The long awaited Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Town of Panaca has been kicked off and residents are excited to participate in this week’s events. We asked some Panaca public officials what they thought of the festivities for the celebration, and how they felt about the town of Panaca.

County Treasurer Shawn Frehner said, “I’m so excited about the celebration. The community has really taken ownership of the town. I express gratitude for hours of volunteer work they’ve done, even just watering the flowers everyday. I’m really impressed with those who have stepped up.”

District Attorney Daniel Hooge said, “I think it’s great. A lot of people are doing a lot of work. Linda Lee is out pulling weeds everywhere. I really appreciate them.” 

Hooge is running in the 5K that takes place on Saturday. But he said, “it’s all going to be fun. The meals are going to be great, the parade is going to be fun, I think they’re even extending it from Fifth Street back to Sixth Street. Pete Peterson has a play, and there’s a lot of hard work.”

Sydney Taylor, who has a summer job cleaning at the courthouse on her break from  Colorado Mountain College,in Glenwood Springs, Col., said, “It’s nice to see that our community is coming together. Maggie (Heiselbetz) helped get the flowers and waters them all the time.” Taylor’s mom, Kathy Cook, has also put in a lot of effort to make Panaca’s celebration a success. Taylor is a 2013 graduate from Lincoln County High School.

Sheriff Kerry Lee, also a Panaca resident, is making plans for the number of expected guests in the small town. Numbers anywhere from 1,500 and down have been “guesstimated” for this year’s Sesquicentennial occasion. Another ambulance will be issued to the town of Panaca during the week, ensuring there will bill two on site for the celebration. One of Lee’s major concerns will be the heat.

“There will be cooling stations, medical stations and lots of bottled water for sale for the weekend,” said Lee. He’s worked with the officers, going over what signs to look for that could signify dehydration from the visitors. The EMS and firefighters have been briefed as well.

More officers will be moved to Panaca. “We’re not expecting anything bad, we just know there’s a lot of people that will be here,” Lee said.

The recently remodeled Panaca Town Hall stands ready, inviting the newly forged bronze statue of Francis and Jane Vail Lee. Panaca’s original play, “Center of the Universe,” debuted Tuesday night, 7 to 9. The play ran Tuesday through Thursday, but still has performances left. It will be offered again tonight, from 6 to 8 p.m., and again Saturday at the normal 7 to 9 p.m. time. The final performance will be Monday, July 28, starting at 7 p.m. 

Hot air balloons, remote control car races, the annual parade for Pioneer Days, and live entertainment will be rocking the small, quiet town of Panaca all week long. 

Coverage of the once-in-a-lifetime event for Panaca will be highlighted in next week’s issue of the Lincoln County Record. We encourage all guests, visitors and residents to post their celebration fun on our Facebook page, Lincoln County Central, or email photos to or Your photo could be featured in Panaca’s coverage. For more information, call Rachel Williford at the Lincoln County Record, 775-962-5522.