WASHINGTON -- The city will celebrate its bicentennial in 2025.
That's six years away, but planning has begun for Washington's 200th birthday celebration.
A 13-member committee formed a year ago -- while Illinois was celebrating its bicentennial -- has met about a half-dozen times and through spokesman John Stromberger, announced its formation and goals at a recent City Council meeting.
"I can't give you many specifics, because it's early, but what I can tell you is there will be opportunities in the years leading up to the bicentennial for Washingtonians to participate in city-wide celebrations, culminating in the 2025 celebration," Stromberger said.
"Our committee's goals are simple. We want to adequately honor our town, provide a range of activities so everyone has multiple opportunities to participate, and make the bicentennial a memorable experience."
Here are some specifics the bicentennial committee, through Stromberger, announced at the council meeting:
A bicentennial logo will be created, the Washington Historical Society has begun work on a contemporary history of the city called the "Washington White Papers" that will be a digital sequel to a city history book written for the city's sesquicentennial in 1975, and there will be opportunities for businesses, organizations, residents and the city to sponsor bicentennial activities.
Stromberger said Saturday the bicentennial committee wants to hold events each year starting this year leading up to the bicentennial.
After the bicentennial logo is created, he said, information about bicentennial activities will be disseminated through a website or Facebook page.
"We thought announcing our committee's formation and plans at a council meeting was a perfect venue because it's a public setting, and the city, police and fire departments will be involved in the bicentennial activities," he said.
Mary Kerr, collections manager/archivist chair for the Washington Historical Society, is the bicentennial committee chairwoman. Also on the committee are historical society vice president and events chair Jennifer Essig and treasurer Jewel Ward.
Mayor Gary Manier and his wife Lada, John and Sharon Amdall, Wes Blumenshine, Kim Brownfield, Tom Gross, Leri Slonneger and Kit Zinser also are on the committee.
Gary Manier said Sunday anyone wishing to help the committee can contact a committee member.
Washington's sesquicentennial celebration in 1975, commemorating the city's 150th birthday, included the painting of fire hydrants and publication of the history book.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.