Town prepares for 200th anniversary
DARIEN — P-A-R-T-Y spells 200th anniversary for town residents next year.
All the festivities that will celebrate the town’s 200th anniversary will take place from March to June of 2020.
According to Alan Miller, chairman of the town’s 2020 subcommittee and member of the Darien Historical Society, March will have an opening ceremony at the Thaddeus Bell gravesite. Bell was one of Darien’s founders.
There will also be a ringing of the bells of the houses of worship, and an opening exhibition at the Darien Historical Society, said Miller at the April 9 Monuments & Ceremonies Commission meeting.
June will be the final closing ceremony of the celebrations. June 12 was the day when Darien was officially incorporated as its own town. There will be an anniversary day ceremony on that day. The time capsule will be buried and there will also be the Weed Beach annual party.
In regard to spreading the word about the 2020 celebration, commission members are making plans for an EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) calendar of events sent to residents.
In addition, the town website will have a link with all the formal events that will be taking place.
$5,000 from the town’s budget has been put toward the 2020 committee.
Veterans’ sign program
A unanimous motion was made at the April 9 meeting, that up to $250 be allocated for the installation of the veteran war-time street sign and miscellaneous items that pertain to this.
The sign is part of the new veterans’ sign program that Darien teacher Lucy Berry created.
As part of the program, each name will be placed on the sign of the street that the veteran lives or lived on. No street addresses will change. The sign will be the same color, shape, and size of all the other street signs in town.
The purpose of this ongoing project is to honor Darien veterans.
At the meeting, Berry confirmed that the company that makes Darien’s signs — East Coast Sign Company in Bethel— will charge $60 per sign.
“So, if there are two entrances to a street and we want to have a sign at each entrance, that would be two signs,” Berry said. “I added in $20 for the framing and writing and printing of a proclamation, which is per event. $85 for one sign plus $60 for the other, additional signage.”
The Earth Day celebration in Darien will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 20, at Masonic Temple, 354 Post Road. Those who are interested in volunteering to help the area look nice should meet at 10 a.m.
“We have to put on a good face for the world here, and one of the ways of doing it is to make sure that your reverence for the dead is shown,” Chairman Dave Polett said.
According to Monuments & Ceremonies Commission Vice Chairman Terry Gaffney, 109 invitations were sent out for the Memorial Day parade. “So far, we have 53 organizations who said yes,” he said.
It was announced that Don Cavett, who’s been the bagpiper in the parade in the past, died last week.
The parade will be live-streamed and available on YouTube through the Darien Foundation.
The commission is now looking for volunteers for the parade.
According to Gaffney, there was a concern about a drone at the parade. A drone was approved for last year’s Memorial Day ceremony by the police and fire departments in town. The Federal Aviation Administration regulations for a drone mandate that a drone can’t go any higher than 400 feet. The minimum height above ground for any airplane is 500 feet.
“There is virtually no chance of a drone and a plane intersecting,” Gaffney said. “There are regulations about drones being used above individuals, so that’s a conversation that we have to have with [police] captain Don Anderson.”