Happy 200th birthday Decatur County! County holds week-long Bicentennial festivities

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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Following an unofficial kick-off with the middle school wax museum last Monday, the official kick-off for the Decatur County Bicentennial was held Tuesday afternoon. In addition to members of city and county government, Governor Brian Kemp also made an appearance, and joined the local officials in cutting the county’s 200th birthday cake. Some attendees, including city council member Roslyn Palmer, came dressed in historic attire. Bounce houses were also available that evening for kids.

The next day, the BMS and BHS choral groups and jazz and symphonic bands performed in Willis Park, with volunteers providing bag lunches for the students.

Thursday evening saw crowds lining the streets for the Bicentennial parade, with the BHS AFJROTC, cheer team and marching band participating. Some, like the county commissioners, and Decatur County Historical Society, joined in riding in old historic cars, and one participant brought a horse and buggy.

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Friday night saw the square closed off for a street dance, with a sizable crowd showing up. The ABAC jazz band took to the stage first, but the evening’s main attraction was the Swingin’ Medallions, with members of all ages dancing along.

Saturday and Sunday closed out the festivities with performances of the Bicentennial historic production at the Kirbo Center. The play, written by Debra Jones, chronicled the county’s 200-year history, from the first Native American inhabitants and European settlers, up to recent events like Hurricane Michael. Additionally, downtown businesses were decorating their storefronts with historic designs throughout the week as part of a contest, with the winner being named on Sunday: Lucretia’s School of Dance.

Historical Society president Roslyn Palmer spoke to the Post-Searchlight about the event, saying, “I thought it was a great week, and it couldn’t have happened without the team of volunteers and sponsors that gave money to make this happen.” Palmer also wanted to inform the public that there is additional Bicentennial merchandise and memorabilia available at the Decatur County Historical Society Museum, which has returned to normal operating hours.