Fictitious local icon Colonel Gateway donned his beard and blue suit Wednesday evening as he welcomed dozens of guests to a happy hour at AIDA Bistro and Wine Bar in Columbia.
Jon Barnes, a marketing professional with Columbia's ADG Creative, created the character with his colleagues in late 2014 as a joke about the "Col Gateway Dr" road signs. Barnes and ADG content strategist Rachel Poisall frequently post to the @ColGateway Twitter account with Photoshopped images of Barnes in costume.
But Wednesday was their moment to shine, as about 75 people, including local bloggers, filled a room at AIDA.
"Four months and seven days ago," the colonel told the crowd, "we did bring forth on this Internet a new initiative, conceived in humor and dedicated to the proposition that all members of the Gateway must be united together."
Learn more about Colonel Gateway in the Howard County Times' story and video published about him in March.