The first event celebrating Palmyra's bicentennial was called Old Glory Day, because it was scheduled on June 15, one day after Flag Day.
Event chairperson Nancy Goellner was very pleased with the large crowd that came to the Marion County Courthouse lawn to watch the parade and hear a bluegrass concert by Banjoy.
“We have a Flag Day parade (each year), and this year with Palmyra's bicentennial, we decided to enlarge it and change the name to Old Glory Day,” she said.
The parade was scheduled at 6 p.m. instead of in the morning, so more events could be added. “We have 29 vendors, with everything from food products to clothing, woodworking items, pet grooming items and information booths,” Goellner said.
The parade featured many floats and vehicles decorated with American flags, along with truckloads of club members, church floats, business vehicles and farm tractors.
When the parade ended at the courthouse, four Eagle Scouts raised the flags. Eagle Scouts Douglas Bross and Heath Ehret are members of Hannibal's Troop 100, while Jacob Larsen and Colton Stout are members of Troop 161 of Palmyra.
After raising the flags, Stout said Scouting was a wondrous experience and Palmyra is a great town. “Our goal is to make young boys into young men,” he said.
“We also promote patriotism,” Larsen said.
Scoutmaster Bob Stout of Troop 161 is proud of his members. They were leaving that night from Quincy, Ill., on an Honor Flight to Washington, he said.
“We are the only troop that goes with them” the scoutmaster said.
Anyone interested in joining Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts in the Palmyra area may contact Bob Stout at email@example.com.
The crowd watching the parade on Main Street later gathered on the opposite side of the courthouse, where the bluegrass band, Banjoy, was preparing for its concert. It began with the National Anthem.
As the band played, people patronized the vendors, took children to the pony rides and pet zoo animals from Full Moon Farm on Pittsfield, Illinois.
Among the crowd was 10th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd, who said, "I am very thankful to chairman Nancy Goellner, the Palmyra Bicentennial Committee and the Palmyra Chamber of Commerce for organizing such a wonderful community celebration in honor of Flag Day and the Bicentennial.
“Everyone was so grateful for the beautiful weather, the terrific activities for children, and the inspiring patriotic parade,” she said. “The courthouse lawn looked beautiful with the flags, the music, and the community joining together in celebration of our country and our history."
Th June 15 celebration was the first of two bicentennial days of events Palmyra has planned, Goellner said. The second will be a bicentennial birthday celebration Saturday, Aug. 10. It will include a parade, speeches and a proclamation, also at the courthouse. A special event will be a beard growing contest, with the winner announced on Aug. 10.
Events also are planned Aug. 10 at Flower City Park, including rededication of the Sesquicentennial Hall. Also at the park a corn hole tournament and ping pong ball drop are planned. The ping pong balls will be dropped from an airplane and some will contain prizes.
A bicentennial book is being published and will be available in August.
An earlier book, published for Palmyra's sesquicentennial, has been reprinted and is available at Palmyra businesses, Goellner said. The Palmyra Chamber office may be contacted for a copy.
See photo gallery for more Old Glory Day pictures.