The People's Tribune

Pike County Prepares For Bicentennial Celebrations

Pike County will celebrate its 200th anniversary on Dec. 14, 2018 and the Bicentennial Commission is planning numerous events to mark the special occasion.

The group held a press conference at the Pike County Courthouse on Monday, Aug. 14 to unveil the official Bicentennial logo and to list some of the events that will take place over the next 16 months.

Ethan Colbert heads up the Bicentennial Commission and was quick to point out this is not just a Bowling Green celebration, but truly a Pike County event. He explained the members of the committee have visited every town and community and all will be featured and represented throughout the celebration.

The official Bicentennial logo was created by local artist Tracy Brookshier. It features a riverboat, a railroad car, an apple representing the area’s agricultural background and Champ Clark, Pike County’s best-known political figure.

Brent Engel is a member of the Bicentennial Commission and remarked on the importance of recording and remembering history.

“History is as essential as breathing. It’s not some dusty book on the shelf or some faded photo in a scrapbook. It’s alive in all of us. We’re making history everyday, and it’s up to all of us to make sure the stories handed to us by our ancestors are documented and passed along.,” Engel told The People’s Tribune. “Pike County has such a rich heritage filled with so many interesting stories. The Pike County Bicentennial Commission is dedicated to making sure we celebrate all of it — the triumphs, tragedies and progress of the last two centuries.”

Engel is fascinated by history and has written books about Louisiana’s John Brooks Henderson, about Pike County and his hometown of Augusta, Ill.

“My father was a history teacher and the farm he grew up on has been in the family now for 187 years. I would like to think he’s smiling down from heaven and whispering to me to go in the right direction when I get involved in history projects or come to a roadblock in doing book research. We can all draw upon voices of the past. We just have to be willing to listen.”

Colbert also discussed some of the events that will take place leading up to the actual Bicentennial anniversary. He said a tree-planting will take place on the Courthouse lawn next month. There will also be an oral history project featuring 100 men and women from birth to 100-year-old. He noted the commission hopes to turn the project in to the state historical society so it may be documented for future generations.

The commission is also planning a torch run that will start in Annada and continue to Clarksville, Louisiana, Ashburn, Frankford, Curryville, New Harmony, New Hartford, Ashley, St. Clement and end in Bowling Green. Colbert said scores of people will be invited to take part and carry the torch and residents in each community will be encouraged to come out and cheer on participants.

Plans are still taking shape, but the actual Bicentennial of Dec. 14, 2018 will kick off with a breakfast at Curryville Presbyterian Church. The commission is also planning a celebration and banquet to end the evening at Clarksville that will feature fireworks.

The commission promised details about each and every Bicentennial event will be published in advance to keep citizens in the loop. Those interested in lending a helping hand or have suggestions should contact Colbert at 324-2222 or Engel at 754-2022.

Clarksville has been celebrating their anniversary this year and Louisiana has special plans to mark their Bicentennial next year as well. Watch The People’s Tribune for more on upcoming events.

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