A three-day celebration of Waldoboro’s 250th anniversary will kick off in two weeks, marking a year of planning efforts to celebrate the previous centuries and those to come. From Friday through Sunday, June 16-18, special events, live music, movie screenings, and activities for all ages will spread throughout the town.
Organizers said their goal was to draw on past events and new ideas to create a memorable celebration for families and children to remember until the tricentennial in 2073.
Waldoboro was incorporated as a town and renamed from Broad Bay in 1773 after about 30 years of permanent settlement, according to a pictorial history book developed for the anniversary by the Waldoboro Sestercentennial Committee.
The town’s early industry in shipbuilding, which once ranked Waldoboro as the sixth port in the United States, continued until steamships displaced sails in the early 1900s.
Shellfish harvesters now work on the Medomak River with modern commerce in view. At recent select board meetings, residents and elected officials have said they are seeing a renewal of activity in the village and have high hopes for the next 50 years.
“Changes come and go, and are met with excitement and sadness, but, nevertheless, the feeling of pride in our past and hope for our future remains,” Jean Lawrence and Bill Maxwell wrote in the introduction.
John Blodgett and Maxwell, chair and vice chair of the planning committee, both remember the town’s bicentennial celebration in 1973 and said they hope to create a similarly memorable experience for today’s children.
“In the end, we want good entertainment, good food, something for people to remember,” Blodgett said.
Their ad hoc sestercentennial committee was gathered about a year ago, and the late Lawrence, former longtime Waldoboro Historical Society president, had asked the Waldoboro Select Board about forming a committee a year prior. The 20-plus members have met every other week, then weekly, since last May, according to Blodgett.
As the committee chose events from the 1973 program to continue and brainstormed new ones to introduce, the program length grew from one day, to two, to the three now planned.
The Lincoln County News reported the events of the bicentennial in its Aug. 13, 1973 edition. A pancake breakfast, a service at the Old German Church on Route 32, a parade, and fireworks return this year.
Discussion earlier this year about a time capsule somewhere in the former A.D. Gray School, which residents hope to locate before the building’s demolition, sparked discussion about putting together a new capsule this year to be unearthed at the town’s 300th anniversary celebration.
Fundraising efforts throughout the year in preparation for the packed calendar included sales of commemorative anniversary coins for the sestercentennial, the collection of business sponsorships, and most recently a show by standup comedian Juston McKinney on Friday, May 26.
“The response has been unbelievable,” Blodgett said, with “overwhelming support.”
Event graphics by Medomak Design grace T-shirts and the cover of the pictorial history books, which will be available at the event. Local business sponsorships covered extra T-shirt designs, fliers, and even the printing of the books.
Maxwell said the committee is grateful to the community support for the historical society and annual Waldoboro Day over the past few years, and hopes to see more volunteer involvement result from the celebration.
“We wanted to make sure we could make this time memorable,” Blodgett said. “We had to do it. We had to step up.”
“Or it wasn’t going to happen,” Maxwell said.
Volunteer positions are still available for this year’s celebration. Interested individuals can call Blodgett at 790-1307 or message the event’s Facebook page.
Celebrations for the 250th begin on Friday, June 16 with a car show at Delano Seafood from 4:30-6:30 p.m., an old-fashioned bean supper from 5-6 p.m. at the Broad Bay Congregational Church, and a time capsule ceremony at 6 p.m. at the town office.
Saturday’s events open with a pancake breakfast from 7-9 a.m. at the American Legion Hall, 181 Jefferson St. A 5K road race begins in the village at 8:30 a.m., followed by an opening ceremony at the Old German Church, 235 Bremen Road.
The Waldo Theatre will show “The Lorax” at 10 a.m., “Holiday” at 2 p.m., and “Trolls World Tour” at 5 p.m.
The Waldoborough Historical Society holds an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Miller School gymnasium will host an art and craft show from noon to 6 p.m.
The parade begins at 12 p.m. at 401 Friendship Road and finishes at 50 Mill St.
Saturday’s program also features a full day of live music, games, and food at the recreation fields on Percy Moody Road. Sets will be played beginning at 1 p.m. by Jimmy Moreland, the Rusty Hinges, Mid Life Crisis, and Finntown Road, followed by a dinner break before a three-hour performance by The Watts Hall Band.
The evening offerings include bingo games at the legion hall starting at 6 p.m. and fireworks from Philbrook Athletic Field at 9 p.m.
Lobster rolls, hot dogs with Morse’s sauerkraut, burgers, walking cheese boards, deep fried Oreos, and more will be available throughout the day.
A shuttle bus from the Miller School parking lot will circle the day’s events on Saturday between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
The following day, the historical society’s open house continues with the same hours. A cornhole tournament is scheduled for 11 a.m. at The Cornhole Connection. At 1 p.m., a home run derby begins at the recreation fields on Percy Moody Road.
Tom DiMenna will play from 1-3 p.m. at King Solomon’s Lodge at 860 Main St., where a chicken barbecue will be held. A 3 p.m., a church service and open house at the Old German Church will be followed by a closing ceremony and tree planting at Pine Street Landing.
The weekend’s final event is a 5 p.m. screening of “High Noon” at the Waldo Theatre.
For more information or to volunteer, find “Waldoborough 250th Anniversary” on Facebook, email email@example.com, or call Blodgett at 790-1307.