SANFORD — The year-long celebration making  Sanford’s 250th anniversary concludes with a live performance showcasing the talent of some of its citizens on March 9 at the Sanford Performing Arts Center.

The city’s 250th birthday party began with an ice-skating party and fireworks on Feb. 27, 2018, the day back in 1768 when Sanford was incorporated.

Dylan Cao and Avery Dyer are Sanford High School seniors who are starring in the upcoming SHS production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ They will be performing ‘Suddenly Seymour,’  in Sanford on Stage March 9. COURTESY PHOTO/Sanford Performing Arts Center

Now, organizers have planned Sanford on Stage, an event they say will round out the celebration on a high note, celebrating  the talent of local singers, dancers and entertainers.

One of those who auditioned and who will be performing is Natalia Rothwell, 11; she gave the artist  selection team chills, said Sanford Performing Arts Center director Brett Williams.

“I could tell she was nervous as she approached the piano, sat at the keys and drew a breath,” said Williams, the event emcee. “When she played the piano and began to sing, our jaws dropped and we all got goosebumps. I’m telling you right now, she’s going to be famous. She represents everything this event is about and I can’t wait to introduce her to the audience on March 9.”

The local group Northern Charm will anchor the show, said Williams. Among a host of musicians included in the lineup are vocalists Doug Spaulding and Marita Lowell, along with local guitar legend, John Rachkoskie.

Springvale composer and pianist Morton Gold will perform on the performing arts center’s grand piano that he selected at the Steinway factory in Queens, New York, last April.

The showcase will also feature dancers enrolled at Jazz Tappin’ Dance Academy, Northern Explosion, and Diane’s School of Dance. As well, the lead performers of the upcoming Sanford High School production of “Little Shop of Horrors” will give a preview of their show-stopping number, Williams said.

“We are so pleased to be able to celebrate local talent during this final event to commemorate Sanford’s 250th anniversary,” said Lorisa Ricketts of the committee that organized and oversaw events commemorating the milestone. “This year has been all about appreciating what makes Sanford special and bringing people together to foster pride and engagement in their community. I can’t think of a better way to do that than gathering to cheer on local people with extraordinary gifts, in a brand new performing arts center that is a proud part of our future.”

The colonial Massachusetts government approved the incorporation of a new municipality in Maine on Feb. 27, 1768. The community that had been known as Phillipstown for 30 years became a town. It was named Sanford. The town became a city in 2013.

From the Feb. 27, 2018, fireworks and skating party to a barn dance, Sanford volunteers organized a number of events to mark the birthday, including a time capsule, a June fly-in at Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport, a brew fest and more.

Complementing the special events were the annual Memorial Day parade, Fourth  of July events and parade, road races, the Great Pumpkin Festival, annual soccer tourney, Sanford International Film Festival and a host of other activities.

A complete list of performers and ticket information for Sanford on Stage can be found at General admission tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. The box office opens at 6 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show beings at 7 p.m.

Sanford Performing Arts Center is located at Sanford High School and Regional Technical Center, 100 Alumni Blvd., off lower Main Street, or off Route 4, opposite Jagger Mill Road.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

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