The celebration that has been ‘advertised in the last few years’ (as put by WGEL disc jockey Brad Rogers) has finally come to the Illinois town of Greenville. Founded in 1815, the county seat of Bond County is celebrating their bi-centennial with a weekend-long bash! One of the highlights was on Saturday, September 5 when the former Greenville Public Library cake was re-shown, but in different form.
A short history: Greenville was chosen by stl250 to be part of 2014’s Cakeway to the West celebration when they had a cake installed last summer. The cake was placed at Greenville Public Library and remained there until January 2015. After days of speculating its whereabouts, it was announced as early as March that the cake was to be re-painted for the city’s bi-centennial. Local government leaders chose Tim Gusewelle, an arts instructor at Greenville High School, to lead the efforts for the new cake. It was no particular class, but the school’s Art Club, headed by Gusewelle that came up with the final design. Once the design for the cake passed through city council, the team was up and rolling. Many days were spent for the club members (average of ten GHS students), which involved spending time before and after school or during study hall in painting the cake.
The unveiling took place on the small stage next to the First United Methodist Church in Greenville. Pageant winners from both age levels spoke as the moment was about to happen. Mayor Alan Gaffner, along with Gusewelle and a few of the students (who painted the cake) appeared on stage and helped remove the quilt. Gaffner recalled about last year when he “would see several people get their picture taken with the cake, many of them from Missouri!It was an honor to be chosen as part of that celebration and we appreciated stl250 for letting us repaint the cake.” Several people snapped photos of the new cake. (Yours truly got to say a few words on stage before it happened.)
Here’s a close look at the cake:
As you can see, the team put in so much effort into the cake! Starting with their design, each tier was to represent something. For example, the bottom tier was to spotlight the classic main street style of Greenville, featuring some businesses that exist today on the main drag. A tree was placed at the top, replacing the candle. Perhaps this was to reference what possibly gave Greenville its name, because of the many green trees on the land. There are lots of uniqueness displayed on the cake, you would have to take several moments to analyze it! The five was covered up and replaced with a zero, for obvious reasons, as was the ‘stl’ part.
Several activities were on hand during the 2-day Labor Day weekend, including face painting, carnival rides, and so much food to choose from! National bands the Bellamy Brothers (70s, 80s Country) and Little River Band (soft-rock) were to perform on Saturday (5th) and Sunday (6th), respectively. The Illini Marching Band also performed, along with many local acts. Also making an appearance was Ronald McDonald and the Nutmobile (with Mr. Peanut!).
Celebrations will continue until the end of 2015. The cake will be displayed either in front of the library again or at their City Hall. For more information about the Bicentennial celebration, check out www.greenville200.com and their Facebook page!
NOTE: I took a video of the event, but unfortunately at the moment Youtube is not cooperating well with me. Please check back later!