The dedication of an historical marker, an ice cream social, a parade and a birthday gala and dance are all part of Williamsburg’s planned bicentennial celebrations, which are scheduled throughout April to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Whitley County with Williamsburg as its capital.
Williamsburg officials are concentrating their celebration in April because this is the month that Williamsburg was selected as the county seat 200 years ago.
Over a dozen people attended a planning committee meeting late Thursday afternoon at Williamsburg City Hall to finalize some of the details for the celebration that will occur every Saturday in April in addition to other dates.
“To do what we are doing is going to be a huge undertaking. I am excited about it,” Mayor Roddy Harrison told the committee.
The festivities will begin with a picture show on April 2 that will be shown on a continuous loop in the council meeting room during regular business hours at city hall.
On Saturday, April 7, city and county officials will dedicate an historical marker in honor of Samuel Cox, who donated six acres of land in 1818 for the county courthouse and other offices to be built.
The marker will be placed near the judicial center, which sits on part of the land that Cox originally donated. The dedication ceremony is planned for noon that day.
Immediately afterwards, city officials are planning two other dedication ceremonies.
The ceremonies will name the First Street river launch, i.e., boat ramp, and the new First Street river walk after two prominent local residents, who aren’t publically being identified until the date of the event.
On April 9, city officials will dedicate the “Hall of Mayors” in the council room at city hall where officials plan to unveil pictures of all past mayors, or at least all the pictures of past mayors that can be located.
The ceremony will be part of the regular monthly council meeting at 5 p.m.
Ice cream social
Starting at 10 a.m. on April 14, city officials are planning an ice cream social on the courthouse square.
There will be checkers and corn hole games set up for play, and local officials are still looking for a band to provide live music for the event, and a storyteller.
Local churches will provide the ice cream.
In addition, there will be a costume contest for those interested in participating.
Participants can dress in period clothing from any decade, whether it is the 1870s or 1970s.
There will be a male and female winner in each of three age classes, 12 and under, ages 13-19, and ages 20 and up.
Winners will receive a free season pass to the Kentucky Splash Waterpark.
Earth Day/historical homes tours
On April 21, there will be a run/walk/bike ride that will take place near the waterpark in honor of both the bicentennial celebration and Earth Day.
Also that day, there will be an historic home and garden tour that will take place in town.
Pre-purchased tickets will be $25 per person and tickets on the day of the event will be $30. Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to help fund the city’s bicentennial efforts. Tickets can be purchased at Williamsburg City Hall.
On April 26, organizers will start setting up two colonial encampments and one civil war encampment on the courthouse square where reenactors will demonstrate what life would have been like during those two time periods.
School groups are scheduled to visit the encampments throughout the day on April 27.
The encampments will be open to the public to tour on April 28 starting at 9 a.m. and going up until about 4 p.m. when the parade will begin.
Various demonstrations are planned throughout the day on April 28 at the encampments, such as fire starting using flint and steel, and a weapons firing demonstration.
The parade will begin at 4 p.m. on April 28 celebrating the “20 Decades of Williamsburg”
The deadline to enter the parade is April 13. There will be three categories for floats: church, business and school. Each category will be judged and there will be a $150 prize for first place, a $100 prize for second place, and a $50 prize for third place in each category.
Each high school band and/or choir will receive $200 for participation.
For more information about the parade, contact Jayma Moore at 523-8384.
The celebration will culminate from 7 – 10 p.m. with a “Birthday Gala” at the Williamsburg Civic Center, which will feature either free cake or cupcakes and a live band, “Off the Clock.”