Yes, Botetourt County, we can still celebrate!
2020: Botetourt County celebrates 250 Years during the time of COVID-19
By the 250th Anniversary Celebration Committee– Angela Coon, Lois Switzer, Donna Vaughn, Wendy Wingo
Botetourt County is still a work in progress. In the last six months, due to COVID-19, many of Botetourt County’s businesses, schools, civic groups, governmental offices, and churches have had to shut down, limit business hours and number of customers, hold virtual and/or outdoor services and meetings, and find new ways to conduct interactions and transactions.
Barely a month after the February 1 kick-off celebration, all other scheduled 250th Anniversary Committee celebration events had to be cancelled or postponed because of the health guidelines on large gatherings. But, don’t let COVID-19 prevent one from enjoying and appreciating the beauty of the county’s waterways, mountains, valleys, people, and all its glorious history.
Thankfully, Botetourt County has two local news media outlets, The Fincastle Herald and Cathy Benson’s online The Botetourt Bee (thebotetourtbee.com). The Fincastle Herald has continuously kept our citizens informed on the ongoing changes in our government, businesses, schools, and organizations. Cathy Benson has faithfully written an article each week celebrating facts, some known and some newly unearthed, about Botetourt County’s people and places. The Botetourt Bee also keeps an up-to-date 250th Anniversary Celebration calendar on the website main page. Cathy’s articles appear in both media sources. Roanoke television stations, WSLS 10 and WDBJ 7, have followed our governmental affairs and our celebrations, promoting our people and our business presence in the Roanoke Valley.
The 250th Anniversary magazine, beautifully written and edited by Anita Firebaugh, can still be found in some of the open businesses in the county. The committee plans to place them in more locations as health guidelines permit. Contact Lois at [email protected], Donna at [email protected], or Wendy at [email protected] for magazine delivery.
The Board of Supervisors has extended the 250th Anniversary Committee celebrations into 2021. Planning is in the works to regroup and set a course of action for next year. Several organizations and groups, such as the Botetourt Genealogy and History Fair, have already rescheduled for next summer. The 250th monument has been designed and completed. The Anniversary Committee hopes to be able to hold a dedication ceremony before the end of the year, depending on health guidelines and the restoration of the county courthouse.
During the next three months the anniversary committee will be submitting a short series of articles touting the many ways to enjoy beautiful Botetourt County while maintaining a safe distance. The series, “2020: Botetourt County Celebrates 250 Years During the Time of COVID-19,” may include some or all of the following topics:
Gleaning History With Your Fingertips
A History Walkabout
Written and Oral Histories of Botetourt County
Today’s Community Historians
Waterways and Walkways
The Arts in Botetourt
Salute to Safety
The 21st Century Farmers in Botetourt County