Rockdale 150th Birthday

rockdale sesqui logo 2024

Join Us as We Celebrate
Rockdale's 150th Birthday in July 2024!


Everyone is invited to enjoy 12 days of festivities celebrating Rockdale's Past and Future during our Sesquicentennial Celebration.

A city-wide affair like this hasn't been seen since Rockdale's 1974 Centennial! This hometown festival will be one to remember. We encourage everyone -- current & former residents, as well as visitors -- to come enjoy and celebrate Rockdale's vibrant history and bright future! 

Several dedicated groups and non-profits have worked to collaboratively produce events and activities providing fun for the the whole family. 
There will be something for everyone: Food, Live Music, Rodeo, Art, Family Activities, Historical Presentations, Vendor Events, and more!

Show your pride and commitment to our community by supporting the organizations whose volunteers have donated their time and resources to produce these events. Most events are free to the community, but some are ticketed due to limited seating or the need for the organization to offset expenses.  Don't miss out!: Sign-up to Participate or Pre-Purchase your Tickets Early!

SHOW YOUR ROCKDALE PRIDE BY SPONSORING THE SESQUICENTENNIAL AS AN INDIVIDUAL OR BUSINESS! 
>>> CLICK HERE TO VIEW SPONSOR PACKAGES & BENEFITS! <<<

NOTE: EVENT DETAILS, DATES AND TIMES SUBJECT TO REVISION AS ORGANIZATIONS ARE FINALIZING PLANS.

Schedule of Sesquicentennial Events

Date Event Location
Thurs, 7/4/24: 
4P-10P
Rockdale 150 Drone Light Show
Presented by the City of Rockdale and Rockdale Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.
Sesquicentennial festivities kick-off with a state-of-the-art drone light show on the 4th of July which will light up the night sky with patriotic and customized images reflecting Rockdale's past and present and honoring our veterans and first responders. 
Games for the Kids provided by the Rockdale Chamber
Music, Food Trucks and Beer Concessions by Rockdale Fair Assoc
This family-friendly, pet-friendly event will be held at Fair Park. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy this awe-inspiring evening! (No outside alcohol allowed)
For everyone's safety, all pets must be on-leash and please clean-up your pet's waste.  
Fair Park  
200 Walnut St  
Free to Attend
Fri, 7/5/24:  
9A
Rockdale First Friday Coffee:
* El Camino Real de los Tejas Traveling Exhibit on display 6/20/24 thru 7/20/24  
  Exhibit sponsored by: Milam County Historical Commission  
* Author Book Signings (10A) 
* Books & Movies of the Eras Exhibit  
* El Camino Real de los Tejas Talk by John Pruett PhD - ECR Rancheria Grande Chapter
Domingo Ramon's New Road to Texas, 1716 (11:30A): Diarist, Priest, and fellow traveler Father Isidro Espinoza (John Pruett) will retell the adventure with the aid of Ramon's diary and with emphasis on the historical assets within the present-day Milam County segment of the trail.   
* 1974 Time Capsule Opening  
Lucy Hill Patterson Library 
201 Ackerman St
Free to Attend

Indoor Cooling Station
Fri, 7/5/24: 
7P
Movie at The Kay Theater
Visit www.thekaytheatre.com or Facebook @KayTheater for details
The Kay Theater
350 N Main
Sat, 7/6/24: 
10A
Rockdale 150 Parade
by the Rockdale Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center 
Starting Downtown traveling down Hwy 79 to Fair Park
Watch Party at The 1895 at 140 W Cameron Ave.
Downtown Hwy 79 Route: 
Green Street to Fair Park  
Free to Attend  
PARADE 
SIGN UP FORM
Sat, 7/6/24: 
Times TBA
Event at Rockdale's Fair Park
presented by Rockdale Fair Association
Family Fun, Live Music at the Pavilion (TBA), 42 Domino Tournament, and Steak/Rib Cook-off.
Fair Park Arena
200 Walnut St  

COOK-OFF
SIGN UP FORM

Sat, 7/6/24: 
11A-2P
Car Show
by Rockdale Speedshop in collaboration with the Rockdale Fair Association
Music 
Misting Tent Cooling Station by Rockdale Rotary Club
Fair Park Grounds
Free to Attend
CAR SHOW 
SIGN UP FORM
Sat, 7/6/24: 
11A
Heritage Quilt Exhibition


New Salem Building   
at Fair Park  
Free to Attend  

Indoor Cooling Station 
Sat, 7/6/24 – Sat, 7/13/24  
Community Art Exhibit
presented by Rockdale ISD Education Foundation
* Cool off and enjoy a multi-media art exhibition by students and adults from the community.
* Beginning Mon, 7/8 - 1974 Time Capsule Exhibit
Patterson Civic Center  
609 Mill Ave  
Free to Attend  

Indoor Cooling Station
Sun, 7/7/24: 
11A-12P
Historical Talk (Title/Subject TBA) at the I&GN Depot
presented by Rockdale Historical Society

I&GN Depot  
11 Main Street  

Indoor Cooling Station
Sun, 7/7/24: 
Time TBA
Movie at The Kay Theater
Visit www.thekaytheatre.com or Facebook @KayTheater for details
The Kay Theater
350 N Main St
Sun, 7/7/24: 
12:30P-7P
Historic Churches Tour & Musical Performances
Self-Guided Tour of 5 Churches with Historical Markers
* First Baptist Church Tour at 12:30-1:30pm
* St. Thomas Episcopal Church at 1pm with performance by Matinee Musical Club at 2-3pm
* First Christian Church at 3:30-4:30pm
* St John's United Methodist Church at 4:30-5:30pm
* Springfield Baptist Church Tour at 5:30-6:30pm with performance by Rising Star Baptist Church at 6pm
Church Locations  
- First Baptist 240 Green St  
- St Thomas 302 E Davilla Ave 
- First Christian 231 Burleson  
- St Johns 1700 Hillcrest Dr  
- Springfield Baptist 232 E 3rd  
Free to Attend
Sun, 7/7/24: 
7P
East Side Celebration at Sumuel Park
Details are still in the works, but good food, music, and fun are sure to be had!
Come enjoy the Splash Pad
Sumuel Park
MLK & 4th Avenue
Free to Attend
Wed, 7/10/24: 
11:30A
Lunchtime Historical Presentation: George Sessions Perry
by Annette Stone
Learn about Rockdale native George Sessions Perry American novelist, World War II correspondent, and one of the highest paid popular magazine contributors of his time. He is remembered best for his 1941 novel Hold Autumn in Your Hand
Enjoy this slideshow and discussion of his life and and work
Lucy Hill Patterson Library
201 Ackerman St
Free to Attend

Indoor Cooling Station
Thur, 7/11/24: 
11:30A
Lunchtime Rockdale Art History Tour 
by Annette Stone 
Enjoy this informal walking tour of the 22 paintings bequeathed to Rockdale's Lucy Hill Patterson Library by Dr. George Patterson. Discussion will include information about the artists and paintings.
Lucy Hill Patterson Library  
201 Ackerman St  
Free to Attend

Indoor Cooling Station
Fri, 7/12/24: 
9A
Rockdale Friday Coffee:
* El Camino Real de los Tejas Traveling Exhibit on display thru 7/20/24
  Exhibit sponsored by: Milam County Historical Commission  
* Books & Movies of the Eras Exhibit
* Presentation about Dr. Lucile Estell's "Images of Rockdale" and Book Signings (10A)
Lucy Hill Patterson Library  
201 Ackerman St  
Free to Attend  

Indoor Cooling Station
Fri, 7/12/24: 
11A-3P 
Heritage Celebration at The 1895
* Historic Murals & Essays Exhibit and Walking Tours
The 1895
140 W Cameron Ave
Free to Attend 
Fri, 7/12/24: 
11A-2P
Historic Downtown Walking Tours
presented by Vision Historic Preservation Foundation
in partnership with Milam County Historical Commission and Rockdale Historical Society
Docents at 6 Downtown "History Hotspots" sharing stories about Rockdale.
Get your History Passport stamped at each location and return them to Main Street Bookshop at 202 W Cameron  for a chance to win prizes!
Pick-up History Passports  
the Library, The 1895, 
the Depot, or Main Street Bookshop  

Free to Attend
Fri, 7/12/24: 
7P
Movie at The Kay Theater
Visit www.thekaytheatre.com or Facebook for details
Kay Theater
350 N Main St 
Sat, 7/13/24:
9A-1P
Farmers Market
by Rockdale Chamber of Commerce
Wolf Park  
100 N Main St  
Free to Attend
Sat, 7/13/24:
9A
Live Houston Toads and Texas Horned Lizards Exhibit 
by Paul Crump, PhD Herpetologist for Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
I&GN Depot
11 Main Street
Sat, 7/13/24:
11A-12P
Train Event at the I&GN Depot
presented by Rockdale Historical Society

I&GN Depot  
11 Main Street  
Indoor Cooling Station
Sat, 7/13/24:
10A-6P
Heritage Celebration at The 1895
* Historic Murals & Essays Exhibit and Walking Tours
* Live Music & Performances
   - Featuring Scott D Taylor's Blues Band who will pay tribute to Rockdale Blues Guitarists Peewee Crayton and Tyler D Bell.  
* Yard Games, Sidewalk Chalk, Activities
Misting Tent Cooling Station by Rockdale Rotary Club
The 1895  
140 W Cameron Ave  
Free to Attend  

Sat, 7/13/24: 
10A-5P

Historic Downtown Walking Tours
presented by Vision Historic Preservation Foundation
in partnership with Milam County Historical Commission and Rockdale Historical Society
Docents at 6 Downtown "History Hotspots" sharing stories about Rockdale.
Get your History Passport stamped at each location and return them to Main Street Bookshop at 202 W Cameron for a chance to win prizes!
Pick-up History Passports
at the Library, The 1895,
the Depot, or Main Street Bookshop  

Free to Attend
Sat, 7/13/24: 
6P-11P
Sesquicentennial Gala
presented by City of Rockdale Sesquicentennial Committee
Dress up in your Favorite Era Attire from 1874-2024 for this Costumed Gala Dinner & Dance. Reception at 6pm
* Appetizers, Dinner & Dessert
* Costume Contest & Photo Booth
* Live Music by Kenny Orts and Dance
* Cash Bar
* Live Auction / Raffle
All proceeds benefit the Rockdale Sesquicentennial to make this event possible as well as support the community non-profits producing the Sesquicentennial Celebration events.  
Knights of Columbus Hall  
7014 US Highway 79  

THIS EVENT WILL 
SELL OUT --
BUY ADVANCE
TICKETS!! 
(tickets on sale soon)
Sun, 7/14/24: 
Time TBA
Movie at The Kay Theater
Visit www.thekaytheatre.com or Facebook for details
The Kay Theater
350 N Main St
Sun, 7/14/24: 
5P
Picnic in the Park 
Live Musical performance presented by Communities in Concert Band at 6P
Enjoy the pool and bring your blankets & lawn chairs.
Veterans Park  
1900 Mistletoe Ln  
Free to Attend

Thank you to our Sponsors

CityofRockdale
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Our Collaborating Event Partners

ChamberLogo
Fair Assoc Logo
VisionLogo
DepotLogo
KayLogo
RDALogo
RISD Educ Found
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