Whitley County is planning a party in 2018. It’s going to be a big, year-long party as the county celebrates the 200th anniversary of its founding.
Williamsburg is also planning a big bicentennial celebration that will center around a month-long celebration in April 2018, which is the month the decision was made that Williamsburg would be the county seat of the newly formed county.
Planning is already underway for both celebrations.
Williamsburg hopes to have t-shirts commemorating the bicentennial ready to sell at Old Fashioned Trading Days this year.
Starting in early January 2018, the city plans to put up banners across Main Street to commemorate the anniversary. Businesses will be asked to decorate windows. A large parade is planned.
There may be a ghost tour. Discussions are underway for a multi-day colonial encampment on the courthouse lawn that school groups could visit. There may also be a civil war encampment set up and possibly a native American encampment among other possibilities being discussed in Williamsburg.
Whitley County is also planning a celebration that will feature an event or events every month, such as a possible coloring contest, a student essay contest, a tree planting ceremony at the courthouse, and possibly burying a time capsule among many of the options being considered.
The year 2018 is going to be an exciting time to be in Whitley County.
The city and county already have separate planning committees and meetings under way. So far most of what has been done is brainstorming to come up with ideas for the festivities, and a lot of good ideas have been tossed about. I can’t help thinking that it might be helpful for the two committees to send representatives to each other’s meetings. (Hint. Hint. So far I think I am the only one, who has attended planning committee meetings of each.)
I would encourage local residents, civic groups and businesses to get involved to celebrate this once in a life time event. So, 2018 should be a fun year.
Now for a few other thoughts before I conclude this column.
• I hated to have to write last week about the pending closure of the Patriot Steakhouse at the Cumberland Inn. The restaurant is closing effective June 4. The Cumberland Inn will remain open.
While I didn’t personally eat at the restaurant that often, the food was pretty good and I hate to see almost any business close. I will be curious to see what becomes of the restaurant space there at the inn. It is a nice facility and would be a good place for the right restaurant.
• Of course the restaurant’s closure is going to prompt some changes in town. For instance, the Williamsburg Kiwanis Club will be moving its monthly meetings to Pizza Hut, which has a space that will be pretty decent for it.
• Speaking of the Williamsburg Pizza Hut, I hated that I had to miss the award presentation at the restaurant last month where store manager Shannon Barman received the “Book It! Champion Award.”
“Book It” is a Pizza Hut store promotion that promotes reading by children. What Shannon and her team at the Williamsburg Pizza Hut did is essentially “Book It” on steroids. They have done bake sales and other promotions to raise money to provide reading incentives for children at a local elementary school.
This included an end of the school year celebration at Whitley East Elementary School last year that included inflatables set up inside the school gym, people dressed as superheroes and a bicycle giveaway for some local students.
Shannon is real go-getter. She and her team really go out of their way to do things to help children, and they are very well deserving of the recognition.