State of Alabama Celebrates Bicentennial

It was a historic day in the Capitol City Saturday, as hundreds of Alabama residents came to downtown Montgomery for the state’s Bicentennial Celebration.

“73 thousand days, 24 hundred months, 200 years. That, my fellow Alabamians, is how long we have been a state,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey  said.

That was Ivey’s opening statement as she led the Bicentennial Park ceremony. The park’s dedication was one of many activities held along Dexter Avenue and throughout downtown to mark the special occasion.

“Let us use this commemoration to commit ourselves to that mission- working together as people to do all we can in our neighborhoods, our schools, our churches, our business and communities, and to build an even better and stronger Alabama in the next century,” Alabama senator Arthur Orr said.

Located across the street from the the Capitol steps, the park features 16 monuments. Each contains a brief description of major turning points and important figures in the state’s history.

For some, the Bicentennial presented a good learning opportunity.

“Well, my daughter Leah is just going into the fourth grade, and she’ going through Alabama history right now. So, we’re seeing some monuments depicting of things she’s learned about. It’s kind of a reinforcement of what she’s getting in school and a chance for us to see some things that we wouldn’t have normally got to see and learn about,” Ben Webster said.

The Bicentennial Celebration was a special day for people like Wanda Battle. Battle is a tour guide at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. She says she is excited for the direction the state is headed.

“Today, as we celebrate 200 years, as a state and as a city, that we are becoming better, and we’re growing and we’re becoming a city of love and truly the capitol of dreams,” Battle said.

Events included a Bicentennial Festival that featured free tours, special performances, and exhibits, all in celebration of the historic day.

“We can do nothing about our history. It is our history. But, we really can do a lot about shaping our future,” Henry Panion said.

A special concert finale and light show rounded out the festivities on Dexter Avenue. It featured singers and other well-known performers from across Alabama.

If you missed Saturday night’s light show, there will be an encore finale presentation Sunday night.
It will be outside the Alabama Attorney General Building at 5: 30 and 6: 30 p-m.

Categories: Montgomery, News