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Midway locals beautify the city and celebrate Founders Day

Midway celebrated the anniversary of its founding Saturday. Locals volunteered to beautify the city ahead of a free barbecue.

Midway was incorporated on June 1, 1891. Mayor Celeste Johnson said for small pioneer towns like Midway, becoming an incorporated city is a big deal.

“We just tried to acknowledge that and use it as an opportunity to remember all the folks that have done so much to create Midway,” she said.

Founders Day is an annual tradition in the city, but hasn’t always involved having volunteers spruce up the area. Johnson said the volunteer organization called Midway Boosters started collaborating with the city five years ago to combine Founders Day celebrations and a spring planting and cleanup.

Midway Boosters member Marcie Hutchings-Oeler said the group helps organize volunteers.

“We plant all over town and up at the cemetery and at the roundabouts and just beautify our sweet town,” she said.

The group planted flowers and other vegetation at Hamlet, Centennial and Burgi Hill parks and cleaned up the cemetery.

Kelly Lineback helped plant flowers at the city offices. She’s volunteered during Founders Day for the last three years but said she’d like to see more community members helping out.

“I really wish we would get more, especially areas that have like a park in their neighborhood that the city is planting there,” Lineback said.

Johnson said Midway usually has around 50 volunteers helping to beautify the town. But around 300 people usually show up for the community barbecue celebrating the city’s founding.

Midway also celebrated Arbor Day Saturday. The city became a Tree City, a program celebrating the importance of an urban tree canopy, four years ago. To celebrate, the city partnered with arborist company SuperTrees to plant an ornamental tree in front of the city offices.

As part of the Tree City program, Johnson said Midway will be planting more trees throughout the summer.