LEWISBURG — The Village of Lewisburg kicked off a year-long bicentennial celebration with a birthday party which rang in the New Year.
The celebration was held on Sunday, Dec. 31, and welcomed in 2018 (the 200th anniversary of Lewisburg’s founding) with a fireworks show.
This was a family event held for the community to gather and reminisce about the history of Lewisburg and the upcoming 200th birthday. The committee served cake and snacks, had historic items on display, and even some of the Bicentennial Store merchandise was available for purchase. There was also a video playing of old and current Lewisburg photos.
The History Book Committee unveiled their historic booklet, which was available for purchase at the kick-off and will now be at the Bicentennial Store. The celebration ended with fireworks at midnight.
Bicentennial Committee Entertainment Chairperson Mark Madigan explained, “This is our first event. Every month we will have an event and then in September we will have a three-day celebration on the seventh, eighth, and ninth. We got started back in October of 2015 with our first meeting and we have been preparing since then.
“To open up the year for the bicentennial we decided to have a little birthday party. We thought we would have some fireworks. It is a short, but not small, show at midnight. This will kickoff our bicentennial year.”
For sale at the kickoff, and at the Bicentennial Store when open, was: Lewisburgopoly (a play on Monopoly), a collection including the sesquicentennial book, 1993 book, and bicentennial book, a cookbook with almost 400 recipes, gold coins, wooden nickles, afghans, banners, t-shirts, and other items.
According to Madigan, a bulk of the funds from merchandise sales will go to entertainment. In addition to the monthly events, they will have live entertainment during the three day celebration.
In February they will have an Abraham Lincoln impersonator; in March there will be a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and Euchre celebration, in April there is a Lady’s Tea, in May there will be “old-time rag baseball,” and there will also be a circus coming into town.
Madigan added, they are in the process of working with corporate sponsorships for funding, but are always in need for more help.
“Our big money right now is from our merchandise, but we’re getting there with other funding,” he said. “We are always looking for sponsorships and anyone who would like to help out and like to fund. We have been meeting every other month, but starting this year we will be meeting monthly.
“Our slogan is that you’re only 200 once. We didn’t want to have a two- or three-day event and then be done. We thought, why not celebrate all year? We are really proud of the fact that we’re 200 and we wanted to do this right.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH