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There's still plenty of time to sing 'Happy Birthday'



Published: Tue, March 4, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Just because you missed the big birthday party over the weekend in Chillicothe doesn't mean you won't get to celebrate Ohio's 200th birthday this year.

A crowd of about 4,000 people who gathered in front of the Ross County Courthouse, built on the site of the first Capitol, heard from Gov. Bob Taft and U.S. Sens. George Voinovich and Mike DeWine.

Adena, the mansion of Ohio founder Thomas Worthington, was officially reopened to the public, following a $6 million facelift and its designation as a national historic site. The mansion overlooks the Scioto River Valley and joins the state's long list of tourist attractions.

Chillicothe served as the state capital from 1803 to 1810, and in recognition of that, there was a joint session of the Ohio General Assembly, attended by 29 of the 33 senators and 90 of the 99 representatives -- including state Sen. Leigh Herington of Kent, who wore a period waistcoat, britches and top hat.

The session came 200 years to the day from the first meeting of the Ohio General Assembly.

Ohio's sesquicentennial was kicked off closer to home in 1953, when Gov. Frank J. Lausche came to Wellsville. The governor helped drive a golden railroad spike to mark 100 years of rail service between Cleveland and the Ohio River and dedicated the Ohio River Museum on Feb. 15 that year.

There's more coming

Those who missed the festivities in Chillicothe need not feel left out. There are even better things planned through the summer.

Just as transportation was something of a theme in 1953, so it will be this year.

There will be a celebration of Lake Erie's heritage with the largest gathering of tall ships in Ohio since the 1800s. Between July 9 and 20, Ohio's Tall Ship Challenge will visit all suitable ports between Cleveland and Toledo.

Tall Stacks on the Ohio River between Oct. 15 and 19 will feature 20 riverboats from 15 cities making riverboat cruises and engaging in races.

A re-enactment of a wagon train will travel along U.S. Route 40 from the Ohio River to Worthington to the Indiana line in June and July.

Dayton, home of the Wright Brothers, will host a month-long celebration of the centennial of flight in July.

And the weekend of July Fourth in Columbus will feature fireworks and entertainment, July 3-5.




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