The 150th anniversary of the historic Immaculate Conception Church in Heatherton will be marked next month.
The three-day weekend celebration, which is scheduled for Aug. 11 to 13, will coincide with the 14th Annual Heatherton Fun Days Weekend.
Organizers agreed melding the two celebrations into one weekend was a fitting decision.
“It seemed like the natural time to celebrate the anniversary,” Joan Bowie, one of the volunteer organizers, said.
Ed MacDonald described the 150th as “a special milestone,” while noting the church’s shared birthday with Canada.
They agreed with a description of the church as ‘a cornerstone of the community.’
One of the many highlights set for the weekend will be an anniversary Mass, celebrated by Bishop Brian Dunn of the Diocese of Antigonish, which will take place Saturday, Aug. 12, beginning at 6 p.m.
Along with Dunn, organizers are expecting 10 priests who served in the parish, to attend and share the altar.
After Mass, there will be an anniversary meal, including chicken, roasted potatoes and vegetable medley, with choice of dessert, which will take place at the neighbouring Heatherton Community Centre.
Tickets, which are $20, must be purchase before July 15, by contacting Denise Sampson (902-386-2184). They cannot be purchased at the door.
Volunteer Mary Ellen MacDonald, who is looked upon as a historian for the church, noted there will be a display throughout the weekend, which will depict some of its rich history.
“There are going to be many things – crucifixes, candelabras and so forth,” she said.
There will also be cemetery tours.
One of the ways in which the community has already commemorated the 150th anniversary is with a new floor in the church, which replaces one installed 50 years ago.
Other highlights of the tentative weekend scheduled include the popular children’s parade, which will take place Saturday (Aug. 12), at 10:30 a.m., followed by a variety of games.
There will also be a washer toss competition in the afternoon.
Sunday (Aug. 13), there will be a pancake breakfast, from 9 to 11 a.m., along with a variety concert (7 p.m.).
Those events are just a sample of the action-packed weekend planned to help honour the milestone in the tightly-knit Antigonish County community.
For more information about the celebration, including a full event schedule, visit www.facebook.com/events/1163084943731330/