Calling all Esko grads! Reunion next week
July 29, 2022
Esko is adding a whole new layer to its annual Esko Fun Days celebration, by inviting every single graduate of the 102-year-old school to come back next week for an all-school reunion.
Work toward organizing the reunion and school centennial actually began a few years ago, because the school opened in 1920.
“Then Covid struck,” said Maggie Sunnarborg, a retired teacher and school board member who is one of the reunion organizers.
So they decided that celebrating the centennial a couple years later was fine too, and made plans to bring together as many graduates as possible for the various community events running Tuesday through Saturday, setting aside Friday night for class mixers, with a couple spilling over into Saturday.
Guided school tours are on offer all week, starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday, and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday. (Meet in the clock lobby through Door No. 1.)
“We hope everyone will come out and have a good time and enjoy seeing people from all the generations and eras,” Sunnarborg said, adding that she can’t remember another all-school reunion there in recent history.
Seventeen mixers are detailed at the http://www.eskoreunion.com website. The oldest graduates — in the classes of 1946 to 1966 — will enjoy a sit-down meal together at the Buffalo House starting at 4 p.m. Friday, while other classes are scattered: nearly every bar in the area will host a group. There will also be a 1960-70s “decade party” at the River Inn starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Sunnarborg said Saturday is a big day. The oldest known grad, Shirley Hemmila of the Class of 1946, will head the 11 a.m. parade. Alumni and others are invited to Mike’s Cafe and Pizzeria from 3-5 p.m. to visit with past and present Esko staff members. The street dance outside the firehall that night aims to draw people of all ages.
Sunnarborg said efforts to get people involved started slowly, but that has changed in recent weeks. “Suddenly everyone is excited,” she said. “There are lots of people coming home — I’ve heard that many are planning family reunions for Sunday too.”