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      Alpha Centennial Celebration begins

      Reminiscing of days gone by and reconnecting with families is how the people of the village of Alpha began their weekend celebration on Thursday to commemorate the village's 100th birthday.

      Originally a mining settlement, Alpha was founded in 1914 when the mining industry boomed, to which the area thrived. To celebrate the centennial, residents have been planning for over two years to welcome back families and friends.

      â??We're very small; to pull off an event like this is quite an accomplishment,â?? said coordinator, LaVerne Smith. â??There are whole families coming back and they made a family reunion. Weâ??ve actually got the pavilion set up for class and family reunions today and tomorrow.â??

      The day began with an official visit from Congressman Dan Benishek, who brought a special flag for the village.

      â??We were able to fly a flag for them over the US capital and bring it for them to raise for the first time tomorrow,â?? Benishek said. â??Weâ??re excited about that and it's just great to be here on a nice sunny day in the summer.â??

      A Mastodon Township 5K race brought people around the city and area and finally back to the historic 1914 Porter School to finish off. There will be live music throughout the weekend starting Thursday evening and free activities for the kids throughout the weekend, including a petting zoo and old-fashioned games dating back to the era of 1914.

      All day Tuesday, the entertainer called 'Circus Boy' made balloon creations for the kids and later performed magic tricks and shows in town. Other old-fashioned activities are planned for this weekend, like a pie eating contest and the Bearded Men of Alpha contest.

      â??Then there's a rocket ship that'll go twenty feet in the air that adults can even go in, and you can see the beautiful town from the top of the hill,â?? Smith said.

      Schedule of Events:

      July 3, 2014 â?? Thursday

      11:30 a.m.- Opening Ceremony

      12:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.- Old Time Childrenâ??s Games and Crafts

      12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.- Petting Zoo

      12:00 p.m.- Mastodon 5K Run/Walk Race

      1:00 p.m.- Music- â??Midlife Crisisâ??

      Old Time Childrenâ??s Races

      1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.- All Class Alpha Reunion

      2:00 p.m.- Wanted- Bearded Men Contest- Longest, Pointiest, Most Original, Centennial Theme, Best 1914 Mustache

      2:30 p.m.- Nail Pounding Contest

      3:00 p.m.- Tug-Of-War

      3:30 p.m.- Pie Eating Contest

      Music- â??Ironlandâ??-Sound by Interpose Productions

      4:00 p.m.- Alpha Birthday Cake Decorating Contest and Cake Walk

      4:30 p.m.- Alpha Birthday Street Chalk Art Contest

      6:00 p.m.- Alpha Centennial Revue

      8:00 p.m.- Alpha Centennial Revue

      8:00 p.m.- AMFD Firemanâ??s Ball/Street Dance

      Music- â??Cadillacsâ??

      July 4, 2014 - Friday

      9:00 a.m.- Flag Raising and Porter School Fair

      9:30 a.m.- Parade

      10:00 a.m. Cracker Jacks and Ice Cream

      11:00 a.m.- Music- â??Crossroadsâ??

      11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.- Childrenâ??s Games, Crafts, Bouncy Houses, and Rocket Ship

      1:00 p.m.- AMFD Childrenâ??s Races

      2:00 p.m.- Horseshoe Tournament

      3:00 p.m.- Music- â??Stagerâ??

      9:00 p.m.- AMFD Fireworks

      July 5, 2014 â?? Saturday

      9:00 a.m.- Porter School Marketplace Famerâ??s Market and Craft Fair

      Music- â??Midlife Crisisâ??

      11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.- Antique Car Show

      11:30 a.m.- Music- â??Firesideâ??

      1:00 p.m.- Childrenâ??s Races

      3:30 p.m.- Music- â?? Sons of Legendâ??

      6:00 p.m.- Music- â??Donnie Pick Bandâ??

      9:00 p.m.- AMFD Fireworks

      Additional activities will be taking place throughout the village at the Alpha Senior Center, Judgment Day Tattoo, Touch of Paradise, Alpha General Store, Alpha Museum, and Village Inn.