FALMOUTH — Programs and partnerships first created last year to help the town celebrate its own 300th anniversary can now be leveraged to help locals celebrate Maine’s upcoming bicentennial, Erin Cadigan, Falmouth’s education and outreach coordinator, said at last week’s Town Council meeting.

Maine will celebrate the 200th anniversary of statehood in 2020. A special commission is encouraging communities to host events as well.

On Oct. 16 she asked the council for a $16,000 appropriation to pay for bicentennial banners to string along Route 1, and to help support various other bicentennial events, including community bean suppers over Statehood Weekend in March 2020 and a town-wide birthday picnic next summer.

The state officially kicked off its bicentennial in July and it’s planning events that will be held across Maine through next fall.

In addition, the Maine Bicentennial Commission is encouraging communities of all sizes to create local programs and events to commemorate Maine’s history, culture and natural environment and engage and inspire Mainers of all ages.

There are three major goals in celebrating the 200th anniversary of Maine’s statehood, the commission said on its website: to explore the state’s history from the perspective of its many past and current populations; to celebrate Maine’s current people, places, institutions and economy; and to envision what actions will be needed to ensure future prosperity in the Pine Tree State.

Because Falmouth held a year-long recognition of its tercentennial in 2018, Cadigan said it could likely rely on the many civic groups, organizations, churches and businesses that supported that effort to also support the state’s bicentennial.

Cadigan suggested the town once again display “The Story of Falmouth” traveling exhibit and also create an educational curriculum to accompany Edward La Salle’s historic painting of a Falmouth map.

Cadigan also called on the council to pass a resolution endorsing or supporting the Maine Bicentennial Commission’s efforts and suggested installing a commemorative bicentennial plaque in Falmouth’s Tricentennial Pine Grove.

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