Riverside officials took the first step in organizing and planning for the village’s sesquicentennial celebration, which will occur in 2025.

At the Oct. 5 board meeting, trustees agreed to create an ad hoc committee to assist in planning events for the village’s 150th anniversary. Riverside was officially incorporated on Aug. 8, 1875.

Preliminary discussions surrounding the sesquicentennial had been led by trustees Alex Gallegos and Aberdeen Marsh-Ozga. Riverside residents can volunteer to serve on the ad hoc planning committee or to assist with events, which altogether could make up a “year-long celebration,” Marsh-Ozga said.

“There’s still a world of possibilities out there, and people who would like to be involved with the ad hoc committee and shape the calendar of events for the year are invited to bring all their creative ideas to the table,” Marsh-Ozga said. 

The committee’s first stage might be to gather all the potential ideas for the anniversary event and thereafter explore how much it would cost to pursue them, according to Marsh-Ozga. Committee members can expect to “be tasked with a little bit of research,” she said. 

Gallegos said events and activities for the anniversary can be “anything and everything.” Local businesses, too, are encouraged to create commemorative pieces for the sesquicentennial. The village’s centennial in 1975, for example, included a parade and a play, according to Gallegos. That celebration also had memorabilia, such as pewter plates and patches. 

“We don’t want anyone to shy away from any type of planning,” Gallegos said.

Marsh-Ozga said the hope is for committee members to propose ideas they’re passionate about and that would contribute to a “really memorable Riverside experience” for residents and visitors alike.

“It’s never too early and never too late to help out,” Marsh-Ozga said.

Committee sessions will have meeting minutes, which Gallegos said “will keep the public involved and informed of our thinking” as the group goes through the sesquicentennial planning process.

“This is something we want people to know about,” village president Douglas Pollock said at the meeting. “We want this to be broadcast loudly, as we’re preparing this, to get input.

Riverside was originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and is a designated National Historic Landmark. Pollock said the 150th anniversary celebration “will be a pretty big party for the village.”

“This is a big deal,” Pollock said. “This is the 150th anniversary of a landmark village. In the history of the United States, this is a very important place.”