In April 1818, Williamsburg was selected as the county seat for newly created Whitley County.
Throughout April 2018 Williamsburg has been celebrating its bicentennial with various events, such as the dedication of a historical marker honoring city founder Samuel Cox, an ice cream social on the courthouse square and a tour of historical homes.
Now the city is preparing for its grand finale, which will feature a day full of events Saturday.
“This week we have the big ending,” noted Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison.
On Thursday evening, set up will begin for three encampments, which will be set up on the Whitley County Courthouse lawn, including a frontiersman encampment, an American Revolutionary War encampment and a Civil War encampment.
On Friday, school children will tour the encampments learning about what life was like during different eras.
The public is invited to tour the encampments starting Saturday morning, and observe various demonstrations, which are planned throughout the day.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, the one-mile Founder’s Day Celebrates Take a Walk for Child Abuse Prevention event that will take place in downtown Williamsburg.
Registration will start at 10:30 a.m., and the walk will follow the Beat the Heat route and be lead by 82nd Rep. Regina Bunch Huff.
From noon – 2 p.m., the Founders Day Bicycle Rodeo for Kids will take place in the parking lot of Ellison Funeral Home.
Each child will get a goody bag and free helmet, if needed.
Williamsburg Independent School Art Teacher Karen Fields and her students have painted plywood historical buildings for the rodeo, which depict the depot, courthouse, masonic lodge, old city hall and the Lane Theater.
The historical building props will be set up along with other props for the bicycle rodeo’s obstacle course.
The historical encampments will be open until shortly before the 20 Decades of Williamsburg Parade, which is slated to start about 4 p.m.
Harrison said there are about 100 entrants that are planning to take part in the parade.
After the parade, a free birthday gala is planned at the Williamsburg Tourism and Convention Center from 7-10 p.m.
The gala will include cake, cookies, dancing and music from a live band, “Off the Clock.”
“They have played for us before at the street dances, but I first saw them at a Kentucky League of Cities function and just loved them. They play good old 60s, 70s, 80s and even some 90s music. They may even cut loose with a relatively new one,” Harrison noted.
“You need to come on out and enjoy it. They are a good band. There will be dancing. This is just a way to kind of wind it all up for our month long celebration. I have been so happy for the turnout at our events. Those of you that couldn’t come out I hate that for you. For those that didn’t come out, you missed something, but they can make up for it by coming to the parade and to the gala Saturday.”