Fireworks, Ball Gowns, Parades; Wayland Prepares for 375th Anniversary

When Wayland celebrates its 375th anniversary, the year-long party will feature something for everyone.

A celebration this big requires more than just a few weeks of planning. After all, Wayland only turns 375 years old once, right?

The 3375th Anniversary Commemoration Committee has been hard at work for well over a year planning dozens of events, activities, educational opportunities and more to commemorate the town's 375th anniversary. And with just under nine months until the opening celebration of the year-long party, committee chair Mary Antes said much has been accomplished, but much remains to be done.

“The committee has met with most of the organizations in town to encourage them to get involved,” Antes said, pointing out that town groups who want to plan a particular event have been invited to do so. “We need people who are willing to take on an idea and make it happen.”

The opening celebration for the year-long event will take place June 15-16, 2013, Antes said. The Cochituate Ballfield and possibly the land behind the Public Safety Building will serve as the settings for a kids carnival, old-time games and a focus on Wayland's Native American history, among other activities.

Antes said that the commitee wants the entire anniversary celebration to focus on four specific elements of Wayland's history: the Native American influence, the Colonial period, the Industrial Revolution/Civil War period, and the 20th century.

In addition to the opening weekend happenings, events already in the works include performances of Beatrice Herford's monologues at her eponymous theater, a fundraising concert by the Golden Tones, a parade, a cookbook and much more.

The committee is working with $30,000 appropriated by Town Meeting, but is also looking into various fundraising opportunities, including that aforementioned cookbook.

Antes said the committee will likely sell "First Night" style buttons to raise funds and will charge a cover for some events, though many will be free.

She said a series of period dances is also in the works, with a circa 1810 soiree on tap to be the first.

"Be looking into getting your ball gown for that," Antes said.

The committee badly wants fireworks to be a part of the closing celebration, scheduled for June 14-15, 2014, but must secure a large enough place to safely shoot them off.

"We're still trying to work out that issue," Antes said, "but we hope very much that we’ll have fireworks for the closing celebration.”

As the committee continues to work toward a celebration fitting a 375th anniversary, Antes said help and volunteers are still needed.

“It would be wonderful if someone would help us with publicity, and I think logistics is going to be another thing that we’ll have to keep in mind," she said. "We have a lot of work do.”

The committee next meets on Oct. 1, and Antes encouraged anyone with ideas or a willingness to volunteer to attend.


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