through remainder of the year
among events still planned
(August 2009) Although the 200-Hour Party
for the Madisons Bicentennial ended in June, the celebration will
continue with events throughout the year that include videotaped oral
histories, an original musical production and a historic train excursion.
Madison Bicentennial Celebration Committee Chairwoman Jan Vetrhus said
the majority of comments she has heard about the 200-Hour Party and
other events of the Madison Bicentennial have been positive so far.
Some people said they wished there had been more openings at some
of the more popular events, but overall, most people had a great time,
she said. There were so many events to choose from, and some of
them were simply wonderful, but we still have events planned throughout
the year, and we want people to continue enjoying them.
Vetrhus, former Madison Mayor Al Huntington and former city special
projects administrator Betsey Vonderheide began planning the Madison
Bicenten-nial in 2007.
A Bicentennial Celebration is a monumental mark for a community
said Vetrhus. I knew we needed to do something special for our
community because such a thing only happens once.
During the 200-Hour Party, the Madison Bicentennial Celebration Committee
and Digital Dreams Inc., located at 205 W. Main St. Madison, teamed
to videotape oral histories and fond memories of Madison. That project
is still ongoing.
Organizer Marilyn McQueen, who has an avid interest in oral history
and sociology, said the idea came to her during the first few meetings
of the Bicentennial Celebration Committee when everyone kept talking
about the history of Madison.
I realized that we not only needed history from the past, but
we also needed history for the future, she said. This will
be a wonderful gift for the future.
The project started with older people but has expanded to include anyone
interested in talking about their experiences, thoughts and feelings
about some aspect of life in Madison.
Bicentennial photo essay book, Faces of Madison, is
expected to arrive by Aug. 1 and will be available at RoundAbout
Madisons office, 314 Jefferson St., and at various locations
around town. It is priced at $19.95 plus tax. Call (812) 273-2259.
Weve had people talk about how the community
changed since they were children, and weve had others that described
a memorable event or experience theyve had, said McQueen.
If someone wants to talk about how special Madison is, or even
how a particular person influenced their life here, we would welcome
The project will continue through at least October. Anyone who would
love to participate is welcome, said McQueen.
The videotaped collection will eventually be archived at the Jefferson
County Historical Society. There are also plans to offer brief showings
at the Ohio Theatre, and individual copies of the tapes are available
On Oct. 17-18, Bicentennial characters will ride with other guests on
the historic Railroad Excursion Train. During the event, passengers
will meet at the Venture Out Business Center for a two-hour ride to
Middle Fork Bridge and back. The ride will feature souvenir tickets
and handbills and costumed re-enactors. The Jefferson County Historical
Society and the Madison Railroad worked together for more than a year
to plan this historical learning experience.
The Bicentennial characters, 22 re-enactors who portray just a fraction
of the noteworthy people throughout Madisons 200-year history,
are still available for public and private events. They will make their
appearance at a variety of school functions and community events through
the rest of the year.
In honor of Madisons Bicentennial, an original, two-act Broadway
style musical has been commissioned to be a part of the citys
year-long celebration. The show will run for two weekends, Oct. 9-11,
and Oct. 16-18, and will be performed by a cast of high schools students
who auditioned in May 2009 for parts in the production.
The show, created in the style of Broadways hits, such as Music
Man and Oklahoma, will feature a generic character,
not a specific historic person from Madison, to be the storyteller
of Rivertown. The play was written by Charles Moman, Yancy
Unger and Aaron Kelsey.
For more information about upcoming Madison
Bicentennial events, visit www.MadisonBicentennial.com.
For more information about the oral histories project, call Marilyn
McQueen at (812) 701-3305 or Stephan DeLorenzo at Digital Dreams at
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