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150-year celebration kickoff set for Jan. 30

Ringing in Brookhaven’s 150th year will be a big event if theCelebration Steering Committee has anything to do with it.

At a meeting Wednesday afternoon at the Chamber of Commerce,steering committee members decided it would be an event nobodycould miss.

Committee Chairwoman Rita Rich and members decided to encouragepeople across Brookhaven to honk their horns, ring church bells orrun sirens January 30 at 2 p.m.

“Anybody that has anything that makes a noise,” she said. “Ifyou’re driving down the boulevard, honk your horn for 10seconds.”

Also at 2 p.m. that day, local school children will releaseballoons with messages inside. Area businesses, individuals andcivic groups will be asked to participate in any way they seefit.

Rich said the 10 seconds of concerted noise and balloon releasewill be the informal start of the year-long celebration. A formalkickoff will be held at the Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly meetingin February.

Committee member Quinn Jordan suggested school children be givensomething to take home to explains what the celebration is allabout. That way both children and parents will understand thesignificance of the year-long events.

In other dealings, steering committee members decided to host afireworks celebration at the Juvenile Rehabilitation Center ratherthan at Easthaven Baptist Church.

Easthaven’s fireworks display will be held this year on June 29in order to have it on a Sunday.

The Brookhaven Trust, which will be funding the fireworksdisplay, decided they wanted to have it on July 4. They contactedJuvenile Rehab to see if they would be willing to host it.

JRF officials agreed, and the same volunteers who handle thefacility’s New Year’s Eve display every year agreed to do the showfor the cost of the fireworks alone. The display will be 45 minuteslong, and will be held after dark on Independence Day.

Wednesday’s discussions also centered on the culmination of thebeard contest that will be held in May, during which local men willbe asked to grow out their facial hair.

Prizes will be given in several categories. Awards for BestMoustache, Longest Beard, Ugliest Beard and Best Goatee, as well asprizes for the wives, will be given on the day of an outdoorconcert the Trust is working to schedule. The date is yet to beannounced, but Rich said the shave-off may be held during theoutdoor concert.

Rich also informed the committee that she had ordered 55 morebanner brackets so that brackets from the Christmas decorationsdon’t need to be moved. She said a total of 69 banners with the150th Year Celebration logo on them would be hung around the cityon Highway 51, Brookway Boulevard, and on First Street around theGovernment Complex.