LIVERPOOL TWP. — As a resident of Liverpool Township since 1958, Barbara Mack has seen her share of community events. But none have been as big as this one, she said.
While Americans celebrated their country’s birthday this Fourth of July, Liverpool Township commemorated its bicentennial Sunday.
Festivities included a parade of around 300 people, a corn hole tournament, live music and fireworks. Don Helmick, owner of Valley Airport, arranged for a flyover of private planes, one of which carried a banner that read “Happy 200th Birthday!”
“It’s just a great time to get people together to celebrate,” Mack said.
In her 52 years in the township, Mack has witnessed both its 150th and 200th birthdays. While the last 50 years have brought a great deal of growth to the area, Mack said at the same time, not much has changed.
“The community is still small, and that’s a good thing,” Mack said. “But it’s definitely growing, and that’s good for us, too.”
Mack spent eight years as a Liverpool Township trustee, and said the people are just as thoughtful and participate as they did 50 years ago.
Other longtime Liverpool residents shared her sentiment.
“People ask me why I stay here,” Tom Neff, a lifetime resident of 67 years, said. “I love it here. There are seven generations of my family living here. It’s a great place to raise kids.”
Neff spent years traveling with the Army, but said “I’m going to stay here until I die.”
LaVerne Tolsma, president of the township’s historical society, has been a Liverpool resident for 35 years. She said she and her husband have made an effort to always be a part of the community.
“(The bicentennial) is very meaningful for me,” Tolsma said.
Thirty-five-year resident Rod Knight said he is most impressed by the generosity of the community.
“Two hundred years ago, the pioneers banded together to build log cabins and barns,” Knight said. “I look around at this bicentennial year and people are still helping each other.
“I just like the community spirit.”
The bicentennial celebration will continue through the end of the year, with future events including a Liverpool Spirit Walk at Mill Stream Park Oct. 9.
Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.