Lansing Historical Society to host 1920s-themed annual banquet

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Lansing Historical Society
The Lansing Historical Society's banquet theme in 2016 was "Hats off to Lansing!" (Photo provided)
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Reservations are open for May 16 banquet and costume contest at Kasey’s Banquet Hall

By Ajia Harris

LANSING, Ill. (April 14, 2022) – Every year, the Lansing Historical Society hosts a banquet for its members and the community. This year’s banquet will be held on May 16 at Kasey’s Banquet Hall in Lansing, where participants will step back in time to the 1920s.

Back to the 20s

Lansing Mayor Patty Eidam, a former vice president of the Lansing Historical Society, came up with the idea for theme.

“The decorations are going to be beautiful; [the colors will be] black and gold,” said Barbara Dust, curator, and former president of Lansing Historical Society (LHS). “Mayor Patty is very gifted at making beautiful things — she says [decorating is] her hobby, her relaxation.”

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This year’s annual banquet will start at 6 p.m. and will be the first to include a costume contest.

Lansing Historical Society
Mayor Patty Eidam (left) and her husband Bud show off their hats at a LHS banquet in 2016. (Photo provided)

Dust said that themes for the annual events are sometimes based on the Good Neighbor Day parade, though not this year. Past themes included baseball, Dutch heritage, and the 54th Centennial of 2017 which was based upon the 1954 Centennial celebration in Lansing. This year’s Good Neighbor Day Parade’s theme is “Salute to Sports.” Past banquets have included special performances from a jazz band and singing groups.

Overall, the banquet is not about fundraising, but more about entertainment through music and socialization. However, funds will go towards the dinner, preserving the artifacts with proper material, and helping pay for a new computer and printer that will digitize and archive records. The computer will sort by family name and topic — allowing an easier process for the next generation to find family history, rather than using the current card filing system.

Lansing Historical Society continues historic tradition

The Lansing Historical Society is a group of 100 active and non-active members whose purpose is to preserve the history of early families in Lansing pre-WWII. Meetings are held once a month, except during the summer season.

Not all members are born and raised in Lansing, but some LHS members are descendants from early families like Janet Bockel — a descendant of the Busack family who owned a tavern where political gatherings took place, like voting to incorporate Lansing as a town.

“Although [Janet Bockel] is pushing 80, she’s pretty active,” Dust said.

The Lansing Historical Society registered with the state of Illinois on February 17, 1976, with 75 chartered members during the bicentennial. Artifacts were originally stored in the Lansing bank building, but LHS eventually moved to a permanent space in the Lansing Library’s bottom floor.

“We’ve been here since 1981. We pay $1 rent every year to the library, but it was established for us,” Dust said.

Such artifacts collected include everyday items from the past like a gramophone, a kitchen set from the 1930s, a typewriter, wooden school desks, and more.

Sharing Lansing with everyone

Dust mentioned the Lansing Historical Society is soliciting people to become involved in LHS exhibits, and they want more people to share their family story. Besides being an annual celebration, the banquet is hoped to draw attention to LHS as well.

Carol (left) and Paul Schultz attended the “Hats off to Lansing” Lansing Historical Society banquet in 2016. (Photo provided)

Fabian Newman, the director of technology for the Village of Lansing, will DJ this year’s event, providing music from the 1920s. Raffle baskets from local businesses will also be part of the event.

“It’s really just a fun get-together,” Dust said. “LHS is here to preserve lasting history for the future, but I always like to feel it’s for those who live here now.”

The banquet will be May 16 at 6 p.m., at Kasey’s Banquet Hall. Tickets are $32 for members and $35 for non-members.

Those interested in attending the banquet can call Marti Beene at 708-418-0572 or email [email protected] to make a reservation. Reservations are due by May 9.

The Lansing Historical Society is located in the lower level of the Lansing Library, at 2750 Indiana Avenue.

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