Dear Citizens of Rushville and Rush County:
It is with extreme pride that I reminisce on the past year of Bicentennial celebrations. The City of Rushville have been full of joyous celebration of the past 200 years of Rush County success. It is my deep honor to serve as the Mayor of Rushville during this momentous time. Over the past year, I have witnessed the community come together in a way that I have never seen before. Rush County’s Bicentennial celebration was the work of a thousand different hands. Today, I would like to recognize both the events and hands that made this past year of celebration spectacular.
Over the past year, thousands of people have flooded into Rushville to celebrate Rush County’s Bicentennial. From the Throwback Thursday historical film showings to the Celebration Saturdays to the culminating Bicentennial Concert, the City of Rushville has seen record-breaking growth in our downtown corridor. Driving into downtown, people are met with the newest art additions celebrating Rush County’s heritage: the Bicentennial mural, the downtown art restoration, the RUSH sculpture, and the larger-than-life guitar. Walking on main street, you see Bicentennial promotions all around. The over the street banners, pole banners, and merchandise (t-shirts, buttons, flags, cups, cookbooks, history books, coloring books), truly exhibit Rushville’s pride in celebrating its 200th birthday. Pulling out your phone, you can visit the Bicentennial website and social media. The place where information about Bicentennial Bargain Days, the stamp cancellation, and the 200 Bicentennial trees sponsored by Duke Energy. Rush County has been wholeheartedly celebrating its Bicentennial in big ways for 365 days.
However, the small things cannot go unnoticed as well: the Bicentennial ribbons awards during the Rush County Fair, the historical posters on Main Street, the Fastest Kid Bicentennial Race, the 4th of July Feature TQ Midget Bicentennial Race, the Bicentennial Pickle Ball Tournament, the 200 bike helmets given out by the Rushville police department, and more. Both the big and the small projects celebrated Rush County’s history in a hundred different ways.
While Rush County Bicentennial celebrations were all around, the City of Rushville also saw numerous complimentary projects continue to grow. With a historic investment of $259 million into a 700,00 sq. ft. facility, Diamond Pet Food officially broke ground in September. Recently, it was announced that the REC Community Center has reached full funding ($24 million) and will be breaking ground within the next year. The Jefferson Helm House has received $100,000 toward the restoration of the historic house. Milroy saw a new mural. The Rush County Courthouse has a new roof and tuckpointing. The Commerce Park @ Rushville saw its first addition with the Frito-Lay Distribution center. 2022 will forever have a place in history as the greatest Bicentennial celebration and the year of outstanding economic development.
To the citizens of Rushville, thank you for giving us this opportunity to celebrate. We are living in history, and the citizens of Rush County are continuing to make it a history to remember. Rushville is a city small in numbers, but not in spirit. It is because of you that this year was such a success. I am constantly blown away by the support, love, and passion that residents of Rushville have toward this great city, county, and community.
I would like to personally thank the behind-the-scenes hands that made the Bicentennial Celebration a success. Brian Sheehan chaired the Rush County Bicentennial Committee and acted as the guiding force in many of the events, activities, and celebrations that happened this past year. The City of Rushville Interns (Nicholas Neuman, Riley Sheehan, Lexey Yager, Nick Lawler, and Carter Tague) dedicated countless hours to ensuring that many of Brian and I’s crazy Bicentennial ideas came to fruition. The City of Rushville Fire, Police, Street, and Utilities departments worked constantly monitoring events and helping them flow smoothly.
This Bicentennial Celebration would not have been possible without the generous giving of our donors and supporters. The City of Rushville, Rush County Community Foundation, Emerson Copeland, Rush County Government, Riverside Park, and Rush County Chamber of Commerce, along with dozens of others financially supported our Bicentennial Celebrations.
It is truly amazing that the City, County, and Community has been able to accomplish so much in so little time. From record attendance to record investment, the City of Rushville and Rush County have thrived during our Bicentennial year. We are forever thankful for the opportunity to celebrate our people, and we are further committed to capitalizing on this momentum and ensuring that Rush County continues to lead the way in rural Indiana for the next 200 years. For one last time, Happy Bicentennial, Rush County!
Grateful for this great city,
Mayor Mike Pavey