Townwide celebration plans in works
Any huge event that includes thousands of people involves lots of planning — and that’s just what Darien’s 2020 Subcommittee of the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission has been doing over the past few months for the town’s 200th anniversary bash.
At the committee’s July 10th meeting, many of these plans were discussed at length.
Anniversary Day ceremony
Committee members spoke about tentatively having an encampment with renactors from the 5th Connecticut Regiment at the Anniversary Day ceremony.
The 5th Connecticut Regiment is a recreated New England Continental regiment from the American Revolution who educates the public on the role citizens and the state of Connecticut played in the creation of the U.S. It does this through its display of uniforms, camp life, tactics, crafts, and weapons.
In addition, committee members discussed the possibility of getting singing groups, such as the Darien Community Band and/or the Darien school bands, to perform at the event.
Logo and education
There will be a website about the town’s anniversary up soon. It will contain the town’s anniversary logo, a list of 2020 events, names of the committee members and their contact information, and the anniversary mission statement.
Committee member Sarah Lexow Keena is continuing to work with the three students who created the town’s 2020 logo on merchandising options such as hats, T-shirts, lapel pins, and reusable grocery bags.
In addition, she will be creating a list of ways that students can participate in the town’s plans, by grade. Teachers will be getting a reminder and an outline of the town’s planned events in September. Students will be given information in the fall when they return to school.
There is $5,000 given by the town that’s ready to be used. “Anything else that comes in has to be appropriated by the RTM,” said committee member Maggie McIntire, who is executive director of the Darien Historical Society.
Susan Cator, who is executive director and president of the Darien Chamber of Commerce, is working with a local printer on getting estimates for the mailings to send out to residents about the celebrations.
“We want this to go into mailboxes after Labor Day,” Cator said.
The mailing dates have not yet been finalized.
“What’s going to be the most effective is the social media campaign that’s going to get the word out... You just have to blast, blast, blast and promote and boost as much as you can,” Cator added.
According to McIntire, the next big step in the planning stage is getting the social media platforms in place.
Members are looking to get the website up and running.
They discussed paying someone to work on all the social media for the anniversary planning — someone who has a lot of experience in that type of work.
In regard to successful digital marketing, Cator said it involves “regularity,” “consistency,” and an “interesting message.”
To make a donation to the committee, send it to the town and designate it to Darien’s 2020 Bicentennial Committee.
2020 events timeline
Following are tentative dates for the town’s 2020 anniversary celebrations. Times have not been confirmed yet.
Bicentennial opening ceremony: Friday, Jan. 10, Town Hall auditorium
Historical society’s exhibit, Darien 1820, opening: Friday, March 20
Weed Beach Festival’s Bicentennial Bash: Saturday, June 6
Town’s Anniversary Day ceremony: Friday June 12, Thaddeus Bell gravesite, Slawson Cemetery on Hansen Road
Heritage Day celebration: Saturday, June 13
The next Darien 2020 Bicentennial Committee meeting is Aug.14 at 11 a.m.