After years of preparations, Lexington residents are about to celebrate the town's 300th Anniversary. Photo courtesy Lexington's 300th Anniversary Celebration Committee.
With Lexington’s 300th Anniversary nearing, the town's celebration his about to kick into high gear.
An entire weekend of events called “LexCelebrate” will be held in the town on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17, including a community dance and a host of other events, including author talks, a mock town meeting, and a visit by the Mass. Memories Road Show.
The main event will be the free “Dance Around the World” gathering that will celebrate different cultural backgrounds at Lexington High School Saturday, March 16, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“It’s a chance to bring lots of different groups together as one, so I think it is emblematic of what the whole weekend is about,” said Jesse Steigerwald, who is co-chair of the 300th Anniversary Celebration Committee’s events team.
The celebrations will be a couple of weeks ahead of Lexington’s true tercentennial anniversary. Lexington was incorporated as a town on March 31, 1713, but this year Easter falls on March 31 and planners did not want to schedule too many conflicting celebrations.
Lexington will mark the tercentennial anniversary on March 31 shortly after 5 p.m. by ringing bells throughout the town for five minutes. The Old Belfry belltower will lead the ringing and will be joined by religious organizations and residents ringing bells.
Next weekend, the celebrations will kickoff at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 16, with a proclamation in honor of the town’s anniversary at Lexington High School. Then the Mass. Memories Road Show will open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the high school commons.
Steigerwald said the road show is similar to popular television program “Antiques Roadshow” except residents bring their most treasured pictures instead of antiques. The photos are scanned in and recorded as part of town and state history. The traveling road show is organized by the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Other events will held at various locations Saturday, including local author talks at the high school, a mock Town Meeting that will be held by local 8th grade students in the Cary Memorial Building, and recreation events including ping pong and a demonstration by the Yo-Yo Performers in the Lexington High School field house.
A crowd of 800 to 900 people is expected to attend the free dance at the school Saturday night, and preparations have been underway for a couple of years, said dance organizer Geetha Padaki.
A performance will kick off the event with traditional Indian, Chinese, Scottish, Israeli, Latino and Greek dances, followed by a “fusion dance” with all of the performers, Padaki said.
Sunday, March 17, the events will kick off with a panel discussion called “Farming then and Now” which will discuss farming in Lexington and elsewhere. The discussion, organized by the Lexington Community Farm Coalition, will begin at 1 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The panel will include, among others, Donald Wilson, the co-owner of Wilson Farm in Lexington, and August “Gus” Schumacher, Jr., a former state commissioner of food and agriculture and a former under secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
At 3:30 p.m. a discussion about women in Lexington’s civic life will also be held Sunday in the science lecture hall.
A full list of the events can be found online at www.lexington300.org.