GIB prepares judges’ schedule

By Dean Wright -

GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis in Bloom is preparing its annual tour for America in Bloom judges Teresa Woodard and Karin Rindal across the breadth and length of Gallipolis.

America in Bloom is a landscaping, heritage and beautifying competition across the nation compromised of towns of varying sizes and cultures. Gallipolis in Bloom has taken home several awards over the years and seeks to do so again this year. With that, visiting judges are taken on a tour of town with city officials, GIB members and dignitaries as they are introduced to the history and flavor of the region.

On July 13, GIB representatives will pick up judges at 8:30 a.m. and drive them to the Gallipolis Municipal building for a meet and greet with City Manager Gene Greene. Around 9:30 a.m., judges will visit the new location of the Gallia Historical Society on Second Avenue before going across the street to meet with tour guide Bob Hood as he shares the history of the Kerr Memorial, Le Vue Premier statue and the band stand.

Around 10:35 a.m., the entourage will make its way to the newly constructed waterfront amphitheater and Spirit of the Doughboy statue. At 11 a.m., the entourage will be greeted by the Southern A’s Car Club and afterward will spend an hour observing the view of town from Mound Hill Cemetery. At noon, AIB judges will experience a drive by of the Gallipolis Boat Club and have lunch at the Bossard Memorial Library. Judges will tour the library before visiting the Ariel Opera House around 1:35 p.m. Judges will then be driven by the water pollution control plant, maintenance garage, Canaday Park, Gallipolis Fire Station, water plant, Ted Berry Ball Fields and and the Gallia-Meigs Regional Airport.

Judges will experience a break between 3:30 and 5 p.m. before having a boat ride along the Ohio River from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. To cap off the evening, area dignitaries, GIB volunteers and members will attend a reception with the judges at the Colony Club from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The following day, July 14, AIB judges will once again visit the Gallipolis Municipal Building at 8:45 a.m. to speak with Maintenance Superintendent Dave Walters about ordinances and tree inventory as well as Code Enforcement Officer Brett Bostic.

At 9:40 a.m., AIB judges will visit the community garden at the 400 block of Fourth Avenue and be introduced to GIB’s pollinator garden as well. Around 10:20 a.m., the entourage will visit the John Gee Black Historical Center for a lesson from area historian Bobette Braxton and then wander to the Pine Street Colored Cemetery for a visit. The judges will then visit the Gallipolis Freight Train Station Museum rehabilitation location and then head to Haskins Park and the Gallipolis Developmental Center at 11:30 a.m. to observe the water towers and more. Judges will then drive by O.O. McIntyre Park District Veterans Memorial before visiting the French Art Colony at noon. Judges will take a short walk and visit the Our House Museum for lunch followed by a tour of the building. At 1:30 p.m., the team will then visit the Gallia County Convention and Visitor’s Center and then the Gallia County Genealogical Society. Judges will drive by Memorial Field around 2:10 p.m. and then the Cliffside Golf Course and Early Childhood Center before returning to their hotel.

According to GIB President Bev Dunkle, the tour is meant to highlight the history and pride of the region while also displaying beautification and planting efforts across town. GIB representatives have said they hope to maintain their past ranking of four out of five blooms score, but are hoping to attain a five as that is the highest rank a town could receive from AIB judges.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright