The City of Franklin is ready to celebrate its bicentennial.

Events for the year were announced at a kickoff celebration on Feb. 6 at the Roxy Theater to celebrate Franklin’s 200th year.

“It is an exciting time for our community as we celebrate our heritage and our history,” said Tammie Carey, community development director with the City of Franklin.

Franklin Mayor Larry Dixon welcomed everyone to the kickoff event before handing the microphone off to the Bicentennial Committee to announce the schedule of events.

“I am so excited to be able to announce all of the activities for the Bicentennial event for the upcoming year,” said Lisa Deavers, chairperson for the Bicentennial Committee. “We will be repeating some of those thanks to your feedback.”

The dates and events are as follow:

On March 21, a Vintage Baseball Game with teams coming from Dayton, Ohio, Franklin, Tennessee and Lexington, Kentucky is taking place and the teams will play by 1869 rules.

The play “This Place We Call Home” will be performed when the Goodnight Memorial Library has been re-open.

On July 4 the Independence Day Parade and activities are taking place in downtown Franklin. The Historic Cemetery Walk will be held on Oct. 9-10.

The city commission will hold its Oct. 26 meeting outside on the courthouse lawn.

“Historically that is where city commission meetings were held,” Deavers said. “We think that is going to be pretty interesting.”

A New Years’ Eve Bash will close out the year’s celebration on Dec. 31.

Two new events to the bicentennial celebrations include a 200-mile run from Frankfort to Franklin starting on Nov. 19 and ending on the birthday of the City of Franklin, Nov. 20. On Saturday, Nov. 21 there will be a Bicentennial Ball at the Arling.

“This will be a night of fellowship, fun, food and fantastic music, more details will be coming soon,” said a Bicentennial Committee member Brownie Bennett.

During the kickoff celebration, the Bicentennial Committee showed off the slogan for the city’s bicentennial after a contest to choose one was held last year. The winning slogan was “Small Town, Big Heart” submitted by Lisa Scott.

Amy Ellis, executive director of Franklin-Simpson Renaissance and a Bicentennial committee member, previewed benches for the sidewalks downtown.

“I know we have the benches around the courthouse, but these are for people to sit on in front of the shops,” Ellis said.

They would like to start with benches on Main, Cedar and Kentucky Streets before eventually expanding into other places in historic downtown.

The benches are cast iron and powdered coated with the Bicentennial logo. They will have a commemorative plaque for anyone wanting to purchase a bench and dedicate it to someone.

“It would be a nice place to sit and enjoy our beautiful downtown district,” Ellis said.

For more information on the benches, contact Amy Ellis at FS Renaissance at 270-586-8482. For more information on the run follow the City of Franklin’s Facebook page or email City Hall at or call 270-482-5528.

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