheon at Perham Lakeside Golf Club

    • Tickets and information can be found at the Bay Window Quilt Shop.

  • Sept. 25 Relay for Life beer and brat tasting at Silvermoon Lounge and Steakhouse

    • More details to come soon.

These activities will carry on throughout all of September. To stay updated on sesquicentennial events, also feel free to visit .

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