Williamsburg leaders are planning a big celebration to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Whitley County.
Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison said that while Whitley County is designating the whole year of 2018 to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary; Williamsburg is planning to concentrate its celebration in April 2018.
“If you read the history of Williamsburg and Whitley County … April was the month that the decision was made finally that Williamsburg was going to be the county seat and the county was going to form,” Harrison said. “We decided to designate April 2018 as the month for city events. Some of them will probably coincide with county events.”
Harrison said there has already been one meeting to discuss the anniversary celebration in the city and a second meeting is planned for May 4 at 2 p.m. in the city council meeting room at city hall.
“The first few meetings, we are throwing out ideas,” Harrison noted.
The tentative plan is to have events coinciding with the anniversary each weekend in April 2018, with the celebration culminating in a birthday party at the end of the month complete with a dance.
“Of course we are going to have a parade,” Harrison added.
Officials also hope to get the city school involved in the celebration.
City Clerk Teresa Black noted some preliminary ideas for the celebration include a tour of old homes, a home and garden tour and possibly a ghost tour.
Also during Monday’s meeting, Harrison signed a proclamation declaring the month of April as National Autism Awareness Month in the city of Williamsburg. National statistics show that one out of 68 children are being diagnosed on the autism spectrum with one out of every 45 children being diagnosed in New Jersey.
Harrison also announced during the meeting that ‘Walk with the Mayor’ would take place at 10 a.m. on April 15. It will be a one-mile walk that follows the course used in the ‘Beat the Heat’ race.
“It’s a nice little early morning jaunt,” Harrison added.
The goal of the walk is to get people more active and exercising in the community.
Also on April 15, the annual community Easter egg hunt will take place at Briar Creek Park.
“I have it on good authority that the Easter Bunny will be there,” added Councilwoman Patty Faulkner.
There will be free hot dogs and water served during the event.
In other business Monday:
• Faulkner announced that April 22 would be the opening day for the Williamsburg Little League program starting at 9:30 a.m.
“It will be an all day event,” Faulkner noted. “It should be a great time.”
168 children are signed up to take part in the little league program this year.
• Discussed possible installation of new sidewalks, and walking paths through the city.
“We have four to five ideas and plans we are working on,” Harrison said.
One of those ideas is to put in sidewalks near Brashear’s Market, and possibly putting a walking path from the market through the waterpark property to Wal-Mart. A lot of people already walk through there to get to Wal-Mart, officials said.
Councilman Richard Foley suggested putting in a sidewalk from King Donuts across the bridge going over I-75 to Wal-Mart.
Harrison said that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet hasn’t been supportive of this idea.
“They don’t want to be a part of saying this is a good place to walk,” Harrison added.
Foley noted that there is already a lot of foot traffic there.
“With a sidewalk, there is at least some degree of safety,” Foley added.
• Harrison announced that the University of the Cumberlands was recently ranked as the safest college campus in Kentucky. In unrelated UC news, Councilwoman Erica Harris noted that Chick-fil-a and Starbucks would be opening on campus in the fall.