The beginning of a new year brings hope... renewal... and in Bay County, a look back in time.
The year 2013 marks 100 years since the county was incorporated and county officials are planning a year long celebration. The observance officially kicks off New Year's Eve with a slide show presentation at Pier Park.
Inside the county's ultra-modern government center on the last day of 2012, Centennial Committee volunteers reflected on the past as they assembled photos on a glass enclosed display board. It's the first of twelve monthly themed collections to be exhibited in the lobby.
"A lot of it is education," said Terri Pierce, who chairs the committee. "Educating citizens and helping them appreciate the wonderful county that we are... where we've come from and where we're going."
Pierce said other plans include a gala fundraiser, banners, time capsule and a community-wide event near the county's actual birthday on July 1. "They celebrated all day in McKenzie Park and we're trying to put together a similar celebration," said Pierce.
Many of the plans for the centennial celebration are still being finalized and Pierce said a website with detailed information will be up and running within a week or so.