(Posted July 16, 2018)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Plain City wasn’t always “Plain City.”
When Isaac Bigelow founded the town in 1818, he called it Westminster. Five years later, the name changed to Pleasant Valley, which stuck until 1871 when too many mail delivery mix-ups with other Ohio towns of the same name resulted in the final switch to Plain City, named for the Darby Plains.
This is one of the many historical tidbits to be learned and celebrated during Plain City’s bicentennial bash set for July 19-21 in uptown Plain City and at Pastime Park.
Village officials and the Plain City Historical Society have put together a wide variety of activities in honor of the town’s 200th birthday.
Dedication of a time capsule is among the celebration’s highlights. The public is encouraged to donate items to fill the 70x30x29-inch vault, which will be encased above ground near the main entrance of Pastime Park and reopened in 25 years.
Just about anything goes, says Annabelle Tuller, Historical Society treasurer and chair of the time capsule committee. Among items already received are a recent Jonathan Alder High School yearbook, an advertisement and receipt from Costco’s first day of business in Plain City, and school children’s drawings and comments about the town.
“The Historical Society interviewed several older people in the community. We’re going to edit the video and put it in the time capsule with equipment to view it,” Tuller said, adding that other ideas for inclusion are the latest bestselling novel, newspapers, and photos of local businesses.
“If it’s a memory you want to preserve and seal in the time capsule, bring it to us. Then see what happens in 25 years when it’s opened. That’s the fun of it,” she added.
Items can be submitted until the dedication on July 21. Forms and collection boxes are available at the Plain City Historical Society, Plain City Public Library, and the village water department.
Curious to know what the buildings on Main and Chillicothe streets once housed? On July 19, the Historical Society is hosting guided walking tours featuring 22 stops. Times are 4, 4:30, and 5 p.m. All start at the former Plain City Elementary and end at the Historical Society.
The tours are free but reservations are required by July 18. Call Rosemary Anderson at (614) 873-4191. Also, brochures are available for anyone who wants to take the tour on their own; the brochure includes a map and nuggets of info about each stop.
On the morning of July 21, a parade will step off from Pastime Park and follow the same route used for the July 4th parade. The theme is “Plain City: Past-Present-Future.” For a registration form or more information, contact Bert Scott at email@example.com.
Entertainment and Food
What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a whole lot of cake? The village will plate up 500 servings of cake during the celebration’s kickoff on July 19. Ten-cent hot dogs, ice cream with a farmer, and food vendors also are on the weekend’s food agenda.
Live music will play a big part in the celebration, too, from performances by Jonathan Alder alum Arnett Howard and the Dublin Symphony Orchestra to bands specializing in country music, bluegrass, classic rock, and modern rock. The Remedy and The Menus will close out the weekend with a Rock the Clock party under the clock tower. Food and beer will be available.
On the sporty side of fun, the Ohio Village Muffins and Lady Diamonds from the Ohio History Connection will play vintage baseball against Plain City residents and village staffers. A basketball skills show and a horse drill team show also are planned.
Old-timey activities include pony rides, a craftsman fair, and demonstrations of broom making, butter churning, cow milking, wool spinning, blacksmithing and more. Futuristic activities include interactive learning at COSI’s Science Spots.
And the list goes on, from flamenco dancing and an interactive mural to balloon animals, face painting and a dunk tank.
“This is the village’s way of giving back to the community and celebrating Plain City’s heritage and future growth,” said Linda Granger, Plain City’s parks and recreation director and one of the bicentennial celebration organizers.
More Info and Volunteer Opportunities
For more about the bicentennial, visit www.plain-city.com or call the historical society at (614) 570-2962.
To volunteer, contact Granger at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 873-3527, ext. 108. Jobs include: birthday cake servers, bounce house attendants, parking attendants, game helpers, a photographer, and more. Each volunteer receives a free t-shirt.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, July 19: 4-8 p.m.
Kick-off at Farmers Market at Main and Chillicothe streets in uptown Plain City
Historical walking tours 4, 4:30, 5
Interactive chalk mural 4:30-8
Arnett Howard performs 4:30-6:30
Cake served 4:30-8
Bicentennial keepsake giveaway 4:30-8
Historical picture cut-outs 4:30-8
History timeline display 4:30-8
Balloon animals and face painting 5-7
Dime-a-dog and ice cream ticket giveaway for kids for Friday and Saturday 5-8
Mayoral proclamation 6:30
Presentation of historic plaque and UPCO business improvement grants 6:45
Ace basketball show at Tique Tock 7-8
Friday, July 20: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Bounce houses 11 a.m.-9p.m.
Food vendors, craftsman fair, Historical Society history display, pony rides, old-ways demos, flamenco dancer 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
COSI Science Spots 2-8
Ice cream with a farmer 6-8
Muffins/Lady Diamonds baseball 7-8:30
Terry Douglas band 7-9
Saturday, July 21: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Dedication of time capsule Noon
Dublin Wind Symphony and Starlight Twirlers combined performance Noon
Live music by Ryan Peters, Counterpoint, and The Judes 1-4
Book signing, “Looking for Lizzie” 2
Bill Purk & the Mule Skinners band 4-5:30
Uptown (Main and Chillicothe streets)
(Rock the Clock with music, food and beer)
The Remedy band 5-7
The Menus 8-11:30