A crummy vacation or why Columbia’s bicentennial needs you

Most vacations are great if even just because we escape work. But I remember one vacation I’d rather forget. I was young and I took a road trip with someone I didn’t know well. Even worse, I didn’t help in planning it either. I ended up feeling like I didn’t get to see or do the things I liked and ended up resenting her for the whole trip.

Ugh. That was a terrible vacation!

And if you don’t get involved now, that’s what could happen to you for Columbia’s 200th anniversary in 2021. You won’t get the kind of celebration you want for our city’s birthday bash.

How to get involved: Email, telephone or show up

Earlier this year, Brent Gardner, chair of CoMo200, the Mayor’s Task Force on Bicentennial Celebration Planning, put out a news release, ending it with how to get involved, by contacting him or the task force through email, telephone at 573.489.1900 or attending the planning meetings on the fourth Thursday of the month in the Walton Building at 300 S. Providence Road.

Do it. Don’t let yourself be disappointed by Columbia’s 2021 celebration.

Here’s the news release from May 13, 2019:

Citizens are invited to join a celebration 200 years in the making

CoMo200, the Mayor’s Task Force on Bicentennial Celebration Planning, comprising volunteers from across the community, continues to make progress in its efforts to celebrate Columbia’s bicentennial in May 2021. With only two years until the bicentennial, members of CoMo200 have been working on a variety of exciting projects to celebrate.

  • The expansion of Flat Branch Park, located where Columbia began, will be the most lasting outcome of CoMo200’s work. The land where the park expansion will take place was purchased by the City of Columbia using interest from Capital Improvement Projects. A gateway plaza at Providence and Broadway will be funded by The District (Community Improvement District), which is funded by sales tax dollars collected from downtown businesses.
  • The park restoration will include the removal of concrete and pavement and the restoration of the Flat Branch waterway itself with native trees and plantings to return it to the beautiful qualities that first attracted Columbia’s founders. The park’s expansion and restoration will be funded by private donations and foundational support rather than tax dollars, creating a park that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
  • Additional projects planned to celebrate the bicentennial include: a citywide oral history project, a visual arts competition, the minting of a commemorative coin, numerous local history teaching and learning events, concerts featuring local artists, and the celebration to mark the opening of the Flat Branch Park expansion and 200 years of Columbia as a city.

The CoMo200 Task Force is committed to a bicentennial celebration that is diverse and inclusive. It would like to invite all members of the Columbia community to join one of the project’s workgroups, which include history, education, the Flat Branch expansion and communications.

Interested members of the community can attend one of CoMo200’s monthly meetings on the fourth Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Walton Building (300 S. Providence Road). If you cannot attend a meeting but would still like to become involved in CoMo200 efforts, you can contact CoMo200 at info@CoMo200.com.

For additional information, contact Brent Gardner, chair of CoMo200, at 573.489.1900 or Brent@BrentGardnerHomes.com.

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