FALMOUTH — Following the first community meeting to plan the town’s 300th anniversary, it seems the celebration will be a big one.

About 25 people attended the forum Monday night to begin discussing ideas for the town’s tercentennial in 2018. They included members of the tercentennial committee, and representatives of Falmouth Memorial Library, Falmouth Historical Society, Maine State Ballet and others.

Erin Cadigan, the tercentennial coordinator, said she and the committee met several times, but ultimately decided the events shouldn’t just be planned by a handful of people. There will also be a public forum at 6:30 p.m. March 7 in the Lunt Auditorium on Lunt Road.

The discussion was free-flowing; anyone could toss out an idea for the group to consider. Cadigan led the session by asking everyone why they live in Falmouth, what the goals of the celebration should be, who the target audience is, and what general activities and events could be done.

“Where we are is not quite anywhere yet,” Cadigan said, meaning it was still early in the process.

One concern that arose is ensuring that events are geared to all ages, as well as linking the town’s past to both its present and future. 

Several suggestions included some kind of tour of the town’s most historically significant places, such as its oldest homes and businesses, cemeteries and trails.

Cadigan said it would be possible to celebrate the anniversary at events the town already holds, including the annual summer concert series and annual community suppers. But for 2018, the events could be expanded.

Other ideas included a parade, festival or carnival to celebrate the town’s history; a lecture series, and creating an oral history. Betsy Jo Whitcomb of the Falmouth Historical Society said the organization has boxes of oral history recordings people have made over the years; Cadigan said it could be possible to digitizing those recordings.

Others wanted to find ways to include local businesses in the celebration. Committee Member Mayer Fital mentioned the idea of businesses selling goods to mark the occasion, or hosting a passport program where, for example, books are stamped by participating businesses. A similar event was held during the 2015 Shop Falmouth event.

“I’m getting the vibe it will be a whole year,” Cadigan said at the end of the session.

The tercentennial committee will eventually narrow down recommendations to send to the Town Council, likely sometime in the spring.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

Seal of Falmouth

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