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Bicentennial Committee receives state award

After years of hard work to celebrate Alabama, Franklin County and the City of Russellville’s bicentennials, the Franklin County and the City of Russellville Bicentennial Committee has received the Alabama Bicentennial Commendation Award for the history series, “The Way We Were.”

This award recognizes communities and organizations for the hard work they put into organizing events to celebrate history in Alabama.

“Communities invested time and resources in an amazing range of projects,” said Alabama Bicentennial Commission chairman Sen. Arthur Orr. “Our successful bicentennial celebration owes a real debt to their efforts, especially for projects that will be important to the state, its communities and its citizens for a long time to come.”

Franklin County Bicentennial Committee Chairperson Chris Ozbirn said she is very proud of the work in Franklin County to teach others about the history of the county.

“We did everything we could to promote the history of this county, which is really what it is all about,” Ozbirn said.

Ozbirn said the “The Way We Were” series was a combination of great ideas to involve the community while showcasing Franklin County’s strong history.

Ozbirn said of all of the events in that series, her personal favorite was the May 2018 event, Pioneer Day.

“Everywhere I go people remember it and want to do it again,” Ozbirn said.

Franklin County was among 41 organizations to receive a Commendation Award.

Awards were given in two categories: Commendation Awards for outstanding programs and projects and Legacy Awards for programs that made a lasting impact.

Of the 41 Commendation Awards and 21 Legacy Awards, 40 municipalities in 35 counties were represented.

“It was just an honor to me that people recognize and appreciate the hard work we put into this,” Ozbirn said.

Ozbirn said the committee is receiving a plaque for its work, which will be displayed in the Franklin County Courthouse for six months. After this, it will be displayed in Russellville City Hall for six months before making its permanent home in the Franklin County Archives.