By Marcia Morris
PLYMOUTH—Plymouth’s 250th anniversary celebration begins with a kickoff event on Wednesday evening, July 17, starting at 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to Summerfest – a lawn party on the campus of Plymouth State University’s Mary Lyon Hall — with a traditional summer barbecue, dessert, kid’s games, and a concert by “Annie” and the Orphans starting at 7 p.m.
A performance by “Annie” and the Orphans is always a “rock” down memory lane. One of New Hampshire’s most popular classic rock bands, “Annie” always inspires kids and the young at heart to dance to the “oldies” repertoire including “Rock Around the Clock,” “The Wanderer,” “Oh Diana” and “Only Make Believe.” It will be a blast!
The event is free and open to the public, rain or shine. So, bring your lawn chair and a blanket and enjoy one of summer’s great pleasures.
The celebration moves into overdrive on Friday, July 19, beginning with a reception for the “Views of
Plymouth” Art Exhibit Opening, from 4 – 6 p.m. in Plymouth State University’s Karl Drerup Art Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building, located just off the traffic circle on Main Street, downtown Plymouth. This special exhibit, will run from Friday, July 19 – Friday, July 26, 2013.
Then the revelry really moves into overdrive with an Old Time Barn Dance, featuring Two Fiddles, Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman, to be held from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. at the Plymouth Regional Senior Center on Green Street, rain or shine.
If you appreciate New England’s musical roots, or just want to have a lot of fun, you won’t want to miss this one. Dudley Laufman, a musician and barn dance caller from Canterbury, has received the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts: the National Heritage Fellowship, presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. He literally “wrote the book” on traditional country barn dances! There is no one better to help us celebrate this most joyous part of our cultural heritage.
Meanwhile, there will be ample time to relax and reminisce. Reunite with old friends and acquaintances at a reception to be held at the Plymouth Common Man Inn on North Main Street, from 7 p.m. until… whenever! The event, hosted by the Plymouth Rotary Club, will provide an informal opportunity for social time with former classmates, neighbors and friends. To jog the memories, a slide show and old yearbooks will be on hand as well. Make a date with someone you haven’t seen in ages remember the good old days, and catch up on all the news.
Saturday, July 20 is the day of the big parade! The day’s events start at the crack of dawn, with a Community Sunrise Service beginning at 6 a.m. We will gather in silence, beginning at 5:30 a.m. with the service to follow on the Douglas DiCenzo Bridge in downtown Plymouth. People of all faiths and religious affiliations, are invited to attend.
There will be a Pancake Breakfast on the lawn of the Congregational Church in Plymouth, followed by the “Marking the Moment” Anniversary Parade, kicking off at 10 a.m. The official Proclamations and Presentation Ceremony will be held in front of Town Hall at approximately 11:30 a.m., followed by an afternoon of activities for the whole family.
From noon – 5 p.m., the Bridge House is hosting the Fun Fair activities and games for all ages, with food by theThe Common Man. On Green Street and the Rotary Amphitheater at Riverfront Park there will be Train Rides, and continuous performances from the Baker Valley Band, the Dave Lockwood Trio, Uncle Steve’s Band the Young People’s Players.
At “Miss Keniston’s Field” on the corner of Thurlow Street and Texas Hill Road, there will be Colonial Field Games for Kids, Yankee Fiddlers on the Porch, Vintage Cars, Trucks and Tractors, Traditional crafts demonstrations, agricultural displays and a Food Tent hosted by the Plymouth Lion’s Club.
There will be an evening of Cultural Performances beginning at 7 p.m. at the Plymouth Congregational Church, including a reprise of the Nathaniel Peabody Rogers and Northstar scence from the Educational Theater Collaborative’s “Marking the Moment” commemorative production that so many enjoyed this past winter. A Youth Quartet will perform an original composition by Jonathan Santore, to commemorate the Town’s anniversary. A Reading of Verse by Women of Words will followed by a reception, hosted by the Plymouth Congregational Church.
On Sunday, July 21, Paul Minickiello will lead a Guided Historical Walk of Downtown Plymouth. Meet at the Historical Museum, behind the Plymouth Town Hall, at 10 a.m. Alternatively, from noon until 3 p.m, enjoy a self-guided Museum Walk downtown or Take the free Historic House Tour. Enjoy free Ice skating from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Plymouth State University Ice Arena and Welcome Center.
The Grand Finale of the week’s observance will take place on Sunday evening, July 21 at the Plymouth Rotary Riverfront Amphitheater, starting at 7 p.m. with a concert by the Pemi Choral Society. At 8 p.m. there will be a “Plymouth for Peace” ceremony with community prayer, hymn and the launching of floating Peace Prayer Lanterns on the river. Then the 250th Birthday Cake Bake appreciation (and eating) will be held, followed by a Fireworks Show, accompanied by the New Hampshire Music Festival Brass Band!
There are literally dozens of special events and activities planned for the anniversary week celebration. For complete and up to date information on all the activities, visit the event website at www.plymouth250.org. There is something for everyone. See you there!