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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Planning Underway for 150th Celebration

Volunteers for the 150th Anniversary of Fort Thomas' founding. 
At the January 3rd Fort Thomas City Council meeting, there was extensive discussion about the upcoming Sesquicentennial (150th) celebration.  Committee members (pictured above) were present and gave individual updates on the planning.

The first update came from Bob Heil who spoke about the statue of General Thomas.  "We're going to finally honor our namesake in a very public way," he stated.

Mr. Heil provided extensive background information about the General.  There were hopes to have the statue completed by July, but he said that the creation is about a two and a half year process.  The sculpture is being created by Matt Langford, a passionate local artist who has researched General Thomas thoroughly and who has created other works such as General Covington and Mary Ingles.  The estimated cost is $150,000, and the location has been determined to be part of the Midway Streetscape project.  The goal is to raise $100,000 in a private fundraiser.  Any donor who contributes $10,000 will receive a limited edition smaller (12 inches tall) bronze sculpted replica of the full size version of General Thomas. Mr. Heil concluded by asking Council if they would be willing to put up the first $10,000 for the statue.

Next up, Mark Collier spoke as the chair of the marketing committee.  Mark stressed the importance of Council members using social media to promote the event and to use these platforms to share the official banner image, which was designed by Cathy Sonnett. The banners will be displayed around town beginning February 27th.  Fort Thomas families will be able to purchase these banners and display them, as well. Other committee members include Brian Sand and Erika Kraus.

Right click and save this image if you'd like to join the city's celebration by making this your profile picture on your social media platform of your choice. 

Derek Durbin spoke about the Charters of Freedom initiative that had been previously discussed at a Council meeting in April 2016.  Founded by Vance Patterson, the Charters of Freedom is a nonprofit organization that seeks to build and display educational monuments of The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, and The Bill of Rights.  Educating our youth about American history would be the ultimate goal for establishing these monuments in Fort Thomas.

RELATED: Vance Patterson pitches Charters of Freedom

The next presenter was Colonel De Stewart, owner of Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices in Fort Thomas.  The Colonel is overseeing the Farm to Fort dinner which will be held on July 2, 2017.  The dinner will consist of five courses of seasonal and local foods.  In keeping with the tradition of our area, acorns will incorporated in some way, as well as some form of bread pudding for dessert.  Three hundred tickets will be available for what will be a feast at a very long stretch of tables outside in front of the mess hall. The dress will be all white.

Linda Slone spoke for the events committee.  She stressed that they very much need volunteers for all the events.  There are a wide array of events that are being considered for the entire week of July 2nd:

Wine & Painting
Beer & Painting
Fundraisers: commemorative dog tags, commemorative beer stein, commemorative engraved beer glass/plastic cup, KY cookies.
Art & Photography Contest
A timeline of historic photos of businesses and homes throughout town
Farm to Fort Dinner: Dulcimer playing, bourbon, singing by Children's Choir
Art Contest Exhibit
City Wide Happy Hour sponsored by local establishments
5K race (July 4th), Tug of War, Fireworks, parade
Events after/during 4th of July parade: Quilt show, flower show, pet parade & show, bike race and parade, corn hole, soapbox derby, mustache contest, best ponytail, beard contest, donut eating contest, limbo, oldest person/tallest person, most patriotic, best bow tie.
Dedicated of The Charters of Freedom
Obstacle course, zip line, frozen t-shirt contest
Talent show/comedy night
Chili cook-off
Baking contest and cake eating contest
Throwback Thursday
Flash Dance
Dress up contest/Wax Museum
Great American Picnic
Family Movie Night
Ft. Thomas Olympics
Lawn Jenga
Yard Yahtzee
Frisbee Tic Tac Toe
Giant Twister
Lawn bowling
Giant match game
Pipe ball
Giant Scrabble
Bulls Eye Frisbee
Connect Four
Hula Hoop
Cruise In Car Show
Sporting event competitions: soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball, tennis
Family Amazing Race
Concert in the Park

Lastly, Chuck Keller spoke about the timeline of Kentucky history.  The elementary school students are all working on creating this and will employ virtual reality, aka 'the Pokemon Go technology.' The idea is to have an icon on the timeline that will respond to smartphones and will give you additional information.  The goal is to use technology to give self-guided tours of the city.

Needless to say, Fort Thomas is the place to be not only every day, but especially in July 2017!  None of this would be possible without the tireless dedication and commitment of our community members.  Stayed tuned to Fort Thomas Matters for future exciting updates.

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