It's the best kind of birthday party there is: You don't have to bring presents, just be present.

It's the best kind of birthday party there is: You don't have to bring presents, just be present.

The Clintonville Area Commission's kickoff for observing the 165th anniversary of the neighborhood's founding is to take place Thursday, Feb. 2, from 5 to about 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Whetstone Community Center, 3923 N. High St.

"Everyone loves a birthday party," organizer Megan DeFourny said last week.

"This has been fun because unlike different event-planning experiences, we've been able to bring the community together, every facet of it and all ages," DeFourny said. "I've had sponsors coming out of the woodwork, almost competing with one another."

DeFourny, the wife of CAC chairman John DeFourny, was appointed to organize the birthday bash and to be the neighborhood's representative to Columbus Bicentennial activities late in 2011, on the strength of her past involvement in bringing major weightlifting competitions to central Ohio.

The sponsors for the Feb. 2 celebration, which is to feature a host of invited dignitaries, city leaders, community members and "people from every branch of city government," according to Megan DeFourny, are Kroger, United Dairy Farmers, Crimson Cup, Columbus Recreation and Parks, Pattycake Bakery and DeFourny Realtors, which she and her husband own.

A special presentation from the Clintonville Historical Society is on tap for the event, Megan DeFourny said.

"Birthday is about celebrating the past but also the present and into the future," she added.

A display of capital improvements on tap for this year, including new signs for entry points to Clintonville as well as major upgrades to Brevoort and Portal parks, will be featured in the auditorium. Megan DeFourny said she is excited to be able to let residents view improvements to the two parks.

"Especially since our area is known for its parks, I think that this will be fantastic, since this is happening not only on Clintonville's 165th birthday, but also the Columbus Bicentennial," she said.

The celebration will include an expression of gratitude for state and local officials for not only recent and proposed capital projects "but also preserving the quality of life" in the neighborhood, she said.

Megan DeFourny also promised some surprises and some surprise guests.

The event organizer called the Whetstone Community Center the ideal location for the bash because it is "right in the heart of Clintonville."

The free event is open to anyone who would like to attend, and the various displays should include something of interest to everyone, the organizer indicated.

"And, of course, free cake, free ice cream, coffee, pop; lots of goodies," Megan DeFourny said.

Those with a sweet tooth will be able to sample from a series of sheet cakes with designs reflecting Clintonville's past and its future, she added.

This was deemed wiser than trying to create a single cake with 165 candles on it, something that might result, she said, in the fire department being summoned.

Technically, Megan DeFourny said, Clintonville's founding dates to some time in September 165 years ago, but waiting until then, she indicated, would be to waste much of a year that could be spent in celebration.