SIDNEY — The Sidney/Shelby County Bicentennial Committee has been developed to plan a dual 200th anniversary celebration for Shelby County and Sidney. Shelby County’s bicentennial will be celebrated in 2019. The 200th anniversary of Sidney’s founding will be observed in 2020.

The committee’s mission “is to plan, coordinate and promote dual celebrations and events that highlight the rich history of Shelby County (2019) and Sidney (2020) and identify a permanent legacy project for the enjoyment of future generations, raising the funds necessary for completion,” according to a recent committee release.

“We want to include as many people as want to be involved in planning the bicentennial celebrations,” said Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst, a committee organizer. “In addition to the Bicentennial Committee, each event will have its own committee, so we will need lots of volunteers to execute each of the major events.”

Initial meetings of the committee have included brainstorming sessions, and two subcommittees were created to accomplish specific tasks.

One subcommittee, chaired by Sidney Alive! Director Amy Breinich, assembled a month-by-month list of recurring activities and festivals throughout the county. In addition to Breinich, Sidney Tree Board Chairwoman Ann Asher and Sidney Daily News Editor Melanie Speicher served on the subcommittee. They identified 85 community events that occur within the county on an annual basis. Those events include such diverse activities as Alumapalozza, Botkins Carousel, Country Concert all the way through the alphabet to the Winter Wonderland Parade.

Another subcommittee, chaired by Creative Marketing Strategies President Mary Beth Monnier, developed a mission statement. The committee, which included Shelby County ARC Director Kendra Hamaker, Shelby County Historical Society Trustee Bill Ragon and local historian Rich Wallace, worked to refine suggested statements and offered a final version for consideration by the entire committee.

The committee also developed a lengthy list of potential projects. The list includes such diverse ideas as a driving tour of historical sites throughout Shelby County, celebrating century Farms and involving students from throughout the city and county in setting a Guinness World Record. Some recurring events will be included as a result of timing, including hosting the Vietnam Traveling Wall and the biennial Civil War Living History Weekend.

Events that occur annually, such as village celebrations, the Shelby County Fair and the Winter Wonderland Parade, as well as anniversary events being planned, such as the 50th anniversary of the formation of Lehman Catholic and the 50th anniversary celebration of Sidney High School’s 30-0 football teams, may wish to be designated as bicentennial sponsored events.

Others on the committee are Fort Loramie Mayor Randy Ahlers, Historic Sidney Theatre Director Sarah Barr, Shelby County Commissioner Tony Bornhorst, Sidney Civic Band Director Phil Chilcote, Shelby County Libraries Executive Director Suzanne Cline, Shelby County Treasurer John Coffield, Botkins Historical Society Trustee Jennifer Duncum, Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann, attorney Harry Faulkner, Sidney Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier, Fort Loramie Historical Society Trustee Ken Gigandet, Shelby County Historical Society Board President Julie Gilardi, Sidney Municipal Court Judge Duane Goettemoeller, Shelby County Engineer Robert Guey, Rosewood Machine President Jeff Helman, community leader Louise Humphrey, Shelby County Veterans Services Officer Theresa Manteuffel, Sidney School Board Member Linda Meininger, Western Ohio Cut Stone President Tom Milligan, community leader Dayon Pearson, Shelby County Historical Society Director Tilda Phlipot, Sidney/Shelby County Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Raible, At-Large Sidney City Council member Joe Ratermann, Monumental Building Board of Trustees Treasurer Dr. Bill Ross III, Shelby County Historical Society Past President Dave Ross, Ruese Insurance Agency Account Executive Josh Ross, community leader Nancy Steinke, community leader Christi Thomas and Conform Automotive Quality Manager Dmitri Williams.

Those who want to be involved should contact City Clerk Kari Egbert at [email protected] to volunteer. The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 2, 2018, at 4:30 p.m in the Amos Memorial Public Library Community Meeting Room.

Group plans county and city celebrations

Staff report