- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Robert Bentley and state officials announced plans Friday for a three-year bicentennial celebration that will include a new park by the Alabama Capitol.

The celebration will kick off in May and stretch until the state’s 200th birthday on Dec. 14, 2019.

“As we approach Alabama’s 200th birthday it is time to look back over our state’s rich history and see how each event has molded our future,” Bentley said at a news conference on the steps of the Alabama Capitol.

Bentley also announced plans for a Bicentennial Capitol Park across the street from the state Capitol. The park will include 16 installations to illustrate significant people, places and events in the state’s history.

The governor said the park will be a “unique history book.”

“It will teach generations to come about the challenges, the accomplishment and the promise of Alabama and its people,” Bentley said.

The bicentennial celebration will launch May 5 at Cooper Riverside Park in Mobile, the oldest city in the state.

“It was founded in 1702 so we have more than 100 years on the rest of the state,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said.

Events will be held in other cities.

The announcement coincided with the 200th anniversary of the Alabama Territory being created on March 3, 1817.

Information about bicentennial events can be found at https://www.alabama200.org .


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