CBS News correspondent and 60 Minutes anchor Scott Pelley will be the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony for the town’s 200th anniversary in 2020.

The opening ceremony will be Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium. The snow date is Jan. 11. at 2 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Pelley, a Darien resident, recently published his memoir, “Truth Worth Telling,” subtitled, “A Reporter’s Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times.”

He also reported from Ground Zero for CBS after the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Town’s 200th anniversary celebration

Following the opening ceremony, there will be a tentative reception at the Darien Historical Society or at the town hall that will begin at 8:30 p.m.

There will be a program of activities that include a music presentation and slideshow about the history of Darien.

At a recent 2020 subcommittee of the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission, members talked about having experienced tech people on hand that day to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Finances, contributions

Commission Chairman Al Miller said the Board of Selectmen and RTM approved donations up to $75,000 that the committee can accept for its events and projects relating to the town’s anniversary celebration.

The committee recently received $10,000 from the town for the celebrations, so now it needs to raise $65,000.

In total, about eighty percent of the anticipated expenses will be covered by private donations and sponsorships.

To date, $1,450 was raised from individual donations.

To contribute to the town’s 2020 celebrations, make checks out to the town of Darien, and write “For 2020 Bicentennial” in the comments area. Address the letter to the Town of Darien, 2 Renshaw Road, Darien, CT 06820, and write on the envelope: “2020 Bicentennial Committee.”

Committee members are sending out letters to town businesses to become sponsors of the anniversary celebrations.

They also spoke about acknowledging people and businesses who contribute.

Heritage Day

Heritage Day will be Oct. 24 with a rain date of Oct. 25. Events will take place both at the Darien Historical Society and the Mather Homestead.

For this day, there will tentatively be colonial crafts and games and a skirmish re-enactment.

Historical Marker project, DAR

The Darien Foundation voted unanimously to cover the costs of the Historical Marker project, which is $35,000.

There will be eight historical markers — for areas in town that have historical significance.

Commission members are tentatively considering placing some of the markers in walkable areas in town, such as in the Grove Street Plaza.

Also, members of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) which will be unveiling their plaque at Slawson Cemetery to honor Darien founder Thaddeus Bell.

Communication

Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. is the next presentation at the Darien Library by commission members to educate the public on 2020 celebration plans.

sfox@darientimes.com