under way for towns
year-long celebration in 2009
contests are part of the plans
(January 2008) In 2009, the city of Madison, Ind.,
will celebrate its bicentennial anniversary. The city, which has 133
downtown blocks designated as a National Historic Landmark District,
is planning a year-long birthday celebration.
The Madison Bicentennial Planning Committee, with representatives
from multiple organizations and groups in the city, has already begun
planning for the event. Vice Chairperson Jan Vetrhus will take over
as chairperson at the start of 2008. Betsey Vonderheide, the former
special projects coordinator for the city under outgoing Mayor Al Huntington,
resigned from the committee.
We have a very creative community, Vetrhus said. The
ideas coming in to our advisory board are just amazing.
At this point, she said a wish list of possible activities
is being comprised, including a historic train excursion, a Madison
film festival, a photo contest and historic re-enactments.
Curt Jacobs, the publicity and promotions chairperson, said a winner
has been selected for the logo contest. Madison resident Troy Seel created
the winning logo, which will be used for various promotional opportunities
for the bicentennial celebration. Seels entry was the best of
about 10 other entries. We had several really good entries,
Jacobs said. There was a lot of thought put into this.
Camille Fife, the chairperson for the history subcommittee, said her
committee is working to develop a series of historical characters for
biographical re-enactments. We are currently researching and working
on the list, she said. Currently, the list includes people such
as John Paul, one of the citys founders, and Delia Webster, an
anti-slavery activist. About a dozen or more character performances
will be scheduled throughout the bicentennial year at various places,
such as schools.
coming to our
Jan Vetrhus, Committee Chairperson
The history group is also working on a coffee table book
of Madison history. It will be a souvenir book in honor of the
bicentennial anniversary, said Fife.
Vetrhus said the schools committee has been hard at work under the leadership
of committee chair Susan Ohlendorf. Recently, there was a model float
contest held at the Madison Consolidated High School. Huntington and
Vetrhus judged the entries and picked the winning model. That model
will be turned into a large float to be displayed during the 2008 Regatta
The schools committee has created a whole list of fun things to
do, said Vetrhus. They have even commissioned a bicentennial
The Madison Main Street Program has taken the lead in planning a 200-hour
birthday bash, scheduled for June 6-14, 2009. During that event, there
will be contests, races, a courthouse carnival, music, entertainment
and many other activities.
The Jefferson County Historical Society and Madison Railroad are in
preliminary talks about a two-hour historic excursion train ride, which
will include guides in historic costumes.
RoundAbout Madison has been tapped to organize and sponsor a photography
contest. Details on the contest are still be developed.
The Madison Art Club is planning several activities, and the Ohio Theater
is working on a Madison in Film Festival. We just
have so much to do, said Vetrhus. We will be kicking into
high gear in the coming months.
She asked that other organizations and event planners who are working
on their 2009 events try to salute the citys bicentennial. If
other planners could put a bicentennial twist on their activities, that
would be wonderful, she said.
For more information, call Madison City Hall
at (812) 265-8300.
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