By Lee Weyhrich
PINSON — Representatives from the Pinson Historical Society and Pinson City Council met last Thursday to begin work on next year’s bicentennial celebration.
Pinson is one of the oldest communities in the state and will be the first to hold a bicentennial event. Historical society members Steven Baird and Sue Churchwell were on hand for the meeting.
“This is a once in a lifetime event and we’re lucky to be here,” Churchwell said.
Ideally, the historical society wanted to have an event that stretched from the Old Rock School all the way through downtown, with live music playing in the mini park downtown.
Logistically it doesn’t seem likely that will happen. With the high volume of traffic on Main Street, the only way the city council could guarantee public safety would be if that road was shut down. The cost of doing that is extremely prohibitive, and the council can only afford around $17,000 total to go toward the event.
Pinson Historical Society members are hoping to have Revolutionary and Civil War re-enactors as well as other living history demonstrations, including blacksmithing, pottery, corn grinding and others. They also want inflatable bouncy houses and rides for the children, food and craft vendors, and a time capsule.
The historical society also wants to repaint the buildings downtown.
Churchwell hopes to get each of the schools involved in historically-based projects and wants each class to set up booths showing off their creations. Councilman Robbie Roberts suggested that the society contact the Clay-Pinson Chamber of Commerce to see about additional help in planning and funding, especially since the city council can’t fundraise or get involved with selling souvenirs as the society had wished.
The council is leaning to a much more contained event for safety and logistics purposes. Its suggestion is to limit the event to the Old Rock School property, Triangle Park and the Mission Possible parking lot. Mayor Hoyt Sanders also believes that by containing things to a smaller area, it will be easier for families to see everything.
Roberts said that even though the might be smaller than the society envisioned, it would still serve as a kickoff for all the year’s events, sharing the bicentennial theme.
“What I would really like to have happen is for everybody that lives in this town … to know and acknowledge the fact that this community has been around for 200 years,” Roberts said.
He wants banners and signs to announce the bicentennial throughout the year. He also wants the Alabama Butterbean Festival and even smaller events such as “Movies in the Park” to be “branded” with a reminder of the 200th anniversary of the community.
A post on the Pinson Historical Society Facebook page over the weekend stated that the society was looking for vendors for the bicentennial celebration, scheduled for April 11, 2015.
Further discussion on plans will likely take place at the next regular Pinson City Council meeting, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Pinson City Hall.