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Hughson celebrates its Centennial this weekend
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Hughson turns 100 years old this month and there will be a celebration worthy of a hundred-year wait on Saturday, Sept. 22.

A full day of celebration is being organized by the Hughson Historical Society, the Hughson Centennial Celebration Committee, and the city of Hughson. "A Small Community With A Big Heart" is the guiding theme for the free event, which includes an all-day Main Street fair, that is open to the general public.

Hughson's township was filed in 1907. It didn't become an incorporated city until 1971.

From 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hughson Avenue will be converted into a fair. Free entertainment will be offered as well as displays of vintage automobiles, tractors and motorcycles. A Dust Bowl Days display will be available as well as commercial booths for shoppers. Food booths will feed the crowd.

A parade at 11 a.m. will pay tribute to Hughson's past and will feature a wide range of antiques vehicles including a Wells Fargo stage coach.

Activities for the children will include a petting zoo, pumpkin maze, jumping bins, kiddie tractor pull, and Centennial Children's Area.

A larger-than-life statue of a peach picker, called "The Harvest" - commissioned by Oakdale artist Betty Saletta - will be unveiled at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 at the corner of Charles and Hughson Avenue. The intersection has recently been rehabilitated into a showcase intersection complete with brick, planters and street furniture. Donors who helped pay for the statue will be recognized on bronze plaques at its base.

Inscribed paving bricks honoring or memorializing family or friends were sold to help raise funds and will be a central part of the Centennial Plaza design.

Hughson was once known for the peaches grown in its fields, hence the harvester was seen as an appropriate tribute.

A time capsule with memorabiia from 2007 will be placed at Centennial Plaza.

"Years ago Hughson used to have a Tractor Rodeo and free beans so we're going to have that again," said Jean Henley, a member of the Hughson Historical Society.

Free peaches will also be given away.

The Hughson Historical Museum, located in the old Gilette Hotel which was moved from downtown Ceres in 1907, will be open for the day. The museum is located on Hughson Avenue.

A wide range of other food will be available for purchase, as well as centennial DVD's, T-shirts, polo shirts and hats. Shirts and hats may be purchased in advance at Bank of the West in Hughson or at the event.

A limited number of bronze maquettes of "The Harvest" are still available. A portion of the purchase of these 18-inch versions of the finished sculpture goes to the Hughson Historical Society.