Alabama getting head start on plans for bicentennial celebration

Alabama getting head start on plans for bicentennial celebration

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WSFA) - The State of Alabama is just a few years away from celebrating its 200th birthday, and planning is already underway to mark the event.

The Alabama Bicentennial Commission chose Constitutional Hall Village in Huntsville, the site where the state's first constitution was written in 1819, to unveil the "Alabama 200" logo. The red, white and black logo is dominated by a bold numeral 200 with an inset of the state's outline.

Designed by the state tourism department artist Tommy Cauthen, the "Alabama 200" logo identify corporate sponsors that will provide funding for the state's celebration.

"We wanted the committees in place early," said Alabama Bicentennial Commission chair Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur). "With lead time, the talent on these committees can create programs that will have a lasting impact, especially in areas of education, tourism and economic development."

Al Head, executive director of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and Donna Cox Baker, editor-in-chief of Alabama Heritage magazine, will chair the Statewide Initiatives Committee. Their group will oversee traveling exhibitions, publications, documentaries and other statewide commemoration efforts.

Tami Reist, director of the North Alabama Lakes Tourism Association, and Carrie Banks of the Alabama League of Municipalities will lead the Local Activities Committee. Their committee will develop and support local activities, including history projects, festivals and historical marker dedications.

Steve Murray, director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, and Karen Porter of the Alabama State Department of Education, are co-leading the Education Committee. The committee will include a range of educational entities, including schools, museums and parks.

"We couldn't be more fortunate to have this level of leadership," noted Orr. "Alabama is going to set the standard for bicentennial commemorations."

The celebration will be spread across three years starting in 2017 to follow the sequence of events that led to the creation of the Alabama Territory in 1817 and culminating on the anniversary of statehood, December 14, 2019.

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