After the Party

Madison Bicentennial
considered a success
by organizing committee

It is hoped that many events
may continue in future years


(July 2009)
Read previous Don Ward columns!
Don Ward

The Madison Bicentennial has come and gone and from all accounts was considered a huge success – so much so that many first-time events may become annual events in the future, said committee chairwoman Jan Vetrhus.
“I feel really good about the fact we accomplished our goal of providing something for everyone. We saw people of all ages and generations and economic classes participating in the events. It was really great to see,” Vetrhus said.

Madison Bicentennial Logo

Vetrhus said the committee members learned that the city needs more evening events and that through this experience, some Bicentennial events may live on into the future. For example, Madison’s first Lighted Boat Parade was held for a second time on Sunday, June 28, as part of the Madison Regatta Festival. That event included an afternoon and evening of live music at the Regatta Judges’ Stand on the Ohio River.
Other Bicentennial events that may return are the Film Festival at the Ohio Theatre, the Madison’s Got Talent contest, the Antique Fire Truck Muster and art-related events such as the mosaic project as part of the monthly Art Jam. The Madison Main Street Program started Art Jam last year. It features art and live music on Main Street and is generally held on the last Friday of each month.
The Main Street Program board also is considering holding the Block Party on Main Street each year as a kickoff to its summer concert series, Music in the Park, Vetrhus said. The Block Party, held Friday, June 12, drew one of the largest festival crowds ever assembled in Madison.

Jan Vetrhus

Jan Vetrhus

Meantime, many Bicentennial events continue throughout the rest of this year. The mosaic being created on a wall at the riverfront continues with “Mosaic Mondays.” Artist Tiffany Black, who heads this project, invites the public to help build this mosaic from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Monday. The mosaic design is based on a sketch by the late Trimble County, Ky., artist Harlan Hubbard.
The Bicentennial characters will continue to appear at various events and are scheduled to ride in the Madison Regatta Parade aboard the Madison Trolley. They will continue to do school programs this fall when school resumes, she said.
Marilyn McQueen led the project called “Living Stories,” in which local residents are invited to be videotaped talking about their memories or stories about Madison. These videotapings will continue throughout the year.
Finally, the original musical “Rivertown,” will be presented over two weekends by high school students in October at the Madison Consolidated High School Auditorium.
At the end of the year, the committee plans to photograph all the babies born in 2009. This will likely take place at the Ohio Theatre, Vetrhus said, although final plans for this have not been set.
During the nine-day Bicentennial week, people were encouraged to sign the guest register to be eligible for a prize drawing. Vetrhus reported that more than 800 people signed the register at the various hospitality sites around town, although many more people attended the events. From the 800 or so people who signed, “about half were from out of town,” she said. In all 15 states were represented.
A photo journal book of the Bicentennial is being published by RoundAbout Madison and is expected to be available by Aug. 1. The 104-page, softcover, four-color, book retails for $19.95. A book signing is scheduled with RoundAbout Madison publisher Don Ward from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, July 31, at Village Lights Bookstore, 110 W. Main St., Madison. The book will be available for sale at various locations around town, including the RoundAbout Madison office at 314 Jefferson St.

• Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout. Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email him at: Don@RoundAboutMadison.com.


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