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Preparations are heating up in the Sweet Home Central School District for an upcoming golden anniversary gala, school officials said Tuesday.

The district is planning a weekend celebration Oct. 6 and 7 at the school to mark "50 Years of Excellence," Craig W. Allwes, the director of district planning and community outreach, told School Board members during a regular board meeting.

A slew of events are planned for the fall portion of the 50th anniversary celebration weekend, which begins Oct. 6 with a "50 Years of Excellence" reception to be held from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Buffalo Marriott.

There will be golden anniversary mementos, a display of school memorabilia, recognition of the district's past leaders along with food and entertainment at Friday evening's event.

"We're encouraging families to come out and participate in the 50th-anniversary celebration," Allwes said.

Saturday's events begin at 9:30 a.m. with junior varsity field hockey and soccer games followed by their varsity counterparts. Games for children, a school-sponsored tailgate party and climbing walls will be open from noon until 3 p.m.

The events Oct. 7 also include a 1:45 p.m. homecoming parade followed by a family concert by Glenn Colton and a football game pitting the Panthers against Lewiston-Porter beginning at 3 p.m. in Sweet Home's Robert Barczak Stadium.

The special weekend will culminate with the annual homecoming dance at 7 p.m., Allwes said.

While the roots of the district were actually planted in 1847 with a one-room schoolhouse, eventually growing into four common districts, those schools consolidated on June 30, 1950, into the Sweet Home Central School District.

School officials plan to continue the 50th-anniversary celebration throughout this school year.

"We'd like to do something in the winter and something in the spring," Allwes said.

Those events remain in the planning stages.

"We are going to culminate the (golden anniversary year) in the spring by burying a time capsule that the school and community will have a chance to participate in," Allwes said.

Anyone seeking information about the fall celebration can call the Sweet Home Central School District at 250-1417.

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