For the last three years, Alabama has been celebrating its bicentennial with events that range from highlighting Alabama’s musical heritage to enjoying some of Alabama’s flavorful food and abundant craft beer. During 2017, the state focused on discovering Alabama’s places. In 2018, the theme was to honor the people of the state. This year, Alabamians shared our stories, as the state prepares to enter its third century.
To finalize the final year of celebration, the city and county of Montgomery are holding a series of events to highlight the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement.
They are kicking off the month of December with a new statue of Rosa Parks in Montgomery Plaza, just steps away from where she first ignited the bus boycott. This dedication will be held on December 1, Rosa Parks Day.
On December 3, the city will celebrate its 200th birthday by opening a time capsule at Montgomery City Hall that was sealed 50 years ago. In addition to magazines, newspapers, brochures and other materials, the capsule contains letters written by Montgomery residents, as well as city and state officials at the time.
On December 14th, it’s the grand finale of the bicentennial commemoration. An Alabama Bicentennial Parade and Festival, as well as the dedication of Alabama Bicentennial Park, will be held in Montgomery. Beginning at 10 a.m., the parade will start at Court Square Fountain and will travel towards the state capitol building. At mid-day, Governor Kay Ivey will dedicate Alabama Bicentennial Park, located at the foot of the Alabama State Capitol on Dexter Avenue. During the afternoon, the festival will feature exhibitions, performances, tours of the Alabama State Capitol, displays at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and more. A concert will top off the event, featuring several popular Alabama musicians.
And throughout the month, visitors and residents can visit the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African American Culture at Alabama State University in Montgomery for a special art exhibition referencing the African American experience in Montgomery and Alabama since 1819 or they can visit the Alabama Department of Archives and History, which will present a special exhibition of the documents that have defined the state’s government over the last 200 years.
For more information on the bicentennial, visit alabama200.org. There is an interactive map under the event section that will highlight events being held in each of the state’s counties.