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A little help?
April 12, 2011 - Jody Murphy
The Civil War Roundtable has a good idea; coming up with events and re-creations to commemorate the area's impact in the Civil War and the early steps to West Virginia statehood.
The Roundtable, chaired by local historian Dave McKain, has outlined a number of dates and events to highlight as the state marks the 150th of the Civil War. Other areas of the state — such as Martinsburg and Wheeling — are capitalizing on the anniversary and making plans for celebration, re-enactments and events.
The difference is these other cities seem to have more support for their efforts.
In Wheeling for example, organizers have a logo and a long list of events. Most importantly, they also have help from the city, county and the local convention and visitor's bureau.
People here need to take a cue.
The Civil War Roundtable has got a great start, but other entities need to get involved. That includes the city, the county commission, the convention and visitor's bureau and the actor's guild. Perhaps even some coordination with Marietta and Belpre officials.
Parkersburg and Wood County may not be as significant in the Civil War as other parts of the state, but it did play a role and provided a lot famous and influential people who shaped the War Between the State and West Virginia statehood.
If we are going to do some re-enactments — and I am NOT talking about re-enacting fictional Civil War battles — the Actor's Guild and the Smoot should be involved.
I know a lot of local historians have cornered the market on the area and the Civil War, but a lecture series might be a nice changeup for the area. This could be where the city and county come in — with some funding for events and helping to foster other ideas. Perhaps empanel another committee to aid the roundtable and enhance its ideas?
The local CVB should also be all over this thing, trying to be involved and help promote these events.
I don't know if the roundtable has approached these entities or not and I honestly don't care. Fact is these groups need to either be asked — or offer — to get involved.
The underfunded Civil War Roundtable has a lot of good ideas, but I think some help is needed and needed fast if things are going to come together and makes these planned events as special as they should be.
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