BY ANNIE CRENSHAW
On December 14th, there is only one place to be: Alabama’s Capital City, for the grand finale of Alabama’s three-year bicentennial commemoration.
This is the state’s biggest birthday party ever!
Alabama’s bicentennial commemoration began in 2017. That year, we “Discovered Our Places” and remembered the year that Alabama became a territory.
In 2018, we “Honored Our People.”
In 2019, our theme has been to “Share Our Stories,” and prepare to write new ones in Alabama’s third century.
The Alabama territory was granted statehood on December 14, 1819. The territorial governor, William Wyatt Bibb, became Alabama’s first governor.
The first capital of the new state was established in the town of Cahawba in Dallas County, where the Cahaba River flows into the Alabama River.
That’s the way a journey began, with an amazing two hundred years of history that brought us to where we stand today.
The free, day-long Alabama 200 Bicentennial celebration begins at 10 a.m. in Montgomery, with a parade of Alabama people, places and history.
From Court Square Fountain, a cavalcade of marching bands, city floats with elected officials, special Alabama notables, members of historic organizations, and amazing living history on wheels – such as the USS Alabama Battleship Park and US Space and Rocket Center exhibits – will travel up Dexter Avenue toward the State Capitol in Montgomery.
One of the participating groups is the Alabama Women’s Suffrage Centennial Committee (AWSCC), who will be reenacting an early suffrage march in the parade, complete with banners and posters.
The AWSCC will also have an informational booth on the State Capitol grounds. Members of Greenville’s local Fort Dale Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Pamala Nolan and Carole Teague, will be participants in the parade march. They will also host the booth at the Capitol, along with fellow DAR member, Myralyn Watson.
Pamala Nolan is a member of AWSC Committee, and says they welcome all interested parties to join them in 2020 to celebrate the centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote.
Governor Kay Ivey will lead mid-day state bicentennial ceremonies, including the official dedication of Alabama Bicentennial Park.
Located at the foot of the Alabama State Capitol on Dexter Avenue, the park will tell the story of Alabama in 16 bronze plaques mounted on Alabama granite bases.
The afternoon will offer exhibitions, performances and open houses in the Capitol Complex, up and down Dexter Avenue, and throughout downtown Montgomery.
Museums, galleries, restaurants, and stores will host tours, exhibitions, and activities.
The Alabama State Capitol and Alabama Department of Archives and History will host performances and presentations. Around the buildings will be children’s games, traditional arts/crafts demonstrations and historic re-enactors.
The Alabama State Council on the Arts Gallery, in partnership with Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center from Camden, will feature exhibits and sales of works by contemporary Alabama artists.
Throughout the day, major bicentennial sponsors – including Coca-Cola Bottling United, Regions Bank and Alabama Power – will be on hand with activities and giveaways.
The Alabama Tourism Department, Conservation and Natural Resources, State Department of Education, and other agencies will join Alabama Public Television, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, Alabama Kiwanis and others to make sure all ages are inspired, educated and entertained.
The day will conclude with a colorful and awe-inspiring special finale presentation. Sponsored by the Alabama Tourism Department and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, concert entertainment with popular musicians from Alabama and the history of Alabama will be presented in a never-before-seen way.
You don’t want to miss it!
For a complete schedule and more information, and to find out how YOU can be involved, call the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, 334-242-4537.
Also see http://al200finale.org/ and