Date set for birthday bash

The Schenectady County Legislature has already begun to gear up for the county's bicentennial celebration, which will take place in 2009.

The Legislature unanimously declared March 7, 2009, as the official date of the bicentennial and established a bicentennial commission to be appointed by the county manager's office at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

We have such a rich history and heritage here in Schenectady County, and we feel that this is the year to pay respect to all the wonderful people who have come before us to help pave the way to make our community a great place to live, said County Legislator Gary Hughes, D-Schenectady, who co-sponsored the bicentennial resolution with Legislator Karen Johnson, D-Schenectady.

According to county officials, the purpose of the bicentennial commission will be to create, plan and implement celebrations, historical activities and educational outreach to the community, in the spirit of commemorating the 200th anniversary year of the chartering of Schenectady County.

"This commission will be comprised of various members of the community, who will be delegated the task of creating meaningful events in our communities that will celebrate the county's heritage and appeal to a variety of interests and ages," said Hughes.

All of the planned bicentennial events will attempt to foster the community's interest in county history. Officials say they also hope to showcase the city, towns and villages throughout the county. Some of the 2009 events include a lecture series, trolley tours, a movie festival, Colonial celebrations, historical exhibits and various community events.

"It is our hope to promote our county's growth while attracting further tourism and business to the county, and to encourage community involvement in these exciting events amongst civic organizations, corporations and the public at large," said Johnson. "Our aim is to build community pride and unity," she said. "Anyone who would like to participate in any way is encouraged to do so."

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