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Greenville, Alabama, gears up for a bicentennial celebration

Greenville is 200 years old and this Saturday, Oct. 15, the city is inviting everyone to join in the bicentennial celebration.

“Greenville has a rich, rich, history, and there’s just so much to celebrate about our city and the people who’ve helped shape the place that we love to call our home,” said Kevin Pearcey, director of the Greenville-Butler County Public Library. Pearcey is working alongside Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tracy Salter and city officials to organize special events and programs to recognize the bicentennial.

“This is a landmark moment for our great city – a city I’m proud to call my home,” said Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon. “We are excited to celebrate Greenville, Alabama, this weekend and look forward to the future programs and events planned for later this year.”

Salter said the festivities will take place in downtown Greenville at the park across from city hall.

Local leaders in Greenville are planning a host of bicentennial activities in the coming months. (Contributed)

“The bicentennial celebration will have everything: from live entertainment, a variety of vendors, educational and historical displays, tasty food concessions and a kids zone area with bouncy houses, face painting, a balloon artist and much more,” Salter said.

In addition to the activities in the park, the Butler County Historical and Genealogical Society is hosting its first-ever fall tour of homes and historic buildings, Salter said.

“They have really put in a lot of work with local homeowners, churches and historic landmark buildings to ensure those attending the tour have a wonderful experience – one filled with history and beauty,” Salter said. The first tour is slated to start at 10 a.m. Saturday and continue until 3 p.m. Salter said those interested should check in at the First Baptist Church of Greenville.

The Butler County seat, Greenville was officially created by legislative act on Dec. 28, 1822. It was first known as Butlerville, in honor of Capt. William Butler, who fought in the Creek War of 1813-14. Some of the settlers hailed from South Carolina and said it recalled Greenville County in their native state.

A historic Greenville home and building tour is part of the bicentennial celebration. (Contributed)

Glenn Stanley, an ardent camellia enthusiast, dreamed of Greenville becoming “The Camellia City” and promoted the slogan as editor of The Greenville Advocate. It stuck; civic groups, garden clubs and individuals began planting camellias in abundance. In 1938, the Greenville City Council adopted the Camellia Japonica as the city flower. In 1959, then-state Rep. Lamont Glass of Greenville was instrumental in getting the Legislature to adopt the camellia as the official state flower. Today, camellias of all varieties are evident throughout the city as Greenville carries on its floral heritage. Learn more about Greenville and its history here.

Pearcey said bicentennial organizers are planning additional events and activities, including the installation of a historical marker, publishing a bicentennial commemorative magazine and the placement of a time capsule.

Sponsors of the bicentennial celebration include the city of Greenville, Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce, Greenville-Butler County Public Library,  Alabama Power, Camellia Communications, the Butler County CommissionGuardian Credit Union, Southeast Gas and Hwashin America.

For more information about the bicentennial celebration, contact the Greenville chamber at 334-382-3251 or

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