2011 Marks 200 Years For Brecksville
The city has special events and projects planned throughout the year to celebrate its bicentennial.
Brecksville will draw upon 200 years of history this year, as the city with roots in 1811 celebrates its bicentennial anniversary.
And Brecksville plans to celebrate it in a big way. Mayor Jerry N. Hruby said that while many cities plan their anniversary celebrations for one weekend, Brecksville will hold special events and activities throughout all of 2011.
"We're making a year out of it," Hruby said.
The events officially kicked off during the city's Christmas parade and tree lighting on Dec. 5, 2010. The bicentennial calendar is filled with reenactments, tours and theater productions throughout the year, but the month of June stands out as particularly busy. June is going to be "amazing," said Jinny Farr, chairwoman of publicity for the Brecksville Bicentennial Committee. From the city's Home Days to a multi-theater group production of The Music Man to garden and home tours of historic houses, there should be something of interest to everyone.
Hruby said the city is trying to do most of its festivities at no cost to the taxpayers, though fundraisers and other donations.
Some of that funding will come from the sale of commemorative items, such as polo shirts, hats and tote bags, and Bicentennial-themed bottles of wine at Creekside Restaurant, said committee co-chairman Frank DeWolf. Families may also pay $20 to have their name put on the Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt, which will be displayed throughout the city. DeWolf said they hope to have all the names in by Jan. 15, and there aren't many spots left.
Hruby said the city also hopes to raise enough money to create a memorial and to provide scholarships for the high school and grants to the historical societies in Brecksville and Broadview Heights. The cities used to be one, and groups in both will participate in the celebration throughout the year.
The Bicentennial Committee has been working on the plans for 18 months, DeWolf said.
"It's hard to believe it's here already," DeWolf said.
The next big event is the Bicentennial Ball on Feb. 5 at the Embassy Suites in Independence. DeWolf said tickets for the black-tie optional ball, which will include dinner and dancing, are $100. Tickets are first-come, first-served, and DeWolf said the committee is hoping for 400 attendees.
But the committee isn't just hosting events; it's also taking on projects like the family history project, said Farr. Residents are invited to share their families' history, photos and local memories. The project will be housed at the local historical societies, so out-of-town family and other visitors will be able to learn about the residents of the city, Farr said.
"There's quite a few families that have been in Brecksville for many, many years," Farr said, adding that her own great-grandfather had been born in Brecksville.
Packets are available at City Hall, and residents can also fill them out online, Farr said.