Madison County Bicentennial Logo
Provided by Tessa Rehkop

The Madison County Chamber of Commerce's Bicentennial Kickoff dinner will be at 5 p.m, Jan. 11 at St. Michael Church.

The sold out event is a semi-casual bow ties and blue jeans dinner to kickoff the bicentennial celebrations planned for 2018.

Dinner will be catered by The Brewen Family with wine tasting and cash bar from Durso Hills Winery and Bistro.

"We would like to thank everyone who is a centerpiece sponsor, all the current members of the chamber, the community members, the Madison County Historical Society and the cities of Fredericktown and Marquand for making the first event of our bicentennial a huge success," Tessa Rehkop said. "We plan on making this an annual dinner for the chamber even after the bicentennial."

The event will have member-sponsored tables allowing each member to decorate a centerpiece themed around his or her business.

"There will be small take-away items for each guest and then one person at each table will win the centerpiece for their table," Rehkop said. "Also, we'll vote on the best centerpiece and the winner will receive four free tickets to next year's dinner."

Table sponsors are Sargent Construction, Missouri Job Center, Serenity HospiceCare, University of Missouri Extension Center, Ellis Battery, KREI-KTJJ Radio, Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy, Fredericktown Fillies (Red Hat Society), The Pig Barbecue, Safe Harbor Hospice, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), SEED$, Ronnie Gibbs Insurance Agency, New Era Bank, Madison County Sheltered Workshop, Madison Country Retired School Personnel, Melvin Mills Roofing LLC, Fredericktown Azalea Board and Pense Bros. Drilling Company.

Due to the positive response of the event, the chamber began adding additional table sponsors past its goal of 18. 

"We didn't want to turn anyone away," Rehkop said. “When other places have these it is a mad dash to pick the best table."

The chamber plans to recognize some of the oldest businesses, churches etc. at the event as well as show a slideshow of old buildings in Madison County, some of which are no longer standing.

Other 2018 events planned to celebrate or use the bicentennial theme include: A poster contest for students sponsored by the Madison County Retired School Personnel in February; Missouri Whitewater Championships in March; window decorating contest in April; Azalea Festival in May; concerts in the park and Lion's Club Rodeo in June; Optimist Club Fourth of July Celebration; Pioneer Days and Cub-Arama in September; Madison County Fair and Freakytown in October; Veterans Dinner, beard contest and Small Business Saturday in November; and church tours sponsored by the Fredericktown Fillies and Miracles on Main Street in December.

The chamber is currently compiling a list of oldest living resident, oldest business, oldest active church, oldest church building, oldest school building, oldest farm/home, oldest structure and oldest living veteran. If you have any information regarding this the chamber can be contacted at 573-783-2604 or info@madisoncountycc.com

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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