It’s for real — the CoMo200 celebration will be kicked off in November 2018 and here’s Columbia’s CoMo200 website.
Columbia, Missouri was founded first as Smithton in 1818, then moved a few blocks west and renamed Columbia in 1821. Boone County was founded in 1820, according to the Boone County Government site.
This page will include the most recent media coverage on planning and events. Past media coverage will be here: CoMo/BoCo 200 Media Coverage.
- Aug. 28, 2018 — Mayor’s Task Force plans topographic survey for Flat Branch park extension. Source: Columbia Missourian, written by Clare Roth. Summary: The task force to plan the celebrations for Columbia’s bicentennial will have a survey conducted to plan an extension of the Flat Branch Park for the celebration. The article also notes how the survey will be funded. The park extension will add .6 of an acre to the already existing 2.75-acre park, the article notes. The park expansion will also involve uncovering the Flat Branch, which has been covered up from Providence to Broadway. The articles notes that originally Columbia was founded in 1818 as Smithton. When water could not be accessed at its original location on what is now Garth and Walnut, the founders moved the town down to the Flat Branch for water in 1821 and renamed it Columbia. The task force referred to as CoMo200 also plans to hold a bicentennial kickoff in November 2018.
- March 8, 2018 — Celebrating two centuries worth of Columbia history, Columbia Missourian, Vox magazine. This includes a selective timeline of CoMo’s last 200 years.
Task force set up to plan festivities
Columbia Mayor Brian Treece has appointed a Task Force on Bicentennial Celebration Planning. See the list of those on the task force below.
The next meeting of the task force will be at 7 p.m. on March 28, 2018, in the boardroom of the Walton Building at 300 South Providence. Here’s the agenda, which includes a link to a draft of the minutes of the last meeting.
The meeting is open to the public, but Task Force Chair Brent Gardner said the main purpose of these first few meetings is to get organized and educated.
Goals for the celebration
While the task force is still getting organized, three goals were set at the group’s first meeting on Feb. 28, 2018.
- It will be inclusive of all of Columbia, said Gardner — the wealthy, those without money, young, old, black, white, immigrants — everyone.
- The second goal of the celebrations to be planned is that they will indeed be celebrations, fun and entertaining.
- The third goal, said Deb Sheals, Gardner’s co-chair, will be to leave a mark, to create some kind of enduring item. As Sheals put it, she wants to give CoMo a “big, fat present for turning 200.” That “present” could be anything from creating lesson plans for grade and high school children to a piece of artwork in the Flat Branch area, which is where Columbia got its start.
At the inaugural meeting, ideas sprang from every member of the group along with ways about how to approach celebrating the city and county’s 200 years. Should the celebration revolve around 200 amazing Columbia people? Or should the festivities mark an accomplishment for each of the 200 years being marked? Should there be contests? An official coin or stamp? A memorial book?
How to get involved
The task force is working on creating a website portal where, as task force member Pat Fowler put it, people can read along with the task force members as it gathers information and educates itself.
There is a proposal to create a Facebook page and dedicated emails for the task force members to the public can contact them.
For now, the meetings of the task force, like all governmental meetings, are open to the public. The meetings will be held in the boardroom of the Walton Building at 300 S. Providence Road. The meeting schedule can be checked on the city’s calendar here.
Here is the schedule of the meetings:
- April 25
- May 23
- June 27
- July 25
- Aug. 22
- Sept. 26
- Oct. 24
- Nov. 28
- Dec. 26
Who is on the task force?
- Brent Gardner, chair,
- Pat Fowler, Historic Preservation Commission,
- Nate Brown, MU’s Reynolds Journalism Institute,
- Dr. Eryca Neville, Columbia Public Schools
- Dr. Anne Deaton, University of Missouri
- Chris Campbell, Boone County History & Culture Center
- Tom Mendenhall, Downtown Community Improvement District
- Deb Sheals, Downtown Community Improvement District
- Ann Rogers
- Amy Schneider, City of Columbia staff liaison