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Panel backing off big word for city’s 150-year party

After extensive semantic maneuvering, the SesquicentennialCommittee has decided to make the name of next year’s celebration alittle less of a mouthful and opened its arms to additionalvolunteers to help brainstorm event planning.

“We decided to call it ‘The 150th Year Celebration’ becausepeople have such a hard time calling it ‘The Sesquicentennial,”said Committee Chairwoman Rita Rich.

The committee has been working to put together a schedule ofthemes for the months of the year-long celebration that will takeplace in 2008, with such themes as Musical History Month, Historyof Transportation and Patriotic Days.

Rich said one project the committee is working on in conjunctionwith the monthly themes is finding a chairman for each month.

“We’d like to have them come up with the activities and peopleto do the work as far as what they’ve got planned for that month,”she said. “This celebration is such a huge task, we’re going to askgroups and organizations to take part and see that the activitiesare planned and carried out.”

The committee is dedicated to making the celebration one thatnot only the city of Brookhaven, but all of Lincoln County canenjoy.

“We’re celebrating Brookhaven’s founding, but we want the entirecounty to be part of it. I’m not sure what year we became LincolnCounty, but we want to include everyone in the celebration,” Richsaid.

Also, the committee is happy to have as many volunteers aspossible. Rich said there are never too many volunteers.

“We want as many as we can have,” she said. “We will use as manypeople as are willing to help. These projects can’t be done bysmall committees.”

The plans for the celebration should be finalized by December,Rich said.

“We’re coming up with different ideas for the different months,as far as people that can assist with that in the next few months,”she said. “Hopefully by end of December, we’ll have most everythingin place to start the celebration in January of 2008. We’replanning a big kickoff.”

The committee wants to make sure the citizens of Brookhaven knowwhat the city has been through in its evolution, Rich said.

“Part of what is so special about this is looking back andseeing where we have come from our beginnings up to the present, inour growth and what we’ve accomplished over 150 years,” she said.”How our philosophies have changed, and how our people havechanged.”

Rich said the retrospective is especially important for theyounger generation.

“My children don’t know anything about when there was noelectricity and television and things of that nature,” she said. “Ithink sometimes we don’t reminisce enough with our children.

“We’ve grown and it’s been for the best, but a lot of times wedon’t impress that on our children.”