Marion celebrates her bicentenary with a full program of activities this week

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In 1822, a man named Eber Baker and his family settled on land in north central Ohio that would become the town of Marion.

And the rest, as they say, is history. Two hundred years of history, to be exact.

This week, the inhabitants of Marion are invited to celebrate the bicentenary of the city from Thursday until Sunday.

“We’ve come a long way in 200 years,” said Allen Wilson, director of Downtown Marion, Inc., which is one of the organizers of this week’s events. “When you look back and see the pictures of downtown, at one time downtown was just houses. It’s amazing to see 200 years ago to today what we still have and what we continue to grow on.”

Cheryl Wickersham, vice president of home equity preservation for United Church Homes, is a co-organizer of the bicentennial celebration. She noted that it is useful to recall the past achievements of the community as well as its progress.

“It’s important to remember our history and celebrate it,” Wickersham said. “I mean, 200 years is a big deal. … People say there’s nothing to do in Marion, but there is, and we’re going to celebrate part of it – where we’ve been , where we are and where we hope to be.”

Activities will begin Thursday with the presentation “Marion Then and Now” by local historians Randy Winland and Mike Perry. This event begins at 4:30 p.m. at The Brickyard on Main, 135 S. Main St. in Marion. Free entry.

Following this presentation, Mayor Scott Schertzer is scheduled to read the Bicentennial Welcoming Proclamation at 6 p.m. on the Main Stage during the Downtown Marion Festival Third Thursday. The main stage will be set up on South Main Street at the intersection with Church Street.

The Bicentennial Scavenger Hunt will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday. Hunt forms will be available at the Downtown Marion table outside The Brickyard on Thursday night. Forms will also be available online at www.downtownmarion.com and at United Church Homes, 170 E. Center St. from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Entrants have until 5 p.m. on September 30 to correctly complete scavenger hunt forms and return them to downtown Marion to be eligible for prizes. Three winners will be drawn with first prize a $200 gift card, second prize a $100 gift card and third prize a $50 gift card.

Horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered on Friday evenings in downtown Marion. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., people can enjoy a ride through the downtown district. Rides begin and end at the Union Bank parking lot at 111 St. Main St. Rides are free.

The weekend also includes “Bites of Marion” with local restaurants and pubs offering signature items to celebrate the bicentenary. Participating restaurants include Baires, A Taste of Memphis, Topped Ice Cream & Eatery, Amato’s Wood Fired Pizza, The Remnant Tea & Coffee, Marion Brewing Company and Shovel City Drinkery.

Eight historic sites in Marion will be open Saturday with free admission to each location. The Stengel-True Museum, 504 S. State St.; Huber Machinery Museum, 220 E. Fairground St.; and Heritage Hall, 169 E. Church St., will each be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday to receive visitors.

The Marion Union station, 532 W. Center St., will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Henry True Home, at the corner of Church and State streets, will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Marion Mausoleum, 1225 Mount Vernon Ave., will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Explore-It-Torium, 244 S. Main St., will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Marion County Courthouse will be open for tours by appointment only. Call 740-382-4885 to schedule a time.

Harding’s presidential sites will also be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Admission to the Harding House and Museum is chargeable. To purchase tickets, go to hardingpresidentialsites.org.

The Palace Theater is hosting its Power Walk fundraising event at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Visit marionpalace.org or the theater’s Facebook page for more information.

The weekend celebration ends on Sunday with entertainment from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Founders Park. The Full Moon Duo will perform from 1-4 p.m. at Founders Park.

A toast to the next 200 years of Marion is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Founders Park.

The Marion Then & Now signs will be installed in the gazebo next to the Marion County Courthouse. Visitors are encouraged to write their favorite memory about Marion on the “Then” board, write their favorite thing about Marion today on the “Now” board, and write what they would like to see in the future on the “Now” board. Future”.

The Marion Bicentennial commemorative wooden nickels will be on sale from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at The Explore-It-Torium, Heritage Hall, Huber Machinery Museum and The Brickyard on Main. Nickels are $1 each.

The second Saturday walking tour will also be offered on Saturday. The tour starts at noon at the Brickyard on Main.

Also on Sunday, the St. Mary’s Hispanic Festival will begin at 2:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s School Gymnasium on North Main Street. The festival will feature folk dances, traditional dishes and more.

Sponsors of the Bicentennial Celebration are Downtown Marion, Inc., Alluvial Private Wealth, The Brickyard on Main, United Church Homes, Henry Lumber Company and Sweada Mae Art Cafe.

Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @AndrewACCarter

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Richard V. Johnson