CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — More than 150 professional planners from the Mid-Atlantic region are gathering in Cumberland for a conference keyed to the National Road bicentennial.

The two-day conference begins Thursday at the downtown Holiday Inn.

The Maryland chapter of the Mid-Atlantic Planning Association says the keynote speaker on Thursday is Kennedy Smith, former director of the National Trust for Historic Places’ Main Street program. Smith is discussing the challenges faced by small cities such as Cumberland as they adapt to economic and demographic changes.

The National Road was the nation’s first federally funded interstate highway, running from Cumberland to Vandalia, Ill.

Cumberland is marking the road’s 200th anniversary with events, including a parade Saturday and a time-capsule ceremony on Sunday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  1. david says:

    What a friggin joke this is.

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