Celebrate Vermillion to kick off Sesquicentennial year As in years past, a dedicated group of Vermillion residents are planning an entertaining way to ring in the New Year. The DakotaDome on The University of South Dakota campus will be transformed from an athletic and educational facility to a virtual playground for area citizens of all ages to enjoy. The evening will feature a myriad of activities sure to entertain and inspire this New Year's Eve. The idea is based on a family-oriented, alcohol-free and tobacco-free celebration. The first Celebrate Vermillion was held Dec. 31, 1998 to ring in the year 1999. "The committee for the 2008 Celebrate Vermillion event has been meeting since September planning the activities associated with this event," reports Carly Heard, program coordinator, Vermillion Chamber and Development Company and co-chair of the Celebrate Vermillion committee. "This family-friendly event will be extremely fun for all ages. A few of the activities include a bungee run, obstacle course, Velcro wall, cash cube, castle maze, a bounce house, suma suits, children's carnival, a mechanical bull, bingo, local high school bands and many other activities from 7:30 p.m. to midnight." Mayor Dan Christopherson is especially excited for Celebrate Vermillion this year as it will serve as the kick off to the 2009 Sesquicentennial celebration for the community of Vermillion. "This event will begin a year long series of happenings to recognize the 150th anniversary of the founding of our city. This is a real milestone in our history, and we are very proud to recognize and celebrate the past, while also planning and looking forward to a bright future. A complete listing of all planned Sesquicentennial events can be found on the city web site at www.vermillion.us," commented the mayor. "We strive to offer activities at Celebrate Vermillion that appeal to all age groups and provide an alcohol and smoke-free environment for family entertainment. I invite everyone from surrounding communities to join with Vermillion citizens at the DakotaDome on Dec. 31 to celebrate the New Year," concluded Christopherson. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the fun-filled evening is open to the public. The committee has worked hard to collect sponsorship money in order to produce this great event with a minimal charge of $3 at the door. Children 3 and under are admitted free. Celebrate Vermillion sponsors include: Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company, The University of South Dakota, Wal-Mart, Sanford Vermillion, USD College of Fine Arts, First Dakota National Bank, City of Vermillion, First Bank & Trust, MidAmerican Energy, Polaris Industries, CorTrust Bank, Broadcaster Press and Classic Hits-106.3 radio. Additional sponsors and contributors include: Dakota PC Warehouse, Nook n Cranny, Pamida Discount Store, Casey's General Store, Civic Council, Sharing the Dream, pullUin Software, Karon and Bob Fuller. As with any event of this size, the need for volunteer help from the community is paramount to the success of the evening. Any community member interested in volunteering at Celebrate Vermillion is encouraged to contact the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce and Development Company at 624-5571.