Don Piano spoke to Peru Rotary about the Peru CSO.
Don Piano spoke to the Peru Rotary Club about the Peru Citizens Service Organization (CSO) which was started by Peru Business owners in 1933. He read from a historical recollection written by Harry Ehrlenborn. The first merchants picnic was in 1934-35. It was Peru merchants, their employees, familys,and vendors. The picnic was held at St. Bede and cost $2 for all you could eat or drink. The 1700 block of the business district played the 1800 block in a softball game. The "water boys" carried 14 quart pails of beer to the players. Proceeds of the picnic have funded the purchase and maintenance of Peru's Christmas decor for 77 years, and purchased and maintained flags on downtown poles in the summer.
The CSO is planning the Peru 175th anniversary celebration which will take place this summer. There will be a history day on June 27th from 11-4 at Peru Washington School. The big day for the celebration will be on Saturday July 3rd. The day will begin with the dedication of the Peru Veteran's Memorial at the Peru Armory, which will be planned by our club. The dedication will be followed by a community parade that will go from the Armory to Centennial Park. At the park "A Day in the Park" will be planned by the IV Sunrise Rotary club. The day in the park will include music and food. At Dusk, there will be a fireworks display along the river. Piano says that the fireworks display will be double the amount of fireworks as other years.