By News-Item Staff

SHAMOKIN - Mayor Bill Milbrand hopes people are not only ready to dance, but also talk, at Thursday's sesquicentennial ball.

Milbrand envisions the gathering as an opportunity for people to tell stories. He hopes they take the microphone between songs to share childhood memories or other tales from their time in Shamokin.

"It's a night to share memories of old times," he said.

The ball, set for Thursday at the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge, Rock Street, is one of six events being held this week in conjunction with the city's 150th anniversary. Doors open for cocktails at 6 p.m. and the ball starts at 7.

Max Media's Chad Evans will DJ the event. The Southern Columbia Area graduate is well known for "Shamokin State of Mind," his YouTube video from a few years back that parodied Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" which Evans, along with video co-star Erica Perrige, plan on performing live near the end of the ball.

Cost is $10 at the door and includes a buffet and entertainment. Drinks are not included.

In other anniversary week news:

Business cleanup

The Brush Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce is inviting all businesses to join for a community cleanup day in an effort to look their best for visitors who will be in town this week, particularly for Saturday's grand parade, at 2 p.m., and the fireworks, at 9:40 p.m.

The chamber asks businesses to consider decorating for the event, as well as sweeping sidewalks and cleaning windows.

The city will pick up any trash collected in the cleanup. Have it next to the city trash receptacles for pickup on Friday.

Books, mugs, fireworks

The anniversary and parade committees continue fundraising efforts to pay for the bands, special visitors and other parade and celebration costs.

A 2014 Chevrolet Camaro is being raffled. The winner will be drawn at 10 a.m. Saturday and will then serve as the grand marshal for the parade in their new wheels. The goal is to sell 7,000 tickets at $10 each to pay for the car and then cover parade costs. Tickets are still available.

Also being sold is an 80-page 150th anniversary booklet ($10) and a commemorative mug ($10) and glass ($8). Most items are available at City Hall, The News-Item, Independence Fire Company and the 150th headquarters, next to Susquehanna Bank's east branch on Independence Street.

Shamokin's annual fireworks display will cap off the week of celebration. As is the case other years, Citizens for a Better Community (CBC) and Citizens Fireworks Inc. (CFI) are raising funds through the sale of fireworks in the garage across Rock Street from The News-Item. The fireworks store also has the 150th mugs and glasses.

CBC and CFI will also being working roadside this weekend to collect funds from passing motorists.

Last year's collections paid for this year's show, and this year's will fund the 2015 display.

Mural unveiled

A new public mural will be unveiled at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Funded in part by the nonprofit Coal City Revitalization, it will be hung in the parking lot of the Irish Isle Meat Market and Irish Pot of Gold Beer Distributor on West Arch Street in Coal Township. Local artist Shawn McGugan was inspired by both Coal Township and Shamokin in creating the fictional market scene depicted in the mural.