The official kickoff event of the Town of New Lebanon’s Bicentennial Celebration (NL200) will take place Saturday, March 3 from 10 am to noon at the New Lebanon Town Hall. That morning will feature a program describing the town’s religious and spiritual traditions and displays of historical documents, as well as the introduction of the NL200 celebratory banner, a new Town Seal, and the “Passport to New Lebanon.”
The Town of New Lebanon was officially incorporated in 1818. The town government and several community organizations and businesses are offering programs and events throughout the year in an effort to build community awareness of local history, economic development and community pride. At the request of the New Lebanon Town Board, Grow the Valley, Inc., is coordinating NL200 celebratory events and programs. Fiona Lally, President of the Grow the Valley Board of Directors, stated, “We are thrilled to be playing an active part in celebrating this moment of our town’s history. Organizations, businesses and individuals are pulling together to offer a fantastic array of programs that will be informative, interesting and, most of all, fun.”
Speakers from New Lebanon’s four churches as well as The Abode of the Message, a Sufi community and retreat center, will each highlight the role their religious/spiritual organization played in the town’s history. Renowned local musician Monte Wasch will lead program attendees in the singing of Shaker tunes. Following that, Town Supervisor Colleen Teal will officially unfurl the bicentennial celebratory banner, thirty of which will later be mounted along the town’s major roadways.
Supervisor Teal will also introduce the new Town Seal that maintains the elements of the current seal but in a clearer design, as well as the “Passport to New Lebanon.” Area businesses and organizations will stamp the passport of visitors to their establishments. When their advertised criteria have been met, persons collecting the required number of stamps will be eligible for prizes at the NL200 closing event in September. Passports are available free of charge at the Town Hall, New Lebanon Library and New Lebanon Post Office.
The New Lebanon Library will hold its own kickoff party for Culinary Crossroads, from 3-5 pm at the library. Culinary Crossroads consists of recipes and personal stories submitted by library patrons and local residents, along with delightful vintage photos by Steve Hawkins.
Copies will be available for inspection and purchase at $20. Coffee, tea, maple lemonade and sweet treats made from Culinary Crossroads’ recipes will be the stars of the party.
Looking ahead, Saturday April 21, the actual anniversary date of New Lebanon’s chartering, will be jam-packed with festive events, including the bicentennial commemoration at a location to be announced (10 am to 12 pm), the first use of a pictorial postmark by the post office, a program of music and stories at the Lebanon Valley Heritage Center (12 to 2 pm), and “Sup and Swing”, an evening of good food, music and dancing at the New Lebanon Jr/Sr High School (5:30 to 8 pm).
For further information about the story behind NL200 and the programs and events that have been scheduled so far, visit www.growthevalley.org.