The Grand Lodge of Free & Associated Masons will celebrate its Bicentennial with a day of special events in Columbus on Saturday, June 21, 2008.
The theme of the celebration, “From Pioneers to Astronauts—200 years of Ohio Freemasonry” will be reflected in a grand parade down High Street, a cornerstone-laying reenactment at the Statehouse and a family picnic to take place at the Ohio Historical Society.
“As we look toward our bright future, we are proud to remember our historic past,” said Ronald L. Winnett, the grand master of Masons in Ohio.
The parade will include every branch of the Ohio Masonic family. It will begin at 10 a.m. at Nationwide Boulevard and will end at the Statehouse behind the bronze statue of President William McKinley, who was an active Mason. The reenactment of the public cornerstone-laying ceremony will take place immediately following the parade. The Masons and their guests will finish their day with a picnic at the Ohio Historical Society’s Ohio Village, which will include family activities and an 1860s-style baseball game.
“We are looking forward to celebrating our rich history at the Ohio’s capital,” said Winnett. “The day will bring together Masons, their families and others from around the state.”
The Grand Lodge of Ohio was formed at the Old Statehouse in Chillicothe in January 1808. There are currently 532 local Masonic Lodges in Ohio with a combined membership of 114,000. Annually, Ohio Freemasons contribute $15 million to charities that include Special Olympics Ohio, college scholarships and elderly care.
For more information about the Masons and their Bicentennial celebration, visit www.freemason.com or call 800-292-6092.