South Bend 150th Birthday Weekend, May 22-24, 2015
By Lindsey Horner
Visit South Bend Mishawaka
May 22, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of South Bend, Indiana being incorporated as a city. As such, the entire calendar year of 2015 has been, and will continue to be, packed full of special events and programming – known as SB150 – dedicated to celebrating South Bend’s sesquicentennial “birthday.”
The highlight of the yearlong festivities will take place Friday, May 22 through Sunday, May 24 in downtown South Bend, affectionately called the “SB150 Birthday Weekend.”
“This celebration will be unlike any other in the region and a way to experience the best South Bend has to offer all in one action-packed weekend,” said Aaron Perri, executive director of Downtown SouthBend, Inc.
“In both scope and scale, this is the most ambitious festival South Bend has ever hosted. This one-time event is somewhat like a mashup of your favorite music festival, art fair, food festival, and adventure park…with a basketball tournament and other twists in between.”
Some highlights of the birthday celebrations will include:
• Opening ceremony the evening of Friday, May 22 with the dedication of the new South Bend River Lights, which will become the permanent, lasting component of SB150.
• Live performance by national recording artist Ben Folds on the Main Stage, accompanied by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.
• Taste of South Bend – a stretch of Jefferson Blvd. will be dedicated to the best of South Bend’s cuisine with nearly 50 food vendors offering up their specialties.
• Kid’s Activity Zone with bounce houses, face painting and more.
• Adventure Park offering the second-longest zip line in the state over the St. Joseph River, ropes course, whitewater rafting, Zumba and more.
• The Gus Macker basketball tournament will be taking over part of Howard Park.
• Artisan Alley featuring all art mediums being displayed and created.
• High flying helicopter and hot air balloon rides.
• Memory Lane outdoor exhibit offering a visual tour of South Bend’s 150-year-long history.
• An ice rink turned go kart track.
• Huge fireworks displays lighting up all of downtown South Bend.
“This sesquicentennial celebration is going to be one that people will be talking about for long after the weekend is over,” says Rob DeCleene, executive director of Visit South Bend Mishawaka.
“We invite visitors from every corner to come enjoy this very special time in South Bend, and to be a part of what is sure to be a history-making bash with the people that call South Bend home.”
Tickets for the Ben Folds performance can be purchased through the box office of the Morris Performing Arts Center in person, or online here:http://morriscenter.ticketforce.com/.
Many programs and events will be offered free of charge, while select offerings and activities will require a nominal fee to be enjoyed.