Paperfest celebrates Combined Locks’ Centennial

Posted on July 6, 2021 by Cody Wiesner

2021 isn’t just any year for Paperfest – on July 15-18, the live music and carnival event will celebrate the Village of Combined Locks’ 100th anniversary across four days of activities.

Paperfest will move to Memorial Park in Combined Locks after village leaders approached the Paperfest committee to help celebrate the centennial.

Combined Locks Village Administrator Racquel Shampo-Giese says she’s thankful Paperfest got involved since the village didn’t have the staff or volunteers to pull off a large celebration themselves.

In addition to Paperfest’s usual lineup of live performers – this year’s headliner being the nationally recognized Eli Young Band – the event will include carnival rides, fireworks on Friday, a hot air balloon glow on Saturday and a parade on Sunday.

Depending on turnout, Shampo-Giese says the parade will include floats that capture each decade of Combined Locks’ history. Guided trolley tours around the city will be offered, starting with the paper mill, moving into a historic section of town and ending with a view of the locks for which the village is named.

“These trolleys will pick up people here at the Civic Center … for a short little tour of the history of how [Combined Locks] came to be, what they did in the past, how they have reinvented themselves over decades,” Shampo-Giese says.
The attractions are being funded partly by the Village of Combined Locks, and also through sponsorship funds toward Paperfest, says Paperfest Marketing Director Matthew Boots.

“I think with that, with all of us working together,” Boots says. “We’ve really put together quite an event this year that’s going to be one that the residents can be proud of.”

Boots says while the centennial celebration commemorates Combined Locks, it’s an event people from neighboring communities can appreciate too.

“Combined Locks is doing this for their people, but it’s bigger than us,” Boots says. “It’s like me going to the bar on my birthday, and everyone celebrating with me. We’re all gonna be here to celebrate Combined Locks turning 100 years together.”

The Paperfest and Combined Locks centennial events are free and open to the public.

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