CHESHIRE, Mass. — Cheshire turns 225 this month and the town is pulling out all the stops for the kick-off celebration on Saturday.
All are welcome to the party that starts at 5:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Church Hall and will feature guest speakers, historical displays, historical presentations and, of course, a birthday cake.
"It is going to be fun; a lot of good things are happening," organizer John Tremblay said.
From 5:30 to 7, light hors d'oeuvres will be served and a barbershop quartet will be making the rounds providing live entertainment.
The organized part of the night will begin at 7 and state Rep. John Barrett III, D-North Adams, has been invited to speak as well as state Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield.
"Both representatives have requested citations from their respective house," organizer Marya LaRoche said. "If their schedules permit, we expect them to join us."
The selectmen are also slated to speak.
Tremblay said the organizing group represents the Cheshire Community Association, the Cheshire Community Action Team, the Historical Society, the fire and police departments and even the Garden Club.
"We formed a planning group made of volunteers and we have been meeting since early September," he said. "It really is a great cross-section of people of all ages."
LaRoche said the 225th anniversary celebration will not culminate in this one event but rather the group has been planning a plethora of events throughout the year.
She said many of these build on established events such as the Memorial Day Parade or the Cheese Fest and "supercharge" them to make them a little more special to celebrate the 225th anniversary.
"There was only so much the committee would be able to generate in terms of new events, so we wanted to make sure we involved as many of the other community events as possible," she said. "We wanted to enhance events that are already happening."
Events such as Cruz Night will also feature a Civil War encampment and the Memorial Day Parade will pay special tribute to Cheshire veterans.
Tremblay added they plan to also build on the Boat Parade and turn it more into a community event.
"We have this beautiful lake and we have been connecting with folks who have been running the parade and we want to enhance it and maybe turn it into more of a community event," he said. "We think it could bring a lot of people to the community."
LaRoche said the events are designed to really spotlight Cheshire's assets and she hopes it will be a good opportunity to celebrate the town and its history.
"With all this regionalization throughout the county we want to make sure we don't lose our individuality," she said. "I would urge people to go and get to know other members of their community and show people how much we love Cheshire. We are Cheshire proud."
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