Darien’s 200th anniversary celebrations will now mainly take place in 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the recent Darien 2020 Bicentennial Committee meeting, members unanimously passed a motion to have the official Darien 2020 Bicentennial Bash in 2021.

In addition, there was also a unanimous vote to move the Weed Beach Festival to June 5, 2021 and the town’s Anniversary Day to June 12, 2021.

They decided to hold off on finalizing the day of the Heritage Day event, which is supposed to take place Oct. 24. This will be put on with the Historical Society and Mather House.

Possible virtual event

At the meeting, which was held virtually, committee members said they’re tentatively considering hosting a virtual Weed Beach Festival this year. They’re working with local bands to host a musical hour, according to Jami Gore, recreation program supervisor for the town of Darien.

“We are hoping to partner with DAF media, and also Channel 79 to broadcast footage as well as on the local TV station,” Gore said.

Time capsule

Due to the virus and its impact, the time capsule that the committee members are preparing for the town’s anniversary has taken on a whole new meaning.

Caroline Lopez, Darien Library's associate director of operations, said the committee is putting together a timeline for the capsule, in terms of publicity.

“We’ll be asking each of the schools to contribute something and then doing a community response, putting out the opportunity for community members to submit their reflections from the year,” Lopez said. “Then, we’ll put that into some kind of book.”

They also plan on getting photographs to capture the big moments of the year.

Maggie McIntire, co-vice-chairman of the committee, and executive director of the Darien Historical Society said “we’re doing outreach at the Historical Society and asking people to send information to capture that for the history of the town.”

It will be an above ground time capsule, according to Committee Chairman Alan Miller.

“We’re offering it to the town, if they wanted to store it,” he said. “If not, the Darien Historical Society said they would be glad to store it for 50 years.”

Funds raised

About $57,600 has been raised so far, for the town’s anniversary celebrations.

The breakdown is as follows:

 Town contribution: $15,000

 Private donations: $11,500

 Sponsors: $30,500

Anniversary merchandise

Members spoke about opportunities to sell the anniversary merchandise virtually.

Additionally, they can now sell the hats outside since outdoor retail sales are now allowed.

They’re going to come up with a plan in regard to selling masks with the 200th anniversary logo on them, and vote on this at their next meeting, which is June 10 at 11 a.m.

Watch the Darien 2020 Bicentennial Committee meeting on Darien TV/79.

sfox@darientimes.com