Two hundred years is a big milestone, and the Mooresville 200 committee is preparing for a big celebration to match. Not just one celebration, but many will take place throughout the entire year. 2024 will be a year to highlight the town’s history, progress, and for family-friendly entertainment.
“We think our bicentennial celebration is a little different because we’re asking businesses and organizations to plan events, the more the better,” said Sharon Taylor, Mooresville 200 committee chair. “The idea is that people can get on the Facebook page all year long and see what’s going on that month. It’s going to be a fun year of celebration. Our slogan is ‘We’re the hometown that’s close to everywhere.’ We want to highlight our great location and the fact that we’re home to the state flag.”
Mooresville was founded in 1824 when Samuel Moore, a Quaker from North Carolina, laid out plans for the land he had purchased in 1923 and called it Mooresville, after himself.
Planning for the town’s bicentennial began in the fall of 2019 and continued even through the COVID-19 pandemic with Zoom and then in-person meetings requiring facial coverings. The Mooresville 200 committee is broken down into teams: the executive team to help with overall planning, events, promotion and communications, fundraising, merchandise, arts, history, legacy, and schools. The committee notes on its website, “Our bicentennial committee believes this celebration will not just be a time to celebrate and reflect on the past but to invite our community and visitors to experience Mooresville and choose to be a part of our future.”
GETTING THE PARTY STARTED
Celebrations already began in 2023 with a Mosaic Mural Tile Painting event where residents could come Mooresville 200 Committee Chair Sharon Taylor leads plans for this year’s bicentennial celebration and paint a tile for a community mosaic mural which will be put together for this year’s celebrations. The Mooresville 200 Committee put together a calendar that was sold at the Victorian Christmas event and will be available at its first 2024 event, Dance Through the Decades on Jan. 27. The calendar features artwork from 12 local artists, six of those being high school students.
Many of the planned events will incorporate the number 200, such as aiming for 200 dogs to be in attendance at the Mutt Strutt in June. Some will simply be fun events that bring the community together.
2024 kicked off with a Bicentennial Baby basket, a gift package awarded to the first baby born at Francis can Health Mooresville in 2024.
“Mooresville 200 is a huge undertaking, and I didn’t realize all that would be involved when I began four years ago,” Sharon said. “We’ve been working on this for so long, I can’t believe it’s actually here. Now, we’ll get to sit back and enjoy the festivities.”
Sharon primarily works as a group fitness instructor. Her husband, Jim, is a pastor, author, speaker, and head of the Mooresville 200 events team. They also run a nonprofit called City Changers, which promotes acts of kindness through organizing volunteer events in the
community. For 2024, they are encouraging people to do their own acts of kindness and share them on the City Changers Facebook page. They’re aiming for 200 acts of kindness throughout that year. Once they reach that goal, they’ll increase it. Those who participate will be entered into a drawing for a prize.
“We know people want to make their community a better place but they don’t know what to do or they’re busy so we plan events they can just show up to,” Sharon said. “We love this town so we want City Changers to be part of the bicentennial as well.”