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200 years and counting

Belleville’s 200th anniversary year draws to end, and oh, what a year to remember.

From the formal gala to the 200-foot bratwurst, this birthday bash had something for everyone.

The celebration paid tribute to the city’s rich history. Local luminaries Bob Goalby, Buddy Ebsen, Niniam Edwards, George Blair and Lyman Trumbull were memorialized as the first inductees at the new Walk of Fame.

There was a parade, of course. (It wouldn’t be a celebration in Belleville without one.) A weekend of live music, food and drink, and dancing in the streets. A 5K run. German-style Christmas shopping. These events brought out thousands of residents and visitors alike to enjoy this beautiful city.

The events also showed everyone a lot about the quality and character of the city today. Volunteers performed 200 service projects throughout the year as part of the bicentennial commemoration. That grilled bratwurst? It raised $1,600 for local food pantries. And 109 new U.S. citizens from all over the world pledged allegiance for the first time at the Public Square.

The committee members who planned and organized the year’s worth of events deserve a huge round of applause. Thanks for helping highlight Belleville’s wonderful past and remind everyone of its bright future.