EDITORIAL: Let's celebrate -- we're turning 200!

Mar. 14—The community is throwing a huge, ongoing party this year to celebrate Madison County's bicentennial — and you're invited.

While the county's official birthday is Nov. 10, the party has already started.

Saturday in Chesterfield, folks had two reasons to celebrate — the county bicentennial, and Chesterfield's 165th birthday.

The Chesterfield event drew about 150 people to the Millcreek Civic Center, where commemorative plaques, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia adorned a portion of the main hallway.

Madison County Historian Steve Jackson led a presentation featuring stories of names, people and places in Union Township.

Jackson is also providing a series of one-hour township history presentations at the Museum of Madison County History, 11 W. 11{sup}th{/sup} St., at 2 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month through November.

In addition, the local historical society has slates of presentations scheduled for the Anderson and Frankton public libraries throughout the year. Check the library websites and the historical society website for details.

Special events are being planned, as well, by the local Bicentennial Committee. Here are several:

Hoosier Homestead Session: March 29: 7 p.m.-9 p.m., 4H/Farm Bureau Building, Madison County Fairgrounds, Alexandria. Information session on how Madison County family farms can be recognized for their contributions during the past 100 years or more.

Countywide Birthday Bash: July 23: 10 a.m., Paramount Theatre and Dickman Square, downtown Anderson. Gospel/spiritual music concert from 10 a.m. to noon in the Paramount. All county churches will be invited to participate. Starting at noon, food, beverages, entertainment, and other family friendly activities will commence in Dickman Park.

Madison 200 Race Weekend: Aug. 4, 5: Anderson Motor Speedway. Friday will feature the "Checkered Flag" gala at the speedway, a fun evening of food and music with friends, followed Saturday by a special AMS 200-lap CRA Sportsman late-model race in honor of the bicentennial.

Community Unity Movie Night: Sept. 9: 4 p.m., Jackson Park, Raible Avenue and West 22nd Street, Anderson. Informational booths, vendors, entertainment, a movie including contributions of Madison County's Black community and a feature film.

Gruenewald Open House: Oct. 1: 2-5 p.m., The Gruenewald House, 626 Main St., Anderson. The historic Gruenewald House will stage a reenactment of life in the home at the time it was constructed 100 years ago. The open house will include a garden party.

200-Year Birthday Celebration: Nov. 10: Paramount Theatre, downtown Anderson. Concluding celebration of the bicentennial on the 200-year birthday of Madison County. Details to be determined.

And here are two events planned in Pendleton:

Methodist Church 200th Anniversary: April 16: 2-4 p.m., Pendleton Historical Museum, Falls Park Drive, Falls Park. Presentation by Nancy Wynant.

Pendleton Porch Party: Aug. 20: 1-5 p.m. Downtown Pendleton. Visit some of the beautiful porches in downtown Pendleton and learn about their history. Afternoon presentations at the South Madison Community Foundation.

For more details on these bicentennial events and others, look for the official Bicentennial Celebration Guide magazine to be distributed with The Herald Bulletin late this month. It will also be available for free at the newspaper and other locations in the county.

Enjoy this bicentennial. Most of the events are free. And you turn 200 only once!