Covington Bicentennial Wants You! Kick Off This Thursday, Drees Pavilion


COVINGTON – The Cov200 Bicentennial Committee is hosting its official kick off this Thursday, May 22, at 6-8:30 p.m. at the Drees Pavilion in Devou Park. The event is free and family friendly and organizers are asking everyone to join in on the gathering.

The Cov200 Committee has been working non-stop over the last year with its impressive roster of Covington leaders. The result is a schedule of coordinated events that will create a Bicentennial calendar for 2015, the City’s official birthday year, to bring all great things to light under one promotional umbrella.

Norm Desmarais, Chair of the Committee, says “We’re going to get 100 million eyeballs on this City; that’s 50 million people who will know that Covington is here, and it’s the place to be.”

Desmarais, a local start-up entrepreneur, Tier1 Performance Solution’s founding partner and Historic Licking River Neighborhood resident, is serious about making this event not just another fun festival but a focused strategic move that will generate some real return for the community and for the region. He and Vice Chair Amanda Greenwell, Project Manager of UPTech, a technology incubator located on Pike Street, have been touring the City and presenting to neighborhood associations, business and civic groups, promoting the Bicentennial and encouraging everyone to participate.

In addition to businesses, and City partner organizations, Covington residents are excited about many aspects of the celebration. “They are a huge part of this effort and we need them to be actively engaged every step of the way” says Amanda.

Don Dodson, President of the Austinburg Neighborhood Association, says “the celebration gives us an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been, and it helps us have pride in the accomplishments we have made as a community.  The Licking River Greenway is a great example; we’ve taken this big strip of landscaping and made it attractive to people. It would otherwise have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for the visionaries in our community. The Bicentennial can help shed light on this gem.”

Austinburg is an active neighborhood association and is still undecided how they will participate in the festivities, but Don says, “It doesn’t matter where you go, every City has challenges. Our upcoming Bicentennial helps to remind everyone that we have overcome things in the past. It gives us hope that we will overcome what we face today and that there are a lot of good things here.”

Long-time resident of the nationally-recognized Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood, Virginia Kerst agrees. She says. “We’re going to have a Bicentennial home and garden tour; we are piloting a Bicentennial banner project that will be all over the City, we have an incredibly rich architecture and history, civil war history, pre-war history, all within our neighborhood. What makes Covington unique is that we have been able to preserve a lot of things from the past that are becoming trendy across the globe. We are an urban, walkable, historic city with an influx of great creative people, a lot of established residents that stay because of the depth of the housing stock and the history. This is exactly what other communities are trying to produce and we have it already!”


Why You Should Go

Desmarais says there are three reasons why everyone should come to this Thursday’s kick off.

“Expose [the community’s] brilliance, Generate pride and Become the envy of other communities.”

Practically, people should attend the event to understand all the different things the Committee plans to do to highlight and focus the world on Covington.

But the real mission of the Committee and the effort at large is to engage the entire community, “because we want to show everyone how well we work together” Desmarais says.

Mayor Sherry Carran says, “The Bicentennial is exciting to different people for different reasons; it gives them an opportunity to share the city’s history; it’s a time to be happy and positive, together. Personally, I’m excited because I feel like we are blossoming. If you look at the past fifty years and how far we’ve come, it’s a great time to get together and celebrate. It’s just the perfect time to shout it to the world and there could not have been a better bunch of people to spearhead this effort. I hope everyone joins in.”


Event Details:

What: Covington Bicentennial Kick Off Celebration: The committee will release footage from the Bicentennial Documentary and the Bicentennial promotional video at the kick off.  Those eager to be involved will have the chance to meet Bicentennial Ambassadors.  Children under the age of 16 will enter in a raffle of their choice for a chance to win for an Ipod Touch or an Ipad. There will be food, games, kids' activities, an Ice Cream Sundae bar, and more.  A cash bar will also be available.

When: Thursday, May 22, 6-8:30 p.m.

Where: Drees Pavilion, Devou Park, Covington, KY

Complimentary transportation to and from the event will be provided.  Interested individuals should meet at John G. Carlisle Elementary for departure at 5:30 p.m. or 6:20 p.m.  Buses will return at 8:00 p.m. and 8:40 p.m.

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