Work begins on Howard sesquicentennial fete 20 committees already making arrangements for 150th anniversary

March 07, 1997|By Dilshad D. Husain | Dilshad D. Husain,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

It might be four years away, but 20 committees are already at work on the celebration of Howard County's 150th anniversary in 2001.

Lyle Buck, a retired pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, is a member of the Faith and Religion Committee that plans open houses and a published history as part of what he describes as a "spiritual awakening" in the county during the sesquicentennial year.

Buck said the group has lofty goals, but it is "not going to accomplish anything unless we dream high.

"There's a great, diverse religious community in Howard County. It's important that the people learn about Howard County's spiritual nature at the anniversary," he said.

The 20 committees were appointed by the Howard County Sesquicentennial Steering Committee, established in 1993.

Jim Holway, a former Howard County Council member and the acting chairman of the steering committee, says that assigning responsibilities to the smaller committees will help the celebration.

"We want the celebration to be good and to include everybody, and with the individual committees taking care of various aspects of Howard County, there is enough time to get everything done," he said.

First known as the Howard District of Anne Arundel County, Howard gained its independence in 1851 when the state legislature decided that its population and local government offices were sufficient for county status, according to the Howard County Historical Society.

The steering committee -- which studied celebrations in other counties, such as Prince George's County's recent commemoration of its 300th anniversary -- has designated committees for various communities in the county, the school system, arts, music, literature and various other aspects of county life.

The first objective, Holway said, is to get the committees to write histories that are to be published in time for the anniversary.

Some committees have yet to appoint chairmen, but the Faith and Religion Committee is making concrete plans.

Buck said more than 200 religious communities are in Howard County, "but if our group can get 100 involved, then we've got something."

"We want the people of Howard County to be aware and respect the magnificent diversity of religion in their community," Buck said.

The committee is organizing a series of open-house weekends that will be held by various religious groups for the anniversary.

"The steering committee has sparked the rest of us into action," Buck said. "I hope that we can be consumed by the fire to have a great celebration."

One of the committees is in charge of fund raising for the celebration. Though no budget has been set, Holway believes ample funds will come from the county and private organizations.

"We're thinking big, and I think we will be able to have a big celebration," Holway said.

Pub Date: 3/07/97

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