Marion to observe first anniversary of derecho on Aug. 10

CDBG derecho disaster recovery funding
Trees are shown ripped from the ground in the wake of the August 2020 derecho. CBJ FILE PHOTO

The city of Marion will mark the first anniversary of the derecho on Aug. 10 with a series of events to honor the anniversary and reflect on the progress that has been made.

“The 2020 derecho will be etched in our collective memory not only as the greatest natural disaster in Marion’s history, but also one of its finest moments,” said Marion Mayor Nicolas AbouAssaly. “At a time of great hardship, we set aside our differences and did what needed to be done to help our neighbors. We united around a common purpose and our shared humanity, and in turn, we experienced the true power of commUNITY.”

The schedule of events includes:

Noon: A commUNITY lunch grilled by Marion Hy-Vee and a canned food drive to benefit the Churches of Marion Food Pantry in City Square Park, as well as the reading of a proclamation and unveiling of a new tree carving by Carve-R-Way artist Clint Henik.

2 p.m.: A ceremonial tree planting in Thomas Park and information about the re-planting efforts to date and future plans to restore Marion’s tree canopy with Marion’s Urban Forestry Division and Trees Forever.

3:30 p.m.: Dedication of a derecho-inspired art installation in the atrium of Marion City Hall by local artist Cara Briggs Farmer.

4-6 p.m.: Future Focused: United through Recovery social event hosted by Marion Economic Development Corp., Marion Chamber of Commerce and Uptown Marion and sponsored by Collins Community Credit Union to reflect on the anniversary of the derecho and take note of the forward momentum and development. Free to attend, reservations required.

6 p.m. and 8 p.m.: Derecho Oral History Readers Theatre presented by Marion Public Library and Giving Tree Theater featuring actors reading a selection of oral histories conducted in the spring of 2021. Hear the recollections the day and days following from those with a tie to Marion and desire to help the community heal. Limited seating, free to attend, but reservations are required.