Lebanon leaders threw the city a 200th birthday party Saturday, an event which included a day filled with activities around the city.

“This is 200 years of progress,” Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash told the guests. 

The celebration kicked off with the unveiling of the latest mural in the city, located at 135 Public Square.

“We’re a believer that murals are supposed to be ‘fun’ art, not ‘fine’ art, but I must say this one is pretty fine,” Wilson County Tourism Director Amy Nichols said. 

The Historic Lebanon mural includes iconic moments and sites in Lebanon’s history in every letter of the word.

Historic Lebanon sponsored the mural as a part of the Paint WilCo initiative. The initiative’s first phase involves the creation of 10 murals throughout Wilson County by the end 2020. 

“If you think about art and what that means to us here, for a while, Lebanon moved away from the Square and now everyone’s moving back. I’m thankful for the people who took care of that. I’m excited for the murals we’ll see around town,” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said. 

Hutto shared another connection with artist Pat Jackson from Sun Graphics Sign, who completed the mural, noting Jackson also painted the old Lebanon High School gym floor while Hutto was the head boys’ basketball coach at the school.

People had the opportunity to visit several museums around the city, including the City of Lebanon Historic Museum, Pickett Chapel and Wilson County Veterans Museum. 

Rain forced the official bicentennial ceremony to move to the Wilson County Expo Center from the Mitchell House. 

The ceremony included performances from the Lebanon High School and Cumberland University bands, and remarks from Ash and Tennessee historian Carroll Van West. Other musical performers included the Evermean Evergreen Cloggers, Kason Lester, Sweetn3 and Jimmy Bowen. 

Rep. John Rose and State Sen. Mark Pody presented proclamations celebrating the city’s 200th anniversary.

The ceremony also included a time capsule dedication that featured the collection of dozens of items that will be opened at the city’s 225th year celebration. City leaders opened a time capsule from the city’s 175th anniversary during the ceremony.

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