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10. Medina celebrates 200th birthday with yearlong celebration

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    Medina County Treasurer John A. Burke, posing as a Revolutionary War soldier, accompanies the Medina County bicentennial bell in the parade.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Roger Smalley, 71, was chairman of Medina's Bicentennial Committee.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    In celebration of the Medina bicentennial, retired astronaut Mike Foreman speaks to a packed house at Medina Library Thursday about his experiences with NASA.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Roger Smalley of the Medina Bicentennial Committee speaks about Medina's role in aviation history before Mike Foreman's presentation at Medina Library Thursday.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    The city of Medina celebrates the county bicentennial during its annual Independence Day Parade Wednesday.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    This is one of the 20 locations around Medina's Public Square featured on the Bicentennial Scavenger Hunt organized by the Medina County Arts Council.

    NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE

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    Rep. Steve Hambley, R-Brunswick, released the 2018 bicentennial edition of his book, "Timeline of Medina County History."

    PHOTO PROVIDED

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The city of Medina was only going to get one chance at throwing a bicentennial celebration.

It wanted to do it up right, and from the response from the community, that’s exactly what happened during its yearlong 200th birthday party.

Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell picked the original group to head the project. Soon, Roger Smalley emerged as the chairman of the committee.

Almost 70 events were on the docket, capped off by the 200th birthday party on Dec. 5 at United Church of Christ, Congregational, 217 E. Liberty St. More than 200 people attended the celebration.

It ended with the people forming “200” on Public Square and a city employee being lifted about 60 feet in the air to capture the moment in a photograph.

It was a special moment, one that city residents would savor years in the future.

Smalley, a former Medina councilman and Brunswick educator, said planning so much fun was a one-time deal for him.

“I told the mayor, I’m not doing the next one,” he joked about the city of Medina’s 250-year anniversary celebration in 2068.

Among the events of the year were the Spring Grove Encampment, put on by the Friends of the Cemetery, Rockin’ the Park and Pool Celebration, homecoming week, a visit by NASA and the family picnic in the park.

Hanwell said he’s thankful and appreciative of the work Smalley and the entire committee has done.



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