PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Prineville community celebrates two big milestones, this weekend: the city's sesquicentennial and the 100th birthday of the Prineville Railway. "It's a very big deal: 150 years old. We are the oldest town in Central Oregon, and that's pretty significant. We've been around for quite awhile," says City Council President Steve Uffleman. "There's a lot of town pride. The age of the community itself, the fact that we were the first town in Central Oregon to be formed and other towns spun off from that, we're excited about that." There will be historic reenactments, tours, and vintage fire equipment demonstrations, in downtown Prineville.
To celebrate the railroad's milestone, Uffleman says, "In Pioneer Park will be a period costume information and activities. And then there will be a presentation at the Bowman Museum and that will be on both the City of Prineville as well as the railroad's centennial; and there will be, through the weekend, we will be giving away free rides on the railroad."
Prineville Railway General Manager Matt Wiederholt says there's also an opportunity to help a local charity. "Speeder Cars," which are small shuttle train cars, will offer rides on the short line, "They are $50 a head and the proceeds go to help the Crook County Foundation. It's a very rare opportunity to get a ride in these little speeder cars. That run will be 32 miles roundtrip; they'll go all the way from Prineville, almost all the way to the Prineville Junction and back." There will also be free rides, "We typically get between 2,000 and 3,000 people in one day to come out and ride the railroad with us, Wiederholt tells KBND News, "One hour - an hour and 15-minute rides, seven, eight miles, round trip, every hour on the hour."
Events kicked off at 8 a.m. Friday. Click HERE for more information on this weekend's special events, and to enter to win prizes.