Perham became a town in 1871. Now, 150 years later, in 2021, the city is making plans to celebrate the anniversary of that founding. One of these plans' organizers, Megan Wells, owner of The Willow Bookstore in Perham, offered a sneak peak of how those plans will look.

Celebrations for Perham's sesquicentennial will kick off on Sept. 2 with Lake Nights on Main, a new event that's coming to town. Wells said this event's purpose is to entertain. Because of this, the event will have games, music, quirky vendors and activities Perham hasn't done before.

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

After this kick-off, Perham will offer what Wells described as 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.

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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 and even historical videos Perham plans to display. The location where these videos will be shown has yet to be determined.

Participating businesses also will give customers a slip with purchases. These slips, once filled out by a customer, can be entered into a drawing. The winner of the drawing will be awarded $150.

These activities will carry on throughout all of September. More information on sesquicentennial celebrations will be coming soon.