Maybe by now everyone is tired of hearing about the Woodsfield Bicentennial. We did give a lot of coverage to the event. Afterall, it only happens once. Regardless of all the official coverage we gave it, I have to talk about it a bit in my column since last week was my week off.
Something that was really neat to me was when Master of Ceremonies Bill Frank spoke of the 200 year life of Woodsfield as if it were only one day. It’s hard to explain in writing, but basically he equated the 200 years with 24 hours and then listed off important moments in United States history and what time of day they happened in Woodsfield’s day. I am giving it now justice, but it really did make you realize how old the village is and how much has happened in this country and in the world since it was established.
That being said, I was watching on a travel show about Spain. They showed some fancy city building that, at this point, is an old structure. They then explained that the building was built to commemorate the cities 700th birthday. Yes, that isn’t a typo, 700 years! That makes you think. 200 years seem like a lot. But, that’s only a small fraction of human history.
Laura and Adeline joined me as I traveled to all the festivities to cover them. We enjoyed ourselves, and everyone attending seemed to find something to their liking.
That being said, I was disappointed in the low attendance numbers. I don’t think it was of any fault of the committee and the events they had planned. People are just different now.
I know this sounds like a broken record because a lot of people like to point this out, but it has to be said. In the past, there were two to three television stations. You didn’t have computers, no tablets, no cell phones. People couldn’t travel as easily and didn’t have the money to be constantly entertained.
Talk to anyone who is older and they will tell you how different things used to be. I have heard stories of how downtown Woodsfield was crowded on Friday and Saturday nights to the point that you couldn’t walk on the sidewalk without bumping into someone. I have heard stories of families piling in their cars to watch drive-in movies in Sardis.
Then, you had the big events like the centennial and sesquicentennial. Festivals in the smaller towns in the county drew thousands of people! I have read reports of picnics in Stafford and Miltonsburg drawing such numbers.
Of course, now we know everything has changed. People have tons of entertainment options. They don’t socialize as much. Instead of going out to a movie, they digitally stream one at home. Instead of meeting their friends, they text them.