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Yearlong observances start in January for Madison’s sesquicentennial

MADISON – With the advent of Madison’s Sesquicentennial in 2019, observances have started already for a yearlong observance of the city’s 150th anniversary. In addition, the State of Alabama reaches its 200th birthday this year.

In January 2018, the Madison150AL200 volunteer group started planning activities for each month in 2019 for Madison’s sesquicentennial and Alabama’s bicentennial. The events include annual, traditional get-togethers, along with party-themed observances and exhibits for Madison’s sesquicentennial.

Mayor Paul Finley appointed Debbie Overcash and John Rankin to co-chair the Madison Bicentennial Committee, as requested by Julian Butler, Coordinator of Madison County AL 200 Committee.

“We’re extremely grateful to Mayor Finley, City Council, Gayle Milam, Samantha Magnuson and the public works, police and fire departments for their encouragement and support as this committee prepares to celebrate Madison in 2019,” Overcash said.

“It is the hope and wish of this all volunteer committee that we successfully bring to our citizens the opportunity to know their hometown, their community at large, and their state more completely and intimately at the close of 2019,” Overcash said. “We want to grasp all she has to offer, to take advantage of opportunities ‘in our own back yard’ and to take great pride in being from Madison, Alabama.”

Madison Bicentennial Committee has been focused on planning a year’s worth of activities — a minimum of 40-plus events/celebrations that will offer diverse opportunities meant to raise awareness of the city and state.

“We’re all planning ‘2019 – Save the Date in Madison,'” Overcash said.

On Jan. 21, the first community-wide activity will be a kickoff rally for community service in cleaning up Kids Kingdom from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The City of Madison and Just Serve organization are partnering for this effort.

Volunteers can gather at Kids Kingdom, located at the north side of Dublin Park, 8324 Old Madison Pike. Residents built this community playground in six days during October 1997. The public is welcome to use the playground, free of charge during daylight hours.

To register for the Kids Kingdom workday, visit justserve.org.

Local citizens, investors and politicians will attend Connect 2019, the annual venue for Madison Mayor Paul Finley’s “State of the City” talk and multi-media presentation. Madison Chamber of Commerce will present Connect 2019 in the Davidson Center for Space Exploration on Jan. 25. The gala opens with cocktails at 6 p.m. and continues to 9 p.m.

Connect 2019 tickets cost $95 for a chamber member or $175 for two tickets, while others pay $110 or $200.

During January, an exhibit of city artifacts will be on exhibit at Madison Public Library, 142 Plaza Blvd. Madison Station Historical Preservation Society members have assembled heirloom photographs, articles and conversation pieces. The exhibit documents the community’s evolution over the past 150 years.

For more information, email Madison150@Madisonal.gov or visit Madisonal.gov/Madison150, Facebook/Madison150AL200, Instagram Madison150AL200 or Twitter #Madison150AL200.  

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