OUR CITY

Gearing up for 175th birthday celebration!

Tom Rowland Cleveland Mayor
Posted 9/21/17

It's been 175 years since the Tennessee Legislature approved a charter creating the city of Cleveland. It’s our quartoseptcentennial!

Quartoseptcentennial is a mighty big word! Taken from the …

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OUR CITY

Gearing up for 175th birthday celebration!

Posted

It's been 175 years since the Tennessee Legislature approved a charter creating the city of Cleveland. It’s our quartoseptcentennial!

Quartoseptcentennial is a mighty big word! Taken from the Latin, it literally means one-quarter (quarto-) times seven (sept-) times 100 years (centennial). It is also a mighty big accomplishment so it calls for celebration indeed!

It happened in February 1842.

Rather than celebrate in the cold of winter, we decided to position this year’s 175th celebration in the fall, so hopefully the weather will be nicer and the busy summer vacation time is over. Our fall birthday party for the city of Cleveland is almost ready!

The Legislature back in 1842 had created Bradley County just a few years earlier. The legislators agreed that the county seat, wherever it would be located, would be named to honor Col. Benjamin Cleveland, a leader in the Battle of Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War. That battle is, incidentally, commemorated with Kings Mountain National Military Park, a National Park Service unit near Blacksburg, South Carolina, along the North Carolina/South Carolina border.

The legislators decided the area around Taylor Spring should win the county seat title, and it became the city of Cleveland, Tennessee.

Some may remember, as I do, the 150th anniversary 25 years ago. That celebration in 1992 was somewhat like the one we will have this fall.

We begin with a special dinner Oct. 20 at Lee University for local leaders. Our state and national officials and the governor will be among the invited guests.

On Oct. 20, a concert free to the public will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Lee University's Pangle Hall, featuring Cleveland's own Jermaine Purifory, a Lee graduate and alumni of a cappella group Voices of Lee. Jermaine has been on several TV shows including "Glee." The renowned Voices of Lee will also be singing. The concert is free, but you will need tickets. Look for times and places to get tickets, coming soon.

Save the date Nov. 5 on your calendar. That Sunday afternoon, from 2 to 5 p.m., we will have free ice cream and cupcakes at Greenway Park. Every birthday party must have ice cream and cake, but not every birthday party has Revolutionary War re-enactor soldiers marking the day! My compatriots in the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter, Tennessee Sons of the American Revolution, will begin the program by posting the national colors.

Following the posting of colors by the SAR Color Guard, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra will strike up the music. Don't be surprised if I direct the orchestra in their performance of John Phillip Sousa's "The Diplomat." It will be my second time to direct, my first being at Lee University with the Lee Wind Ensemble under the direction of award-winning composer and director David Holsinger. So, I have been trained by the best. Now, let’s hope I remember what he taught me.

The famous composer John Phillip Sousa visited Cleveland in the 1800s and debuted "The Diplomat" here at Craigmiles Opera House, a downtown historic building that has become our city’s icon. It is only fitting that the song is now our official city song, and that it be played for our 175th celebration.

During the afternoon there will be door prizes compliments of some of our local businesses. There's still time for businesses to join us with donations of door prizes. We will announce the complete list of our birthday supporters when the final plans are done.

Our Cleveland Fire Department and Cleveland Police Department, and Life Force, will have vehicles and a medical helicopter for the public to see during our birthday event.

There are other features still being worked out by the planning committee I appointed several weeks ago. Working with me on that committee are business and community leaders: Steve Hartline, owner of My Mix 104.1; Will Jones, vice president of Jones Management; Joe Fivas, city manager; Melinda Carroll, assistant city manager; State Rep. Kevin Brooks; Duane Gilbert, GIBCO; Melissa Woody, vice president of Tourism Development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce; Sharon Marr, executive director of MainStreet Cleveland; Gary Farlow, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce; Bethany McCoy, Lee University; Brian Moran, city of Cleveland; Vice Mayor Avery Johnson; Beecher Hunter, president of Life Care Centers of America; Ralph Baldwin, publisher of the Cleveland Daily Banner; Mark Fidler, director of operations at the Cleveland Regional Jetport; Christy Goza, senior vice president for Bank of Cleveland.

Add these special anniversary events to a fall calendar of other great events and it's going to be a memorable autumn in “The City With Spirit.”

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