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Hannibal Bicentennial celebration kicks off

The official kick off to the Hannibal Bicentennial Celebration started with a Mayoral Reunion at the City Hall Wednesday night, with dozens of people in attendance including former mayors, city leaders, and their families.

City officials say it will be the first of many events this year to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Hannibal.

“We’re really excited about the 200 year anniversary this year, we’re celebrating it alongside Hannibal itself,” said Mark Twain cave Assistant Operations Manager Tessa Hosmer, “one of the things we’re really excited about is we’re going to do a legacy tour, it’s going to be a limited time only tour, it’s going to be new and a little bit off route, so not used to what you’re hearing about mark twain cave.

Officials at the Mark Twain Cave say with the 200th anniversary of the cave’s discovery happening on the bicentennial of the town of Hannibal itself, they’re planning a special tour for the summer to show more of the history of the area.

Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau officials said the bicentennial will be a common theme for many events and attractions around Hannibal throughout the year.

“We have an exciting year, this is going to be a special time in Hannibal,” said Director of the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau Gail Bryant, adding that much of the focus will be on longstanding events, like tom sawyer days and attracting more visitors to those events but it also includes special events, like a time capsule opening, an old fashioned baseball game and more.

“Then there’s concerts, and of course we’re going to do our grand finale on November 9th, and that will be out at the airport and it’s called the Hanger Ball,” said Bryant.

But the most important factor is the people who come to visit, and spend their money, in Hannibal.

“We love our visitors, when they visit they overnight in our hotels, and they go to our restaurants, and they have the full Hannibal experience at our attractions,” said Bryant.

“We’re expecting a boost this year, more people coming through, since our 200 year anniversary is combined with Hannibal as well I think it’ll be a good year for visitors to come and see both of us,” said Hosmer.

If you want to check out some of the events planned for Hannibal over the next year, you can go to our community page here to find a link to the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau calendar.

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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