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story.lead_photo.caption Text on the obelisk portion of the Callaway bicentennial monument doesn't reflect the final draft submitted by the Callaway 200 committee. The monument is being redone at no added cost to the county. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

The Callaway 200 committee is working to finalize details for Callaway County's long-delayed bicentennial concert.

Country music band Shenandoah will arrive Aug. 28 in Fulton. Originally conceived as part of a "Bicentennial Bash" to celebrate Callaway County's 200th birthday, the two-hour concert will instead be a free celebration of good music — and a belated birthday gift to the county. The Bicentennial Bash was originally planned for May 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced its organizers to delay it first to August 2020 and then to 2021.

The date falls on the same weekend as the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society's annual tractor drive, also delayed from 2020.

"With the tractor drive, it's going to be a fun weekend," said Blaine McQuaid, a member of the Callaway 200 committee.

The concert's location is still up for debate. During a meeting Thursday, the Callaway 200 committee discussed potential options, including the grounds of the Callaway Electric Cooperative and Veterans Park in front of the new Fulton recreation center.

"Renee (Stack Graham, Callaway County tourism director) suggested moving it out of downtown so we weren't tying up Court Street all day Friday and Saturday," Callaway 200 co-chair Susan Krumm said.

Krumm and other committee members met with Tom Howard, CEO/general manager at Callaway Electric Cooperative, about hosting the concert outdoors on CEC's grounds. He was open to the possibility, Krumm said.

Committee member Bruce Hackmann suggested hosting it at Veterans Park instead — the slope in front of the new recreation center forms a natural amphitheater with plenty of room for picnic blankets and folding chairs, he pointed out.

Committee members agreed a choice needs to happen soon.

"This has happened several times — we get halfway down the road and another site pops up," said Diane Burre Ludwig, of the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society.

The committee plans to have a final decision by its February meeting.

An event to display the entries gathered during the Callaway 200 fiber art wall-hanging competition is also in the works. Committee members hope to display the hangings in storefront windows throughout the Brick District.

The committee is in good financial shape as 2021 arrives, with $36,115 in the bank, Doc Kritzer said. A significant amount of leftover merchandise will continue to be sold at the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society museum and at Callaway 200 events.

Monument

Thursday's other major topic of discussion was the county's bicentennial monument — designed by the Callaway 200 committee, paid for by Callaway County and unveiled during a ceremony in November.

"There's a couple of problems with the monument, and it's going to be redone at some point," Kritzer said.

Krumm said the text etched on the obelisk portion is out of order and reflects an early draft of the text from June 2020, rather than the final version submitted later in the year.

"There were key things missing," she said. "I don't know how that worked out that way."

The errors weren't spotted until after the obelisk was installed, she said.

That's not the only issue.

"If you stand at a certain angle, you can tell the obelisk is crooked," Krumm said. "It's really crooked. The company realized that when they were setting it."

Krumm said Callaway County Presiding Commissioner Gary Jungermann reached out to the monument company immediately.

"They've agreed to redo the obelisk portion of it, to fix what wasn't on there that should've been and to straighten it up," Krumm said. "They were hoping for this month."

She doesn't expect the committee or the county will incur any additional expenses — the monument company has agreed to cover the fix.

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