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Plans set for Ellsworth's 150th birthday celebration

The Ellsworth Village Board Monday gave its unanimous approval to plans for having the Cheese Curd Festival and the village's 150th Sesquicentennial celebration at East End Park next summer.

Jack Hines, who is a member of the Sesquicentennial celebration committee, said the cost of renting the fairgrounds for the Cheese Curd Festival has gotten too high and it would be cheaper for the festival to utilize both East End and Summit parks for its activities. The Sesquicentennial celebration will run together with the Cheese Curd Fest next year and will take place on the last weekend in June.

"We think this is a good plan, which is not expensive and will be able to get the whole village involved with the festivals," Hines said.

The proposal calls for limiting traffic on Wall Street to one-way during the festival and putting a stage, beer, tent and kids' activities and games area in East End Park, with the food vendors located at the intersection of Wall and Crosscut Avenue. Craft show vendors will be lined up on Wall along the edge of the park on Saturday and Sunday.

Board members expressed concerns about parking, and Hines said people can park in East Ellsworth and potentially the midway shopping area with plans of getting them to the park if allowed.

Ellsworth Police Chief Greg Place, however, did express concerns about the proposed parade route, which would have gone from Morse Street down Wall, up Terrace Avenue and on Summit Avenue. Instead, he and other board members asked if an alternative route can be found downtown on Main Street and Piety Street, and Hines said the committee would be willing to work with the village on an alternative route.

Hines also asked about plans for the Langer property on Main Street and was told work to turn the vacant lot into a park will begin and be completed next spring.