The year for Simpson County's Bicentennial came to a close with the New Year's celebration on Dec. 31, but it started off with a bang with a birthday party on Jan. 28.

"The county's actual birthday was Jan. 28, 1819," said Simpson County Judge/Executive Mason Barnes. "From there it was a year long thing from the 4th of July parade to events they did out at the park and now with this New Year's Eve Celebration."

Lisa Deavers, chairperson of the Bicentennial committee, looked back on all the events planned to celebrate the county's bicentennial from the 4th of July parade, community day, the cemetery tours and the New Year's celebration.

"The weather was not our friend on a lot of days, but they went well," Deavers said.

The weather did hold out for the parade to finish, but started pouring down rain once it was over, so that community day had to be postponed for several months, but she still declared it a success.

"The people that came there had a good time, we introduced a lot of different things, we had the hot air balloon rides," she said.

Another new event introduced to the community were the cemetery walks held in Greenlawn Cemetery. Deavers said they plan on bringing back the walk with a city twist for the city's bicentennial.

"We are hoping that [the New Year's Eve celebration] will just finish out the year with a big bang to lead us into 2020," Deavers said.

Barnes commended the bicentennial committee on an outstanding job of planning and organizing the events for the county bicentennial and said he knows they will do an outstanding job for the city's bicentennial.

"The beautiful thing about Franklin and Simpson County is we talk about that separation, here is the city of Franklin, here

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is Simpson County, but being a small close knit community we kind of just celebrate it all together anyway," Barnes said.

Deavers said since it was a back-to-back bicentennial the committee decided to do a few large events spread throughout the year instead of just one large celebration.

"That way at least everyone could participate in at least one activity even if they couldn't make it to them all," she said. "We will be doing the same thing for the city."

Mayor Larry Dixon said after helping plan some of the activities that the city's bicentennial will be just as exciting as the county's.

"To be involved in all of the activities that have happened this past year, but I am looking forward to the many activities that we have in the works for the coming year," he said.

Deavers said the committee has been collecting photos the past year for the pictorial history book, published and available October 2020. They will be releasing new merchandise with the city slogan winner on them.

"We will be doing some really cool, unique events that will one not only highlight Franklin and Simpson County, but part of it will kind of highlight our state as well," she said.

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