TEXARKANA, Texas -- Dozens of curious onlookers cheered Friday as sunlight touched a time capsule's contents for the first time in 50 years.
Texarkana, Texas, firefighters used pry bars to break the stone vault's epoxy seal and then lifted off its lid, revealing contents including a pair of hats, memorabilia from the Texarkana centennial celebration in 1973, and numerous letters and packages addressed to individuals or their descendants.
It was only when volunteers with the Texarkana Museums System began to remove and catalog the items that less happy news became apparent. A small amount of moisture had gotten into the vault, causing mold growth on some of the contents and some paper items to stick together.
Velvet Cool, TMS board president, said the water problem would complicate the cataloging process and that anyone expecting to retrieve an item left to them in the capsule should contact TMS regarding its condition.
TMS and the TXK 150 Committee will list items addressed to individuals on the Facebook pages for both groups, as well as at goTXK.org/TXK150.
Those with items addressed to them can retrieve them by emailing [email protected]. Proof of identity or, in the case an addressee is deceased, heirship may be required.
Many of the items will be on display 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday during the Twice as Nice Sesquicentennial Festival at the downtown federal courthouse and post office.
An opening ceremony will take place at 11 a.m., followed by a slate of musical performers beginning at noon.
Headliners Hailey Wright and the Wrongs are scheduled to close the show. Other performers scheduled include Keith Gladney, Chasing Rita, Chance Rains, Honey and Psychedelic Radio.
Organizers also promise food trucks and "cultural activities" on site.